RYEDALE'S two recent Group 1 winners in France are set to cross the channel again for their next races which will be on the same day at Longchamp early next month.
Garswood is to be aimed at the Prix de la Foret, in which he finished third last year, while The Wow Signal will go for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Both events take place on the top-class Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe card on October 5th.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Garswood, whose latest success came in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, said; “We’re looking at the ‘Foret’ for him again. He ran a blinder in it last year when it was won by a super-filly in Moonlight Cloud. She’s now retired and so won’t be there this year. It’s a good race to go for.”
It might well be that Garswood, a four-year-old, will be retired to Cheveley Park Stud after one more race. “He’s won a Group1, a Group 2 and also two Listed races, so he’s got a good profile for a stallion, plus he’s by Dutch Art and is also a horse with a superb laid-back temperament. Future plans are still to be confirmed, but he should do well when he does go to stud,” said Fahey.
Stallion duties will have to wait awhile for The Wow Signal, who is only a two-year-old. Unbeaten in three starts and the top-rated juvenile in Britain, John Quinn’s hugely talented colt was the recent winner of the Prix Morny at Deauville.
“He’s got a fantastic attitude and constitution and he took everything in his stride in France. He lost only six kilos while he was away and he’s starting to put that back on again now,” explained Quinn.
“We’re looking at running him in the ‘Lagardere’ on Arc day and he’s also got the option of the Dewhurst,” said Quinn, who, after one more race, will ease The Wow Signal off for the winter before preparing him in 2015 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Exciting times.“To have a horse like him is great, not just for me, but for all the team,” said Quinn.
• Jake Butterfield enjoyed a red-letter day earlier this week when reaching the final leg of his apprenticeship allowance.
Riding for his boss Ollie Pears, Butterfield won at Leicester on Monday aboard Al Khan to take his career tally to 50 winners. The one-time amateur rider, who had spells with Richard Fahey and Brian Ellison before joining Pears, has now reduced his apprentice allowance to the minimum of 3lb.
Next Wednesday at Doncaster, it will be Pears’ turn to revisit his former career. He is taking part in the Leger Legends charity race for retired jockeys and will ride against the likes of Kevin Darley, Jim Cullotty, Dale Gibson and Brendan Powell.
• York’s popular Press Family Sunday, supported by our sister paper, is a meeting annually targeted by local trainers. The latest renewal this Sunday promises to be no exception, especially with £100,000 in prize money up for grabs.
Richard Fahey and Brian Ellison were among the winning trainers at this meeting last year and the pair will be strongly represented once more. Fahey’s entries include last year’s winner Cosmic Halo, as well as Baccarat , recent winner Bayan Kasirga and the promising Spring Offensive.
Ellison has the likes of Dolphin Rock. Streets Of Newyork and Zeus Magic among his potential Knavesmire raiders, while also worthy of attention are Tim Easterby’s Ribblehead and Ventura Mist, the David O’Meara-trained Supreme Occasion, Paul Midgley’s Line Of Reason and John Quinn’s Moonlightnavigator and Elusive George.
Geoff Oldroyd is likely to saddle York specialist Ladies Are Forever in the featured Garrowby Stakes. A triple-winner of the Group 3 Summer Stakes on this course, Ladies Are Forever is at her best on quick ground when the sun is shining. The weather forecast promises to be in her favour on Sunday.
• A good time was had by all. Seven words that just about sum-up the Betfair Malton Stables Open Day, which saw enthusiasts arrive from far and wide to take the golden opportunity of a peek behind the scenes as 20 trainers of almost 1,000 horses flung wide their doors to the public – all in the name of charity.
While horses and racing obviously formed the theme of the day, the sheer diversity of the event produced a host of added attractions. Renowned horse behaviourist Gary Witheford gave a series of demonstrations at Tim Etherington’s Wold House yard, Rainbow Equine Hospital showed off its excellent facilities, and former crack steeplechaser Monet’s Garden tirelessly posed for one picture after another at Tim FitzGerald’s Norton Grange establishment, only a few yards from another jumps star of yesteryear, Mister McGoldrick, now a signature horse for the New Beginnings’ Racehorse Re-Homing Centre at Hanging Grimston.
Vets, equine dentists, saddlers and farriers, not to mention pupils of the Northern Racing College also produced demonstrations and exhibitions across the board on a packed day which also included top Ryedale trainer Richard Fahey undertaking the current Ice Bucket Challenge craze – with a difference. Not only did Fahey don a pink pig onesie and sacrifice himself to at least ten of his Musley Bank staff, armed with buckets, he then got a further drenching from the over-sized bucket of a JCB!
Not surprisingly, business was brisk at Musley Bank, where such horses as Group 1 winner Garswood, Royal Ascot winner Baccarat and Northumberland Plate hero Angel Gabrial were on show, but it was equally busy right across the board, from Tim Easterby’s three yards – all of which were opened – to Brian Ellison’s Spring Cottage stables where he had horses exercising in his ‘water-walker’ , the only such facility in the north of England.
Malcolm Jefferson’s Newstead yard was busy from start to finish – “We had lots of people through from the moment we opened the gate to when we closed,” he said – while it was much the same story across the road at John Quinn’s Highfield stables and also at the cluster of nearby yards, which included Tony Coyle, Ollie Pears and Kristin Stubbs.
Quinn’s stable-star The Wow Signal was conspicuous by his absence from the masses, but not for any sinister reasons. Britain’s top-rated juvenile resides at the trainer’s second yard at Settrington, which was not opened to the public. “The only time I did open it, the village was snarled-up with traffic, which isn’t fair on the neighbours,” said Quinn. “Highfield was open and we got plenty of visitors there, which was grand.”
Afternoon events largely centred around Malton Market Place where various roadshows, stalls and exhibitions set up near the Milton Rooms which played host to a racing quiz in which the jockeys, comprising Barry McHugh, Jason Hart, Tom Hamilton and Duran Fentiman, narrowly (and slightly controversially!) beat teams representing local trainers and the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.
Malton Hospital, Racing Welfare, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Jack Berry House were the beneficiaries of last Sunday’s event, which was blessed with warm sunny weather and a whole lot more.
Tim FitzGerald, chairman of the Malton Racing Association, said, “It went very well and a lot of the credit should go to Karon Brown, the main organiser, who has done a great job yet again. Thanks go to everyone who supported the day in so many different ways. These days are always a reminder that, even though we in racing take it for granted, lots of people want to come and visit and soak it all in. It’s great.”
Come next year’s Open Day, Malton will proudly show off to visitors the state-of-the-art Injured Jockeys’ Fund rehabilitation facility which is currently under construction in Old Malton.
Jack Berry said of the project which will bear his name. “We are making good progress with it now and the idea is that we’ll be opening next February or March.”
Berry had only one complaint about the entire day. “The quiz questions were a bit hard,” he joked. “Other than that, I had a great time and so did everyone else as far as I could see!”