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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


We've been inundated with queries at to why our Entries & Results pages went down last month and we appreciate all of the enquiries as to what was going on.

In truth, we didn't know ourselves but it was basically because the Racing Post (who have been very helpful over this issue) reconfigured their own website - our Entries & Results were basically links to their website.

It's up and running now though.

Whilst we're on the subject of the website, another thing that has also not gone unnoticed is the absence of our gallop videos.

This is basically down to the fact that after ten years, all of Michael's editing equipment died at the same time; Camera, Laptop & Software.

He's not the sharpest tool in the shed but he can work the new camera and is spending many hours late in to the night trying to turn his new laptop on. Once this is cracked, he'll begin to get to grips with the new editing software.

Then he can sort out how to post the videos on to the website.

The only problem being that the current site's system is based on software so old that his new kit can't configure with the ancient demands of the current system on

He's seeking counselling so please have patience because we have to design a new site as well this summer!

All good things come to those who wait I suppose.............

Posted By: Wilsley News

Box 41 Racing's MASTERSON (seen leading the two-year olds in March) - A winner again last night


It's been a frustrating time of late with plenty of placed horses but whilst we've been cursing our luck, MASTERSON delivered a timely reminder that he's a true combatant and that there's always a winner just around the corner.

This was MASTERSON's third win this year, all of them on the all-weather, in a run that has seen him win at Chelmsford at the start of April off a rating of 65 before quickly returning to the same venue under a penalty seven days later to record yet another success. Whilst a journey to Plumpton saw him disappoint over hurdles a week after that, not once has MASTERSON looked leg weary.

Under Silvestre de Sousa in the Class 4 extended two mile contest last night, he was yet again in the winner's enclosure, albeit alongside Denmead with whom he had to share the spoils in an enthralling dead heat where he was just denied on the line. He also survived a Steward's Enquiry but no matter, MASTERSON stood up to be counted off of a rating that's now up to 75 - he and SDS clearly get on well and the pair provided a welcome tonic for the frustrated Boss.

"That was a relief because we feel we're waiting for things to really spark at the moment. There's nothing wrong with the horses but Dick Hern's old adage that we'd have to wait until the middle of May for our horses to really find their feet is ringing in my ears right now.

"They are in good health but we usually beging to sparkle in the coming weeks and I'm sure it will happen sooner rather than later.

"Milton Road and Aquadabra are our front line juveniles but they seem to keep bumping in to one or two above average two year olds, whilst I can't grumble about the performances of the likes of Bossy Guest, Sayesse, Ettie Hart, Haldaw, Koeman, Summer Icon or Raffle King. They're just finding one or two too good at this stage of the season.

"They'll come good soon though and we're not too far wrong - but it is frustrating.

"MASTERSON though! What a terrific racehorse. As I've said before, he's no superstar but he's done Box 41 Racing proud and he's a horse we're all very fond of.

"We'll see what else we can aim him at in a week or so because he loves racing."

Posted By: Wilsley News

Silvestre de Sousa and Jon & Julia Aisbitt's ELIDOR - Listed winners at Nottingham this afternoon


Only a fifth win in a seven year old's career but when you consider that they have included breaking his maiden as a three year old at Royal Ascot, victory at Glorious Goodwood and the fact that he's seldom that far away in heritage handicaps, ELIDOR represents a horse to be proud of. Today, he started his fifth year as a racehorse with victory in Nottingham's totepool Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes in thrilling fashion.

Ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, Jon & Julia Aisbitt's star gelding took on a select but high class field in the fourteen furlong Listed contest and emerged a winner by only a nose ahead of the gallant Wall of Fire to underline what a true battler he is.

It was a typically trappy, tactical affair with previous Gold Cup winner Trip to Paris up front for a large part of the contest as his four rivals bided their time but, having switched ELIDOR off at the back, SDS managed to get rolling inside the mile, conscious of the fact that there was something of a stop/start dawdle to the heat. When push came to shove as they straightened for home though Silvestre had everything covered and it's full credit to both rider and jockey that they delivered in a pulsating finish.

At the furlong marker, ELIDOR took the lead but Wall of Fire battled back as Trip to Paris fell away and it was a desperate battle to the line that eventually saw ELIDOR finish in front on the nod to the delight of everyone who is grateful to look after a brave and admirable horse. None more so than MRC who has had great, good and sometimes galling days with a real star.

"He's been so well for so long that we couldn't wait to get him going this time around. He goes well fresh and at times he cons you in to thinking he can go again and then he disappoints because we've learnt that he needs a certain amount of space between his races. He can be inconsistent if you force him but that's me talking with hindsight because his record speaks for itself.

"I'm glad we got it right today and I must say that when a horse is delivered like that inside the final stages, very few times does Silvestre de Sousa get beat. He's brilliant at that.

"As for Elidor, handicapping might be off the radar now but we'll have a look at a few options and see how things pan out but before then. I'm just delighted for Jon & Julia and we'll hatch a plan from here."

Posted By: Wilsley News