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Sue Bunney's JERSEY BREEZE - A winner for the second time this week


This joke might be tiresome but please bear with us. This is a week of attrition and it's difficult to come up with too much original material as the onslaught continues.

We had a double at Bath tonight.

Sue Bunney's JERSEY BREEZE followed up her Tuesday success at Brighton to take the Class 5 extended five furlong event under both a six pound penalty and West Ilsley apprentice Keith Quinn to reaffirm our belief that the wheels are now back in motion on with a filly who we've always thought a lot of.

She was prominent throughout tonight's contest and won very nicely with Mick's thoughts yet again with one of his dearest friends in Sue, with a thought for JERSEY BREEZE's jockey Keith Quinn who recorded his first victory for West Ilsley since joining us in the winter.

"I'm again chuffed for Sue who has put a lot in for little reward in the last 12 months. She's a great person and a good friend and it's been something of a nightmare waiting for things to come good for her for quite some time now.

"JERSEY BREEZE looks to have turned the corner and fitting headgear has certainly helped because, as I said after the Brighton win, this is a filly who is only now finding her feet again.

"I'm also very pleased for Keith. He's found opportunities hard to come by but that's part and parcel of the game and I hope this has dangled a carrot in front of him. He's suffered disappointments and this game can provide plenty of them but he deserved that tonight."

The last race on the card saw LIGHTOLLER finally get his head in front at the sixteenth time of asking over the same trip as JERSEY BREEZE in the Class six three year old heat.

Despite only facing three rivals the son of Harbour Watch did it well enough, sticking his neck out to win close home by a head under Graham Lee. Mick watched on amused - LIGHTOLLER is the type of horse that he loves winning with for his character alone.

LIGHTOLLER (Green Cap) - A Winner in the last at Bath

"Mark my words, this lad will only get better! I'm a delighted owner because these types can run well and often frustrate but you can't give up on them.

"He might be fitted with blinkers and he might be a bit daft but I reckon he's just a big baby. He loves life and even though he's sometimes less than easy to get on with he challenges you because he's far better than the statistics suggest.

"He makes me laugh and I love training horses like him. He'll win again as well."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Eddie & Carmel Aldridge's SILCA MISTRESS - A winner at Thirsk yesterday


Ok, so it took place in the form of an across the card double but winners are winners and SILCA MISTRESS and JERSEY BREEZE were first past the post at Thirsk and Brighton respectively.

Eddie & Carmel Aldridge's homebred SILCA MISTRESS took the juvenile fillies'  novice in the north over six furlongs and under Graham Lee. The daughter of Dutch Art comes from a very familiar family - Mick trained her dam Strictly Silca, her granddam Silca Chiave, her great granddam Silca Cisa, and her great, great granddam Princess Silca Key.

That's not entirely required in the case of SILCA MISTRESS because from day one she's been sound, willing and eager to please. A pleasing Goodwood debut was followed up by a fifth placed Doncaster effort on soft ground and that experience was put to good use yesterday as she prevailed going away to record a length and three quarter success in taking style.

Mick was more than happy and expects further improvement as the season wears on.

"She's so straight forward and although she certainly wasn't our most precocious two year old we got to a stage with her when she was ready to race. She wasn't ready to win first time up but if they'll benefit from it we're happy to let them get on with it.

"She certainly does that and she'll keep improving. We'll see where we go from here, probably in nursery company."

Two years ago,Sue Bunney's JERSEY BREEZE lined up in the Albany at Royal Ascot and it's fair to say that things haven't got exactly to plan since then. She suffered injury which accounts for her absence for the entire 2016 season and she's taken her time find her feet since returning to action this year.

Indeed, last night's success at Brighton in Class five company over six furlongs was her fifth start of the season but there's a feeling that there's something there after Gavin Lerena secured at three parts of a length victory ahead of Pushkin Museum. Mick was delighted with the performance that saw her headed having led throughout before finishing strongly to regain the lead in the closing stages.

"I'm chuffed and relieved for Sue more than anything because she hasn't had the best of luck lately and this filly was a shining light at two before things went wrong in her two year old season.

"She showed real spirit to battle back last night and that shows us that she's still got the humger. She needed a few runs to get back in the groove and now she's got the rest of the season to show us how good she can be because there's plenty of ability about her."

Posted By: Wilsley News

The MILTON ROAD end at The Dell - A name to make everyone nostalgic


Contrasting career paths but an across the card double on Sunday as the Boss's own MILTON ROAD took the five furlong seller at Goodwood whilst the Tadhd Geary owned BEST OF MY LOVE took the the three year old maiden fillies' stakes at Nottingham on gutsy fashion.

MILTON ROAD has been on the road for quite some time in his short career as a racehorse and he's far better than a seller, a point which his owner is quick to point out every time he's challenged on his very early yet busy career.

To be fair, MILTON ROAD only picks grass at home in between his races and yesterday, the two year old''s seventh start saw him gain a deserved first victory after being unlucky early on, finishing second, second and third after his debut at Windsor back in April.

He's rugged, sound and very likeable is MILTON ROAD, a bit like his namesake, the old home end at The Dell where the Saints used to attack in the second half (on a going day) way back when. Silvestre De Sousa did the steering and brought him home to prevail by a length and a quarter ahead of Quick Steps Lad with Tie Em Up Tel a head in arrears.

Mick loves a seller, for the sport of it alone and he's also a fan of MILTON ROAD.

"He's tough game and sound and will get better. He's no star but all he wants to do is please, so I'm happy to let him do so. He'll get far further in time but I've had this race in mind for a while after he was unlucky in defeat in maidens earlier on in the year."

BEST OF MY LOVE is a different proposition and even though yesterday's win under Rob Hornby was a shock to punters as she took the mile maiden at Nottingham, she's certainly a filly who will progress with racing. 

Stone bonking last on her career debut at the end of May, she improved to finish fourth at Thirsk next time up and she battled home in rain softened ground yesterday afternoon.

She'll get better because, as Mick explains, having had a few issues as a two year old before she arrived from Ireland in the New Year, she's been on a steep learning curve.

"This is a nice filly and a bit of a favourite. She had a few issues at two but that's nobody's fault, these things often happen with young horses and we were delighted with her early on. She then knocked her joint but had the fortitude to see that through and yesterday's performance sums her up.

"She battled and battled and must be as tough as they come because although she was 50/1 she was unaware of it. Rob gave her a super ride and deserved it because he's been riding out for us for some time now and I feel like he's not had the chances he deserves."

Posted By: Wilsley News

George Materna's evergreen SGT RECKLESS - a winner at Doncaster on Saturday


A good few days with two winners among the two year olds as SHORT CALL and ANOTHER DAY OF SUN opened their accounts on the racecourse whilst a West Ilsley inmate who is no stranger to success recorded his first flat victory on turf.

George Materna's SGT RECKLESS returned to us from Simon Hodgson six weeks ago and previously he's won three bumpers, as well as races over hurdles, fences, an all weather flat race and at Doncaster on Saturday his first on turf.

He's a remarkable horse who took Saturday's Class 4 mile and a half with consummate ease, helped by David Egan's seven pound claim. The SGT is ten years old now and Mick was delighted that he retains all of his enthusiasm for thr game.

"He'll be going up five pounds for that but that's fair enough because on his day he's a very talented horse. We've done very little with him since he came back from Simon who sadly chose to retire recently. That was a real shame for him but we're delighted to have the horse back. I'd be happy to come back to a mile and a quarter - he's in on Saturday at Newmarket."

Amongst the juveniles Jaber Abdullah's SHORT CALL made a pleasing start to her career, winning on debut in a three runner field at Goodwood on Friday.

It's always hard to say what she beat, accounting for the previously twice placed Auntie Pam and the other debutant Looks a Million. SHORT CALL tracked the pair of them throughout under Charlie Bishop, improving to lead just before the furlong marker and winning by nearly three lengths in etye-catching fashion.

"Mick is weighing up his options.

"This is a nice filly who just needed a bit of time. Like a few of our two year olds we've had to wait for them to come to us and whilst it's been frustrating, I'm not too worried because we seem to have a nice bunch still coming through. Put it this way.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with her at the moment. She won nicely but can we talk about Ascot after only beating two rivals? I'm not sure right now."

Yesterday at Thirsk, it was the turn of Richard Green's ANOTHER DAY OF SUN who stepped up on his debut at Goodwood ten days ago to take Division 1 of the six furlong novice stakes under Silvestre De Sousa.

Although he finished eighth of ten at Goodwood, that heat looks to be one of the hottest of the season so far and ANOTHER DAY OF SUN looks to have improved an awful lot in the meantime.

SDS had his mount in touch throughout before leading just inside the final two furlongs. He was ridden out to record a length and a quarter success in workmanlike fashion ahead of Mr Wagyu and Emerald Rocket but that was of no surprise to Mick.

"This is a funny lad because he's bone idle! He's very laid back and has been since he arrived from the breeze ups - which is rare for one of them. He's a smasher though and I wouldn't want him any other way.

"He's improving all the time and there will be for quite some time. A bit like SHORT CALL can we send him to Ascot? I wouldn't know anything in terms of how much he can improve but what I do know is that mentally he'll find it a doddle. He doesn't have a care in the world."

Posted By: Wilsley News

George Materna's Perfect in Pink looking very happy with herself after yesterday's success


A very pleasing performance from an improving filly at Leicester yesterday as George Materna's PERFECT IN PINK teamed up with Graham Lee to take the mile and a half Class 4 Maiden Fillies' Stakes in eyecatching fashion.

The three year old daughter of Raven's Pass was always going to be long term prospect and only had one outing at two but this year she's slowly come in to her own, starting out at Windsor at the end of April before showing considerable improvement next time out at Lingfield.

She took another stride forward yesterday by defeating promising types in Munstead Star and So Sleek, with Graham biding his time off of a brisk pace to deliver a concerted run throughout the last three furlongs. As Munstead Star and So Sleek did battle upsides throughout the home straight PERFECT IN PINK kept finding and finding, getting up inside the distance to win by a length and a quarter. It was a very promising showing and one that Mick enjoyed immensely as he's convinced that she could well be a filly going places.

"That was great and I've always had a suspicion that she's one to look out for, particularly as the season goes on. George paid a few quid for her and she was always a horse who would come in to her own as she stepped up in trip and it's great to see when they go the right way.

"Jimmy Quinn rode her at Windsor and although she was very green that day he was full of enthusiasm when he got off her and said she'll be winning races sooner rather than later. She then went and improved at Lingfield and now she's beaten an 80 rated filly in So Sleek so she could well give George a lot of fun in 2017.

"I think she'll improve again, she'll get further and will handle any ground so we're all looking forward to how her season pans out from here."

Posted By: Wilsley News

The Wood Street Syndicate's HARMONISE (Right) - A winner at Newmarket last night


A pleasing win from an ever willing filly at Newmarket last night as the Wood Street Syndicate's HARMONISE took the one mile, Class 5 fillies handicap in gutsy fashion under Silvestre De Sousa.

On her sixth career start, the three year old daughter of Sakhee's Secret put in a typically gutsy display, wearing down her rivals as they came into the dip off of an honest pace in rain softened ground. inside the distance she wore down the long time leader Carducci to stay on well to win by a length.

In truth, it was about time HARMONISE got her head in front after a series of consistent displays as a juvenile and Mick is delighted that her second run of the season has set her up for what is hopefully a fruitful campaign.

"She's always been a willing filly and I'm delighted that we are finally on our way. To be honest, she wasn't a ready two year old but she's a natural athlete and whilst she was enjoying herself we got on with her last year. She just came up short - she was placed four times - but we knew she'd come good this year and she has.

"She didn't winter especially well in the sense that she's been the slowest to come in her coat but we're getting there with her now. She'll improve as the season goes on and that was a game performance last night off of a mark of 70. Most important of all, she's a game spirited filly with an action that will handle any ground."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Box 41 Racing''s MIRZAM (Grey) - A winner at Chepstow last night


A very pleasing win for Box 41 Racing's MIRZAM saw the three year old daughter of Mastercraftsman return to the winner's enclosure for the first time in her short career on her handicap debut at Chepstow last night.

It was a very pleasing display from a likeable filly who took the mile and a half Class 6 three year old handicap under Charlie Bishop in fine style. She's clearly talented but equally as laid back - the type of filly who took a while to get to grips with the game but in a fashion that Mick has always been a fan.

"I like this filly. She doesn't bat an eyelid at home and at times, you wouldn't know she was around the place. She just does everything in her own time, never frets but she always turns up - it has just been a question of waiting for her to come to us!

"We gave her a spin at York for her sole start as a two year old because we knew she'd need a little bit of experience before she got her focus and now it appears as though her career is finally under way.

"Her two maiden runs at the start of this season prove my point but things have worked out well. She's got better and better and last night's step up in trip and a bit of cut in the ground earmark her as a filly who I think will just keep improving.

"She won off a mark of 65 last night and you'd expect that to change, but then again, so will she - she's a smasher and a real slow burner. The Box 41 Racing team could get a lot of fun out of her."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Dick & Debbie were on hand for the Bastian family to welcome NEOLA back after last night's success


A sparkling show from the Bastian family's homebred filly NEOLA saw the daughter of Foxwedge record her first win on her second outing at Nottingham last night.

Despite the Friday traffic causing a degree of upheaval when Charlie Bishop missed the race along with colleagues Fran Berry and Sean Levey, there was a more than adequate replacement in the form of Ben Curtis who stepped in to record a facile success.

The juvenile fillies' novice median auction stakes over the minimum trip was interesting to say the least, featuring a long delay due to Mocead Copper getting loose before the start and then the favourite Enrolment being withdrawn during stalls loading.

When the stalls finally did open though it was worth the wait as NEOLA was switched off early before producing an impressive display as she went round almost the entire field to lead well over a furlong out. She kept going as well, running out a seven length victor.

NEOLA is out of the Bastian family's very own Effie B, herself a very handy two year old and there's much optimism that her daughter can star on the big stage this season. She is our first juvenile winner of the season, with mid-May typically being the time when they begin to hit form. Mick is optimistic that the season is starting to take shape.

"You can't ask for more than a win by seven lengths and although the favourite was withdrawn, we can only do what we did and you have to say that it was a very eye-catching performance.

"This filly is just like her mum and the Bastians have something to look forward to now - Ascot has to come in to the reckoning after that.

"Our two year olds always seem to need a run and NEOLA's debut at Nottingham saw her drawn on the outside and she never got involved a couple of weeks back.

"Last night though she got cover early on, travelled in to the race and ran away from them. The form of her first run looks strong and we'll have to see what comes out of last night's race. All I know is, like most of our two year olds, they need their first run to bring them on and NEOLA has improved beyong all recognition.

"We'll find out how good she can be soon enough.

Posted By: Wilsley News

Tim Radford's HARRISON - A winner last night at Chelmsford


A very pleasing display from the Radford family's HARRISON saw the four year old return to the track to record an impressive victory over some smart opponents to give us hope that the son of Sixties Icon has a stellar season in front of him.

Gelded since his last appearance in the St Leger where things couldn't have gone much worse, HARRISON and Graham Lee lined up against the 112 rated St Michel and the 110 rated Dylan Mouth and although he recieved some weight from both, he still had plenty to find to be competitive - and that he most certainly was as he emerged the winner of the one mile six furlong contest by over two lengths from St Michel with Dylan Mouth a further length in arrears.

It was a satisfying moment for Mick who has held HARRISON in high regard for an awful long time.

"Of course I have - I bred him so I'm more than a little bit biased but he's a smashing horse with bags of ability and I just hope he can build and improve on this. If he does we could have a proper stayer on our hands.

"Going into this stage of the season, we wanted to get it right and we were looking at races like the Chester Cup or the Ormonde for his reappearance when this conditions race came on the radar.

"It was for cracking prize money but it was still a tough race but we made the right decision I reckon. Anything can go wrong in the Chester Cup as we all know, whilst the Ormonde looked a tall order on paper.

"Basically, I didn't want to start the season off with a load of excuses if things went wrong around Chester and the Chelmsford race looked like we'd be able to organise our lad and see where we are with him at the start of his four year old campaign.

"Graham was chuffed with him. Fabricate went on and we just travelled along in behind in a great rhythm and he stayed all the way to the line. Graham said he gave him a great feel and we'll start to dream now.

"He's in the Gold Cup and although that is a massive step up from a conditions race at Chelmsford we'll have to have a look at it - all the Cup races could be on the agenda if he comes on for this. It'll be interesting to see what the handicapper does with his rating of 103. We'll have to see how things pan out but we're chuffed with that for now.

Posted By: Wilsley News

Jon & Julia Aisbitt's OCTOBER STORM & Graham Lee return to the winner's enclosure on Saturday


A good way to start the season at Goodwood as Jon & Julia Aisbitt's OCTOBER STORM took the Class 5 mile and six furlong handicap under Graham Lee on Saturday.

The four year old son of Shirocco made a winning start to last year's campaign as well and showed consistency throughout with a number oif placed efforts thereafter but there has often been a degree of frustration.

He's clearly very talented but at times he looked a little awkward in his races, but after Saturday's display where he won convincingly by three lengths ahead of Ayr of Elegance and Denmead, Mick is hopeful that an added maturity can see OCTOBER STORM lift his performance to new height this time around.

"That was a very pleasing win and he looked the winner a long way out. There was a fierce pace on throughout and Graham had him out the back and it was just a question of picking them up as the rest tired at the death.

"Unfortunately Jon & Julia were at Newmarket so they missed being there but I think we're all very hopeful that OCTOBER STORM can make his mark this season. He'll stay further as we already know and if he can start to help himself in his races, which he did yesterday, and enable himself to get in to a ryhthm in the early stages he's got a hell of a lot to offer going forward." 

Posted By: Wilsley News