Latest News

22
JUN

VISION GAMBLE GOES ASTRAY

TO add insult to injury our best winning chance MAN OF VISION conspired to beat himself by taking hold of the bridle and pulling Darryll Holland's arms out in the King George V Handicap. The boss said: "Thursday was another bollocks of a day and what happened with Man Of Vision shows you that despite all the planning in the world it can all go wrong through nobody's fault but circumstances. He took a few attempts to be loaded and then he pissed off with Darryll." Baddam ran sufficiently well to finish seventh in the Gold Cup to have Mick considering a run in tomorrow's Queen Alexandra Stakes, although the forecast rain is a concern. Mick went on: "The jury is still out but i'm certainly concerned that the ground might get soft. He didn't run badly yesterday and was just done for a bit of toe. We'll look at the course a the end of today before deciding if he takes his chance." Mick is also worried about underfoot conditions for GRANTLEY ADAMS in the Wokingham. He commented: "He is our big hope for Saturday but he doesn't want any give. I was very sweet on him each-way but it's one of those things. You just have to get on with it." The boss is sending YOUMZAIN to France on Sunday on the express wish of owner Jaber Abdullah who prefers the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud to Ascot's Hardwicke Stakes. He concludes: "It would have been nice to give him some experience of Ascot before the King George but the owner wants to go to France and i'm only the trainer. I hope we get some pace in the race, but I think it's unlikely."
Posted By: Wilsley News
21
JUN

VISIONS OF GRANDEUR ON LADIES DAY

MICK described Wednesday at Royal Ascot as a 'working' day which in his lingo means he could struggle to have a winner. Although the Thursday card looks as competetive as any so far the boss is hopeful BADDAM, MAN OF VISION and NOTICEABLE will put up bold showings in the Gold Cup and the King George V Handicap. Baddam's Ascot Stakes/Queen Alexandra Stakes double was one of the highlights of the 2006 royal fixture and Mick believes the gelding is ready to step into Group 1 company following his pleasing return at Sandown. He says: "I'm delighted with Baddam and although we're stepping up the ladder I think he's ready for it. He's come on for Sandown and if the Yeats of last year doesn't turn up we could be there to surprise a few people. Man Of Vision has done everything right this year and I think he's got a solid each way chance in the last. There's not much of him but he's versatile and is improving from race to race. His form at home has been very pleasing. Noticeable runs in the same race and is no second string. In fact, i'd find it hard to split them. He handled the undulations well at Goodwood last time and would have won in another stride. There's nothing wrong with that form and it shows he's also on the upgrade." On the two-year-old front Mick runs CARLETON and SILVER GUEST in the Norfolk Stakes, in which there are five non-runners. He continues: "Carleton earned a crack at this when he won in the soft at Bath on Saturday. Darryll Holland looked after him, mindful that I wanted to run him again quick, and he seems to have come out of it well. Silver Guest must be the best two-year-old maiden in the country and deserves to pick up a decent prize. On the book he's entitled to be thereabouts."
Posted By: Wilsley News
21
JUN

THE BOSS REFLECTS ON 'BOLLOX' OF A DAY

OUR runners failed to trouble the judge on Hunt Cup day at the Royal meeting and the boss was left to stew in his juice over a consoling beer in the owners and trainers car park. Silca Chiave faded from a prominent early position in the Jersey Stakes while Flashy Wings underperformed in the Windsor Forest Stakes after briefly threatening to take a hand. Mick's other runner So Sweet then failed to menace in the Sandringham Handicap. What better reason to reach into the picnic hamper and extract a cool refreshment? Mick said: "Both Silca and Flashy ran way below their best and while I don't want to make excuses we've had to contend with a recurring niggly problem with Flashy. It's a mucus-related thing and her scopes haven't been quite spot-on, although watching her work you'd think everything was perfect. Silca dropped back and Hugh was easy on her. Ideally we could have done with another couple of weeks."
Posted By: Wilsley News
20
JUN

STEP UP TO SIX ON HATTA AGENDA

HATTA FORT is to step up to six furlongs following his strong finishing third in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. Mick said: "I knew he would need a bit further but we nearly got away with it. He finished best of all. It will be six furlongs next time." Mick is considering letting Som Tala take in the Queen Alexandra Stakes on Saturday if he shows he's taken his Ascot Stakes exertions in his stride. This was a route pursued by Baddam last year and our trainer added: "He came there to win off a well-judged ride and the Queen Alexandra is a possibility. The problem is the lack of suitable races for a horse like this and then you get two in less than a week. The long distance races are quite a spectacle at the Royal meeting and if he's okay we might well go again."
Posted By: Wilsley News
20
JUN

HIGH HOPES FOR FLASHY IN WINDSOR FOREST

FLASHY WINGS is the stable's standard bearer on day two of Royal Ascot and all seems set for a solid run from the filly in the Windsor Forest Stakes. Owner Jaber Abdullah made the brave decision to keep the leading juvenile filly of 2005 in training and Mick says: "Flashy has had her share of niggling problems but she seems in great form. Her coat is gleaming and she's been working as well as ever. They had plenty of rain after racing but we've been onto the course and they don't think it's made that much difference to the going on the straight course, where the records tumbled yesterday." On a big day for the stable's distaffers Silca Chiave returns from a break in the Jersey Stakes with Hugh Bowman on board for the first time. Mick continues: "I think she has a decent each-way chance. I feel she's coming back to herself although in a perfect world I could have done with another couple of weeks." Capable Guest flies the West Ilsley flag in the Royal Hunt Cup and breaks from stall 12 under Bowman. Mick added: "He ran a blinder when drawn on the wrong side of the track in this race last year but this time we've got the option of which way we go. As you all know with Capable, he's the type who could easily pop-up in a big handicap." The final runner this afternoon is So Sweet in the Sandringham handicap. She was too keen for her own good last time out at Goodwood, having troubled the judge in Listed company at Chester. Mick concludes: "That Listed race was probably the hottest of the year as she had two Classic winners behind her. She's back in trip today, as I don't think she quite got home at Chester. I was delighted with the way the horses ran on Tuesday and today is largely a working day, with Flashy Wings our big hope."
Posted By: Wilsley News
19
JUN

WE HIT CROSSBAR ON DAY ONE

SOM TALA and HATTA FORT acquitted themselves with distinction in the Ascot Stakes and Windsor Castle Stakes to finish in the money on a first day of agonising frustration for the yard. It was only by half a length and a short head that Som Tala failed to catch Full House and Juniper Girl in the big staying handicap while Hatta Fort finished best of all behind Drawnfromthepast and Kingsgate Native in the finale. Mick said: "While it's a bit frustrating to get so close to winning two big prizes at the most prestigious meeting in the world i'm encouraged how well the horses performed and it augers well for our runners for the rest of the week. Som Tala ran a cracker and showed he is ready to pick up a good prize before long. It was a nice step up from Chester and he's obviously going the right way. "Hatta Fort was going on as well as anything at the end and wants further. Given another half a furlong or so it would have been very close. He's a good colt and there should be a good race to be won with him this summer." Yem Kinn and Aaim To Storm were out of the money in the Coventry Stakes and finished almost upsides. Mick added: "They were well back but judging by the way Swiss Franc ran to finish second I doubt Yem Kinn gave his true running."
Posted By: Wilsley News
19
JUN

SITE EDITOR SEES RED

ON the launch day of our website I was up with the larks and arrived at the racecourse at 7am, intent on creating a good impression. Armed with the username and password to get into Ascot's own Wireless system I was ready to write - only to be without internet access some three and a half hours later! The Ascot chiefs get most things right but I can tell you there were a bunch of red-faced hacks desperate to start work as the sole press room tech kept his cool and got the problem sorted. My apologies to those of you who logged-on this morning to a news-free page. This has now been corrected and I look forward to sending you some early posts tomorrow - another big day for West Ilsley with the return of FLASHY WINGS in the Windsor Forest Stakes.
Posted By: Wilsley News
19
JUN

HIGH HOPES FOR SOM TALA

SOM TALA tackles leg two of a carefully-laid 2007 campaign and we have high hopes of a bold showing from him in the Ascot Stakes. Mick was delighted with his fifth placing on his return to action in the Chester Cup and said: "Som Tala has a similar profile to Baddam who scooped the Ascot Stakes/Queen Alexandra Stakes double last year. "He posted a career best on the Roodeye and my feeling is that he's come on for that. All ground conditions seem to come alike to him but ideally i'd have settled for a better draw. You always need your fair share of luck in a race like this but if he gets the breaks he could well be in the shake-up."
Posted By: Wilsley News
19
JUN

FORT BACKED FOR CASTLE

OUR best chance of a winner on day one of the royal meeting possibly lies with HATTA FORT who has attracted widespread support already for the Windsor Castle Stakes. Not forgetting Coventry Stakes contender YEM KINN who is also being backed at fancy prices for the Coventry Stakes, Hatta Fort looks rock solid and likely to go off favourite. Before leaving the yard Mick told me Hatta Fort has done everything right since opening his account in what looked a warm contest at Windsor. He said: "From the first time we worked him Hatta Fort has given us the right signals and had been winning all his gallops before he went to Leicester first time up. He was a bit green that day but was finishing best of all when getting the hang of it. At Windsor he put in a very professional performance to beat Swiss Franc comfortably. His original name was Obboor but his owner Sheikh Ahmed decided to change it. Some very good Arab-owned horses have done well following a name change and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he followed suit." Hatta Fort looks like starting favourite for the Windsor Castle and was cut to 4-1 from 5-1 by Stan James. That firm have shortened YEM KINN to 20-1 from 28s in the Coventry and Mick is looking towards a good run from this colt. He added: "Yem Kinn's form ties in with Hatta Fort through Swiss Franc who finished third in Yem Kinn's race at Ascot. He's a course winner and both Hugh Bowman and I think a lot about him. He's a value each way bet but the Coventry is always that bit tougher than the Windsor Castle." The stable also fields Aaim To Storm in the meeting's opener and Mick concluded: "He's got the experience under his belt but is stepping up. He's well in himself and won't be disgraced."
Posted By: Wilsley News
18
JUN

Launch Videos

Our video content for our launch features two of our work mornings - the 12th & 15th June. Here you can view some of our hopefuls in their build up to the Royal Meeting. There are further video features on the history and facilities at West Ilsley, whilst our staff section introduces the team and the jockeys connected to the yard. "Fat Ali" who has played a key role in Mutawaajid's arrival from Australia is the first member of our team to be featured in our series of staff spotlights. There will be many more videos to follow as we expand the site and build up our archive. Here's hoping you enjoy our very first videos and that they are both informative and entertaining. There's no point otherwise is there!?
Posted By: Wilsley News