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THE Champagne Stakes at Doncaster is under consideration for BETTER HAND following his impressive triumph in the seven furlong maiden at Sandown on Wednesday evening.

Having come on for his promising debut run at the Esher course, the boss was quietly confident the son of Montjeu would deliver the goods and he did that in style under Hugh Bowman.

Mick said: "I suppose the Champagne Stakes would be an obvious race to look at and i'm not averse to stepping him up to a mile before the end of the year. We might look at the Royal Lodge later on."

Stan James, sponsors of the 2,000 Guineas, have introduced Better Hand into their Classic market at 50-1.

Posted By: Wilsley News


WRITE off SWEET LILLY at your peril in the the Blue Nassau Stakes at 
Goodwood next week.
Having contested all the major prizes for three-year-old fillies this season, she
gave short shrift to a high profile stablemate on the Gilberts trial ground
Sweet Lilly has been called some names in her time, not all of them complimentary, 
but there is no arguing she is a character who doesn't give a hoot about life in
general and knows how to 'do her own thing'.
Mick says: "If she was a human she'd be a bit of a madam, and that's putting it mildly,
but you can't get away from the fact that she has bags of ability and had a
terrible run in the Falmouth Stakes when she saw too much daylight. In different circumstances she can 
mix it with the best of then as she did against Passage Of Time in the Musidora.
I know there'll be fillies who've beaten her in the Goodwood race but different
circumstances might prevail which will suit her. Make no mistake, she's no 50-1 chance
and I expect her to go well."
Posted By: Wilsley News


Our gallop videos for Tuesday 24th July are now on-line. Regrettably, the round 7 Furlong on the Winter Gallops, on which Youmzain worked ahead of the King George isn't conducive to filming unless we invest in a full on TV Gantry.  

However, there's plenty for everyone with Mutawaajid looking in fine form, whilst Top Vision worked well in company with Silver Touch and Pretty Majestic.

Surely the high point of the morning's work though was the sight of the ever popular yard legend Alfredtheordinary making his MC.TV gallops debut. The Lord Ilsley Racing Club can now look forward to Alfie's next racecourse appearance with the usual over-excited gusto that's become their trademark in recent months.

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We are all relieved that the widespread flooding in the midlands has not adversely affected West Ilsley and that operations have continued, albeit in third gear.

The worst of the rain arrived on Friday evening and when driving to the winter ground this morning the tons of woodchips washed off  the all-weather stretched out like lava trails onto the surrounding grass.

Mick comments: "I certainly have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. The formbook is turned upside down and any planning you hope to do effectively goes out of the window.

You have to feel sorry for trainers who've been hit and I know there are several, but we're very lucky to have some of the best facilities in the country and the show goes on."

Indeed, Mick worked around 100 horses in three lots this morning to show that we are not only still moving but ready to accelerate into top gear at Ascot and Goodwood.

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OUR King George And Queen Elizabeth Stakes hope YOUMZAIN came up with the goods in his winding-up gallop for Ascot, sparkling at the end of a seven furlong exercise with BADDAM and a lead horse.

Sam Hitchcott took the reins on the colt who needs a truly-run race in order to show his best on Saturday.

With a potential pacesetter in Yellowstone as well as Maraahel and Scorpion in the field the boss is quietly confident of a decent test for Jaber Abdullah's colt.

After Youmzain had smoothly eased ahead of his stablemates Mick said: "I just wanted to give him a loosener and to see his well being, which I did. His scopes are good, everything is good. We are only asking for a truly-run race at Ascot and i'm more than hopeful we'll get it."


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MUTAWAAJID stole the show on the winter ground this morning as he worked towards a crack at the Group 2 Lennox Stakes, one of the highlights of the first day of Glorious Goodwood.

Judging from the way the Australian giant devoured his lead horse COMPTON'S ELEVEN and the subsequent appraisal of Hugh Bowman he has clearly come on a bundle for his run in the July Cup.

Hugh said: "He surprised me with how much he's come on since Newmarket. I couldn't pull him up, he is so full of beans."

The boss said: "I was delighted with the work. He's looking and moving like a horse whose come on 10lb and I think the step up to seven furlongs is the logical move. He should appreciate the course with its downhill run into the straight and we're all looking forward to Tuesday."

On a busy morning in which the trial ground known as Gilberts was also used, MAN OF VISION gave every indication that he will be one of our best chances at the 'Glorious' meeting in a mile and a quarter handicap.

Mick observed: "Everyone knows how unlucky he's been what with him taking off at Ascot and then finding enough trouble to shut down a police station at Newmarket. He was entitled to beat the two he worked with this morning but the way he did it tells me he's ready to win."

CHAMPIONSHIP POINT didn't relish the chopped-up ground when working amongst second lot and was struggling to keep tabs on a revived MASSIVE who worked in a visor. However, the boss is confident 'Championship' will run well when going for a mile and a quarter handicap at one of the Grade 1 courses.


Posted By: Wilsley News


We will be sorry to lose the skills of Hugh Bowman when he returns to Australia next month.
Hugh will go home in time to ride five-time Group 1 winner Racing To Win in the Premier Stakes at Rosehill on
August 18.
His last major appearance in Britain will be as captain of the Rest Of The World team in Ascot's Shergar Cup on 
August 11.
Hugh says: "The opportunity to ride Racing To Win was too good to reject. He is normally Glen Boss's ride but, as
Glen is in Hong Kong, trainer John O'Shea asked me to come back early." Hugh's stay has yielded 27 wins including
a double on his first visit to Ascot on our own Yem Kinn and Alan Jarvis's Wise Dennis in the Victoria Cup.
His plans for 2008 involve a return to West Ilsley and he added: "I regard my time in Britain as a wonderful 
education and would like to come back next summer for a longer period."
Posted By: Wilsley News


Sadly, Friday's work videos will not be going online. This is mainly due to the fact that we currently lack an underwater camera in our arsenal of technical equipment. The weather really was that bad!

There is much going on behind the scenes with the site - our friends at Xstos are developing a database with a search engine so that owners can get an easier access to their horses work, whilst staff features and topical events can be updated on a more regular basis as and when they happen.


Posted By: Wilsley News


WE are all thankful to the West Ilsley Lifeboat Institution for keeping us operational on Friday's work morning, although even our greatest pessimist wouldn't have bargained for worse to come that afternoon and evening.

We managed to work first lot but at one stage I thought it was Armageddon.

Our fingers are tightly crossed for improved weather conditions in time for an important work morning on Tuesday when YOUMZAIN will do his winding-up gallop for the King George.

The colt is in tip top order and all systems are go for what we hope will be a huge run in the Ascot mid-summer showcase next Saturday.

Mick says: "This is a freak summer and the rain has made it impossible for the majority of horses to hold their form. Nobody knows what's coming next and in that respect it's been a disastrous Flat season.

"Youmzain will hopefully do a bit of work on Tuesday and Richard Hughes has been booked to ride him in the King George. I'm delighted with the horse. His form is there for all to see and we're all set."

Another interesting runner next weekend is Zafeen's half-brother ATLANTIC SPORT who makes his debut in a six furlong maiden on Hong Kong Day.

Mick continues: "We have high hopes for this colt whose done everything right. Hugh Bowman thinks a lot of him and so do I. We feel this is the right time of the year to start him off."


Posted By: Wilsley News


OUR man from Dunedoo has been appointed captain of the Rest Of The World team in Ascot's Shergar Cup in which his side will be taking on Great Britain, Ireland and Europe.

It will be a fitting place for Hugh to enjoy the accolade as he rode his first double after his arrival from Australia at Ascot.

The boss says: "We're delighted he has extended his stay well into the summer so that his valued skills can be appreciated at most of the major meetings.

"I was chuffed to bits when he won the Group 2 on Hatta Fort as he'd gone through an unlucky run with plenty of seconds and thirds but no winners. During that time it made no difference to him and he continued riding with tremendous confidence. We'll miss him when he goes."

Posted By: Wilsley News