Suzy Smith Racing - News 2015 - 2016
We've had plenty of runners all over the country in the last 3 weeks or so, starting with Fin d'Espere who came 4th at Newbury in a handicap hurdle. He ran a little bit in snatches that day and has since been overland scoped at home and is to have a wind operation on his soft palate before he returns next season. This should make all the difference to him.
Little Boy Boru ran another brave race at Ffos Las last week, coming 3rd in holding ground, he is just so genuine! Red Devil Star ran the day before at Chepstow finishing 4th. The winner looked very well in that day, but since Red didn't finish that tired, we took the decision to run him again quickly at Fontwell on Friday. This paid off when he won in great style under Michael Nolan, it was brilliant to get him off the mark for Viv and Alex Palmer his lovely owners. He may well go chasing next season, which we think will suit well, since his jumping is impressive.
At the same meeting Cian came a muddy second to one of Paul Nicholls horses, under a penalty - the conditions had seriously deteriorated since Red's race making it harder to shoulder the extra weight he had to carry. However, we were very pleased with him and he will now have his summer break - we are looking forward to seeing him in decent handicaps next season.
Our trip to Aintree was not such a positive experience sadly! Both Jennifer Eccles and Storm Patrol were entered in the Mares' Bumper at the end of the first day of the meeting. It poured with rain the night before making the ground unsuitable for Jenny, so we had to pull her out. Storm Patrol did not have a very nice time in the race and was cannoned into by another horse very early on and subsequently struck into herself in front in the melee. She will be fine but will have to have an extended holiday and won't be returning until October.
Laughton Park ran the race of his life to finish second at Fontwell earlier in the month, he was running off a career high rating and has subsequently gone up to 120. Leading him up that day was our new trainee Alice Gilmore, who was going racing for the first time and was very excited to end up in the Winners Enclosure! Alice generally comes in at weekends, holidays and after school occasionally and has decided a career in racing is for her!
One of our team Yves Andrieu has returned to France for the summer to help his brother finish building his house. We thank him for his help here and hopefully he'll be back to join us again late summer at the start of the new season.
Finally, Ted Spread has been retired and has a lovely new home with Hannah near us in Jevington, where he will be doing a bit of eventing once he has been reschooled - good luck to them both.
We had a great win earlier in the month with Mariet at Plumpton, she really did enjoy herself and travelled and jumped well despite the ground being a bit tacky. Jack Sherwood is definitely her favourite jockey, he seems to give her real confidence and we were delighted to see him have a winner on the last day at the Cheltenham Festival. Congratulations Jack!
Clondaw Bisto had a good second in the bumper on the same day, a combination of the penalty and the ground just made it tough going. He is now on holiday as he has been in a long time, he won his 4yr old maiden point to point in the autumn and has since had 2 great runs for us.
Fin D'espere ran a really good race to come second under Gavin Sheehan at Newbury, he jumped exceptionally well and was right at home on this big galloping track, the plan is to return there on April 1st for another handicap.
Jennifer Eccles had an outing at Lingfield on the all weather in a bumper, she finished fourth, staying on, the track is not ideal for her and she only ran there as the ground was so bad everywhere else. We are against hurdling her until the new season starts as we want to protect her Novice status for next season and so the run at Lingfield was to get a run into her at the right time before the Mares Listed Bumper at Aintree in April.
Finally, Clondaw Cian came 2nd in a Novice Hurdle under a penalty at Plumpton last week, again the ground was very holding that day and we were pleased with his run as he wasn't stopping and conditions were not ideal.
We've only sent out a few runners since the 4th of February, notably, Storm Patrol who came 2nd in a very competitive mares bumper at Huntingdon. It was her debut and the first one on the track for Material World the dam, who was the yard's first winner back in 2002! Storm Patrol's syndicate have been involved with her since she was a foal and it was lovely to see their patience rewarded by such a good run. There's a possibility that she may head for the mares listed bumper at Sandown in March.
Talking of Material World, we went over to Ireland to see her and assess her 3 year old filly also by Shirocco, who we are delighted to say will be joining the Suzy Smith yard in due course. Material World looked fantastic and very happy with life after racing and will be visiting Shirocco again this spring. Natural Spring (Ted Spread's sister) obligingly foaled just before we arrived and she has had a beautiful colt foal also by Shirocco, which she looked very proud of - rightly so! He is her first foal and she may now be covered by Pour Moi who has already had some very good results with his two year olds.
It finally looks as if we might be getting some better racing conditions, which means we can get a lot more of our horses out on the track!
Since our last update, we have had a little racing, but the going still remains testing at the very least! Ourmanmassini came a great 2nd at Market Rasen having made all under Tom O'Brien, he just got a bit tired on the much softer ground in the home straight having come up against a well handicapped horse.
Little Boy Boru and Invicta Lake have run really well this month, Little Boy came 5th in the Lanzarote Hurdle and Invicta Lake came 4th in a Pertemps Qualifier at Huntingdon. They both hold entries for this Saturday at Sandown in the Grade 3 hurdle that Invicta Lake won last year.
Clondaw Bisto won impressively on his first start in a bumper at Plumpton on Monday. He is owned by Sergio's father Julian, so it was fantastic for us all to end up in the Winners Enclosure especially as it is his first ever horse!
Happy New Year to you all!
The year has started with some new staff arriving, Chris, who Suzy worked with at Gardie Grissell's and we welcome back Yves Andrieu who has worked for us in the past for a couple of seasons.
The weather has put pay to our best laid plans recently, as so many meetings have been lost or are just too testing. We've been working the horses over the chalk downland which drains particularly well and keeps the horses happy and interested despite the rain!
Clondaw Bisto and King Charlie have settled in well and are now in full swing, they will hopefully be seen out in the next few weeks.
Both Storm Patrol and Bold Image are out of black type mares that we trained (Material World and Golden Bay respectively) and are both progressing nicely. They will be running in bumpers before the end of the season.
We are still hoping to get over to Ireland again soon to continue our search for new horses, but all the point-to-point meetings are being cancelled at the moment because of the horrid weather conditions, so things are a little delayed.
We're into the really busy part of the season now and we've had plenty of runners this month, as well as continuing our search for new horses both here at the sales and in Ireland.
We're very pleased to have successfully purchased a new horse King Charlie, by Chevalier, who came second on his last start in a point to point in Ireland.
Runners-wise, Clondaw Cian won his first hurdle start at Fontwell very impressively and then went on to be fourth in a Grade II novice hurdle at Sandown only 9 days later, confirming his ability.
Beau Lake has been out twice including today, unfortunately, the ground has been too holding on both occasions and we still feel the handicapper could be a bit kinder to us! Laughton Park has run once since our last update and ran really well under Mikey Legg to come a good second on his favourite track at Plumpton, only beaten by 3/4 of a length.
Ourmanmassini had his first run of the season at Taunton over 2 miles, we were really pleased that he didn't hang right as he has in the past and were encouraged by this run. The handicapper has dropped him a couple of lbs and now we're hopefully on a workable mark.
Ginny's Tonic ran well today at Fontwell for her new owner Harriet Norman. Tom O'Brien was very positive about her after the race and felt that there are definitely races to be won with her.
The horses have been continuing to run well over the last couple of weeks.
Fin D'Espere was the first runner since our last update at Kempton in a novice hurdle. He was travelling well and still very much in touch when making a very bad mistake about three from home, which stopped him completely and Gavin Sheehan rightly looked after him and coasted him home. He has come out of the race well and will run again in a couple of weeks time.
Clondaw Cian showed a tough attitude to win the bumper at Fontwell Park on his second start for us. The ground was very testing after all the rain and it looked a better than average bumper for the track. Cian also won the Best Turned Out horse in the paddock beforehand so well done to Shane who looks after him at home. There is a lot to like about this horse.
We had three runners yesterday at Sandown. Little Boy Boru ran in the first, a race he won last year when rated 16lbs less. He ran a great race under Harry Bannister carrying 11st 5lbs to finish a close fourth. Harry was not able to claim in this race as he has had over 20 winners (a conditional jockeys' only race) but back in a normal handicap we will be able to make use of his 5lbs.
Red Devil Star was having his first run in handicap in decent company and was in the process of running a big race when joined for the lead when falling two out. Thankfully he appears none the worse this morning and Tom O Brien was ok. He just took off a little bit too early.
Last to go was General Bux in the bumper. An imposing individual with a huge stride he travelled like the winner for most of the race just hitting a flat spot and staying on well up the hill to finish fifth. He is only a four year old and probably one of the biggest horses in training so there were many positives from his display. With time he will develop into a much stronger animal and it certainly looks like he has a great deal of potential.
Very pleasing runs from all four runners in the last few days. First to run was Fin D'Espere at Market Rasen last Saturday in the bumper. He finished 5th in what looked an above average contest and it could be argued he would have finished much closer had he not jinked at the road going out onto the final circuit whilst holding the lead. Unfortunately he lost a good deal of ground there but Denis O' Regan thought he was a smart prospect for hurdling.
Invicta Lake was next on the Monday at Plumpton. He was carrying top weight and there was not enough pace in the race for him early on so it wasn't really run to suit. With any luck he might get dropped a couple of pounds and he will now head to Cheltenham for a Listed race which he finished third in last year.
Red Devil Star ran in a novice hurdle at Fontwell yesterday. We were pleased with him, he travelled and jumped well and probably will come on a little from that run. He is likely to now go for a decent handicap.
Laughton Park ran very well yesterday at Fontwell, especially as his mark is quite high now and he was in good company. He is very genuine and was keeping on again up the hill.
No runners now for the next few days. So it is now time to go through the catalogue for the Newmarket Horses In Training Sales and we will probably fit in a couple of trips to Ireland over the coming weeks in search of some exciting new horses for this season.
Another great week for the yard, with two runners at Newton Abbot last Friday. Ted Spread came 4th in a very hot novice chase, he has now got his handicap mark of 127 over fences. Clondaw Cian had his first run for us in a bumper, shaping with a good deal of promise to come second. Tom O'Brien is very keen on him.
Invicta Lake holds an entry at Plumpton on Monday 19th in the race he won last year, he will run providing the ground is safe.
Our first runner of the season was Jennifer Eccles at Fontwell Park on the 3rd October. It couldn't have started any better with her winning the bumper under Tom O' Brien. Jenny and the eventual second pulled seventeen lengths away from the third horse. It was lovely to have all her owners present to celebrate her first win.
Jennifer Eccles is a full sister to two mares we trained that both went black type - Aimigayle and Emmaslegend. Well done to the breeder, Peter Mercer - what a fantastic family! Amy and Emma have both scanned in foal on the 1st October and Amy has a colt foal by Dr Massini on the ground so great to have the line continued!
We are also very pleased to welcome two new owners to the yard. Maurice Forbes-Wood, who has bought a share in Laughton Park and Trevor Loftus, who has bought a share in Little Boy Boru. Both are very genuine horses that we hope will bring their owners much fun this season.
We are likely to have further runners this week at Newton Abbot and Chepstow.
We had a great time on Sunday at our annual Owner's Day - first here at the yard for drinks and a parade of horses , then onto Plumpton for lunch and a fun afternoon's racing at their opening meeting of the season.
The weather was beautiful on Sunday which really added to the occasion and all the parading horses looked in great form; I'd like to thank the staff who did such a good job at turning all their horses out to a very high standard.
For us, the Owner's Day marks the beginning of a new season; it is a great opportunity to get everyone together after the summer break and for us all to share and build on our enthusiasm and excitement for the season to come. We have some very nice young prospects that we are keen to see out on the track, as well as our existing team of horses that we feel will be competitive again this year.
Most of our horses are now in fast work and we are expecting to have our first runners at Fontwell Park's first two day meeting over the 2nd and 3rd of October.
Photos from our Owner's Day can be seen in the Gallery.