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  • Have Zoran, another Emma Lavelle Owners Group horse, running at Kempton AW tomorrow evening. Last spin before he goes back National Hunt racing (depending on conditions). A very competitive race and hope he runs well and comes back safe and sound. Comment from OG below:

    In November, ZORAN (9st6lb) ran incredibly well to be beaten a head behind Duke Of Oxford, who has flourished since. Since then, Zoran has not reproduced that level of form at Lingfield or Wolverhampton, but returning to the more galloping track at Kempton should suit. We hope he can run well against some in-form horses and consider a value price to be 7/1.

    Thanks Lobos, another gutsy display from Zoran - lead from the front the whole way and looked like he was going to get swamped at the 2f marker - but dug dip to pinch second in the shadow of the post! Attending an Owners Group stable yard visit at Emma Lavelles next week, so will find out future plans for him then.
    Last edited by amtrakker; 10 April 2024, 07:15 PM.


    • Let's hope he runs as well as Speed Davis who absolutely bolted up at Mussellburgh . Hopefully some on here got on at the 7/2 you mentioned.


      • Have Fable, a Nicky Henderson Owners Group horse, running at Plumpton at 3.15 tomorrow in a Class 3 3m hcp hurdle. A very open /competitive race and simply hope she runs well and comes back safe and sound. Had a poor season so far by the standards she set as a novice. Comment from OG below:

        FABLE (11st8lb) has been pulled up in her last three races but has won over both hurdles (including over this distance) and fences in the past. We hope she enjoys the decent going and the undulating course and can run one of her better races. We hope to see a positive run from Fable and consider a value price to be 20/1

        Fable was never in the race - the one positive is she finished! (albeit 93 lengths behind the winner). Interested to see if Owners Group decide to retire her now, or continue racing her over the summer on better ground.
        Last edited by amtrakker; 14 April 2024, 02:32 PM.


        • Visited Emma Lavelle's Bonita Racing Stables outside Marlborough earlier today - focus was solely on Owners Group / Elite Racing Club horses (and Paisley Park!) - spoke to groom later about Hang In There's chances at Cheltenham tomorrow - he'll like good ground, and Emma doesn't often send horses to Cheltenham as very competitive and can get equivalent prize money elsewhere for less effort.

          Zoran - feisty individual who they'll keep running as he never quite gives his all in his races. He's enjoying his racing and they'll keep racing on the AW until chase conditions are suitable

          Gold Link - had a (hopefully one off) fribulation last time out- happens to a lot of horses (Paisley Park) and looking for a 3m hcp hurdle before his summer break

          General Medrano - consistently progressive and scheduled to race at Kempton next Monday, before a summer break - very versatile horse

          Kits Cody - just "off" last time out - look to go novice chasing next season - best ground good / soft

          Presenting Doy - has put on loads of weight and look to go novice hurdling in autumn - best distance is most likely 2 miles / 4 furlongs

          Blue Stello - a quirky individual who has his own training regime - needs good / soft and Emma will look to get a run before end of May

          Manorbank - back and fresh after a break at EquiPrep, look to run at either Warwick / Chepstow before the end of the month

          Guard Duty - had a lot of niggles, but hope to get a run into him before the end of May (given how wet conditions are, good /soft ground conditions will extend by a couple of months)

          Paisley Park - still at the stable and lording it over all the other horses! Decision still to be made on his future.

          Bonita Racing Stables founded eight years ago, has a deep sand track for conditioning, with a hills gallop plus grass gallops over 150 acres - enable both speedy and stamina laden horses to train effectively, although the amount of rain this year has hampered it. Staff very friendly and helpful, and all horses look sound and keen. Emma Lavelle oversees all the ops and seems to have a real knack for identifying what works for each of her horses. I'd like the horse I have with Nicky Henderson to be transferred to her! I think she's a far better trainer.


          • Have Take Your Time, a Paul Nicholls Owners Group horse, running at Ffos Las at 3.42 today in a Class 3 3.1m hcp hurdle. Has a load of weight to contend with and usually runs better in the Autumn but hope he runs well and comes back safe. Comment from OG below:

            "Conditions should suit TAKE YOUR TIME (12st), but he tends to struggle in races after Christmas once his rating has risen following a successful autumn. Angus Cheleda takes off a useful 5lb and has got on well with Take Your Time in the past, but it is hard to be bullish about his chances after two pulled up runs. We consider a value price to be 14/1."

            Yes!!! A great ride by Angus Cheleda and a really gutsy performance by Take Your Time to hold off the fast finishing favourite. Kudos also to Paul Nicholls for his race planning. Don't think it will materially change the Trainers Championship but he certainly knows how to place his horses.
            Last edited by amtrakker; 22 April 2024, 03:07 PM.


            • Well done with your runners and winners


              • Thanks Oneman

                Attended Owners Group event with Nicky Henderson at his Seven Barrows yard earlier today. It's a magnificent place, with a mile and a half gallops (not used at minute as too dry!), with a mile and a quarter all weather gallops, a cantering ring using Wexford sand, and a schooling area using turf and recycled carpet. He reiterated that horses have to gallop to get fit, and there lies the risk of injury, particularly for good horses.

                Focus of the day was on Owners Group horses, although he also paraded horses still in the yard but about to go on their summer break, as well as a couple who were still in training. Never realised that the National Hunt season used to finish at Stratford at the end of May, rather than Sandown this weekend.

                Pentland Hills - decision still out on his future after poor run at Cheltenham last week - in the handicappers grip and similar to Champ - no longer a Group 1 horse, but receives loads of weight if running in handicaps

                Will Carver - watched him school over hurdles as he's entered in a competitive race at Sandown on Saturday, he'll only run if the ground has been watered sufficiently. Also in the handicappers grip

                Fable - lost the will to race this season and does nothing in training - decision still out on her future, but she will most likely make a great brood mare

                The Carpenter - sustained a suspensory detached ligament - happens to a lot of horses in training, he needs a months box rest and a further month in the horse walker - but has loads of potential (and better than at least 6 months for a tendon injury).

                Other horses as part of the Q&A:
                Constitution Hill - already on holidays, plan is the Fighting Fifth, Christmas Hurdle before Cheltenham

                Shiskin - off to Punchestown, and one of his best chances, but is facing Galopin de Champs...

                Jonbon - will go to Sandown, but Nicky will be reviewing ground conditions (and hope they've sufficiently watered)

                Luccia - also on hols - the run at Aintree confirmed she's a 2 miler - Nicky noted if she could get within 5l of State Man at Cheltenham, then Constitution Hill would be in the next county!

                Maries Rock - plans to run her in a listed flat race at York next month - potentially she could go to the Queen Alexandria in Royal Ascot

                Sir Gino - still very fresh and seemed in good order in the parade line-up; has no further races scheduled this season; Nicky noted how Willie Mullins plotted Lossiemouth's season to give her time - and so he may only race Sir Gino at Xmas, or at Cheltenham's trials day before the festival.

                Mr Coffey - ran a great race at last year's Grand National, but that has impacted him since - Nicky has nothing else in his yard currently that could compete (although he gave Willie Mullins a heads up about I Am Maximus when it was decided he would be trained in Ireland.)

                Califet en Vol, who came 3rd in last Saturday's bumper at Ayr - Nicky said that was a very competitive race and has a lot of potential.

                Bold Reaction - will try and get another run if get (soft) ground conditions

                Season has clearly been disrupted - most tests didn't reveal anything, and Nicky has just had to be patient. He's excited with his current crop of novice hurdles and will look forward to them chasing (e.g. Jango Baie) as had a disappointing season with this current season's novice chasers.

                An enjoyable visit and the rain stayed away - Nicky Henderson is very personable and engaging. Just wish he knew how to get a performance out of Fable!​


                • Nice update Amtrakker.

                  IF Jonbon misses Sandown because of the ground then El Fabiolo certainly will as well. I assume both will be diverted to Punchestown next week. Watch this space!!


                  • Speed Davis is running in a Class 4 Novice Hurdle tomorrow at 7.15, at Hexham with Brian Hughes back on board. Hoping for another good run and he comes back safe. Owners Group comment below:

                    SPEED DAVIS (11st8lb)(rated 114) is a lightly-raced, progressive horse who showed a great attitude to make all the running to win at Musselburgh last time. Donald and Brian Hughes hope Speed Davis can win again carrying a penalty and they have found a good opportunity for him to do so. We consider a value price to be 6/4.

                    Brian Hughes gave Speed Davis every chance, but just emptied a furlong out - still battled on well for fourth. Most likely will now have a well deserved rest over the summer.
                    Last edited by amtrakker; 4 May 2024, 06:28 PM.


                    • Amalfi Bay has been declared in a Class 5 novice handicap hurdle tomorrow in Stratford at 7.50 in Elite Racing Club (ERC) colours - hasn't done much so far and hopefully the tongue tie will bring about improvement. Just hope for a good run and a safe return. ERC comment below:

                      "This is a weak contest, but Amalfi Bay appeared to have a similar opportunity to win when pulled up at Taunton when last seen in February. He should appreciate the better going but is not one to rely on. We hope to see a much improved performance and consider a value price to be 5/1."

                      Personally, I think Dixie Flyer is the dark horse in this race.

                      Great result! Didn't look like he was going anywhere approaching the final hurdle, but flashed home for second - needs better ground and probably a slightly longer trip.
                      Last edited by amtrakker; 9 May 2024, 07:13 PM.


                      • Charmaine, one of Elite Racing Club (ERC's) 3 year olds, has her first run of the season tomorrow in the 5.27 at Nottingham. Will be a chance to see how she's trained on since last year. Hope she runs well and gets back safe. ERC comment below:
                        "CHARMAINE (9st2lb) was detached throughout her debut race at Kempton in August. She may have knocked herself leaving the stalls, as she needed a period of rest afterwards. She shows ability in her work at home, but James has left some condition (extra weight/fitness) to work with for her first run of the season. We hope to see promise in an open race, but expect her to perform better in handicaps later in the season. We consider a value price to be 20/1."

                        Charmaine was slowly away (probably due to a combination of wearing a blindfold and a Monty Roberts padded stalls rug (to help keep her calm) and seemed nowhere 3 furlongs out. Never troubled the winners but stayed on well for 4th. Trainer thinks she could do with a step up to 10 furlongs and thinks it a very encouraging run in a quality novice race.
                        Last edited by amtrakker; 15 May 2024, 10:40 AM.


                        • Zoran has been declared in a novice handicap hurdle over 2 miles 4 at Southwell tomorrow evening. Wears a tongue strap and his it's his first jumps start for a while after an encouraging AW campaign over the winter. Owners Group comment below:
                          "ZORAN (11st9lb) ran well on the level through the winter and won over fences last season. He likes good ground and is rated 5lb lower over hurdles than fences. Zoran is not a regular winner but often makes the frame, so we hope he will run well again on Wednesday. We consider a value price to be 6/1."

                          Zoran got scratched due to ground yesterday - has another entry at Huntingdon next Monday- Zoran now withdrawn from there, given expected unsuitable ground.
                          Last edited by amtrakker; 25 May 2024, 01:32 PM.


                          • Good to see your horses entered up Bayoffreedom - assume that means all is going well on all fronts?

                            Good luck if they take up their entries!


                            • Originally posted by RufusFlynn View Post
                              Good to see your horses entered up Bayoffreedom - assume that means all is going well on all fronts?

                              Good luck if they take up their entries!
                              Thanks Rufus. Really pleased that Suprise Package is back - last August and the vet giving me the choice of putting him down or operating with a 50% chance of success, seems a long time ago. As regards Freedom to Dream, I have no clue. Here are a few thoughts anyway:


                              • Thanks for that BOF. Think I'll throw some EW cash at Freedom tomorrow as out for the day with the boys to watch the Derby and Champions League Final so any winnings from him will be spent on plenty of refreshments.