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  • Stable Tours 2014

    These will soon start appearing in the post

    First one I have come across is a Paul Nicholls one from the Guardian

    Rocky Creek

    He was second in the Hennessy and looked like winning when he led over the last but just faded on the run-in. He did something similar in the Argento and then ran a really tidy race in the Grand National, travelled with plenty of exuberance and led over the second-last. He tired from then but he was giving weight to the four horses that finished in front of him. He was big and weak last season and we’re trying to get him to finish his races better. He’s had a soft palate operation during the summer. He’ll start in the Hennessy with the Grand National as his big target. He looks stronger this year and he’ll be winning races.

    Just A Par

    He was slightly disappointing last season. He won a Grade Two novice chase at Newbury in November and after that he was consistent without setting the world alight. He jumps well. He’ll definitely get an entry in the Welsh National and he’s a possible for the Grand National. He’ll start in a decent three-mile handicap or a graduation chase. He might just be one of those horses who need a year to acclimatise after coming over from Ireland.

    Rolling Aces

    He’s been a little bit in and out. We had him just right first time out last season to win the Grade Two 2m 4f chase at Down Royal in November. He didn’t fire as we’d hoped in mid-season but then he was second in a Grade One at Aintree in April. I haven’t really made a plan for him but he seems to like Aintree and he likes a flat track so it’s quite possible he’ll go for the Old Roan Chase at Aintree early in the season. We might give him an entry in the three-miler at Down Royal if the ground is good or faster but 2m 4f to 2m 6f looks ideal for him.

    Emerging Talent

    This is a well-named, gorgeous, big five-year-old. He won a bumper at Naas in March on his only visit to a racecourse and the second has run well again since. He’s a chasing type and he’s really pleased us since we’ve had him in. He’ll be a novice hurdler this season before going over fences next year. He might start off in the novice hurdle at Wincanton in which Denman made his debut. He’s one for the future.

    Present Man

    Ran a blinding race in his point to point, travelling well and being beaten about three lengths, with the third horse 20 lengths back. He possibly didn’t get three miles as a four-year-old. We’ll start him in a bumper and go on to novice hurdles. He’s a horse we really like and he’s got chaser written all over him.

    On Blueberry Hill

    18 months ago, he won a valuable bumper at Fairyhouse. He had a leg injury last season, so we put him away. He’s been in since 1 July. It might have been a blessing in disguise that we gave him time because he’s matured physically. He’ll be a novice hurdler this season and should make a very nice chaser over a trip in the future.

    Irish Saint

    We’ve got some serious horses to go novice chasing with this season and I’m really looking forward to this one. He’s a lovely five-year-old, he looks really well, he’s done really well in the summer. Last year he made a slow start to the season but won a Grade Two handicap at Ascot in January by 11 lengths and was a two-length third in the Betfair at Newbury. He looks as well as I’ve ever seen him and he’ll be ready to run at the end of October.

    Saphir Du Rheu

    This is a gorgeous horse who started at the bottom last year and ended up winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle beating Whisper, who then won at the Cheltenham Festival and at Aintree. He might have one more run over hurdles but he’s got chaser written all over him and I can’t wait for the day he starts over fences. He’s only five and he looks stronger after the summer.

    Keppols Hill

    Won a beginners chase at Chepstow in early 2013. He missed last season, he had a touch of a leg, so we fired it and gave him some time off. He’ll be a staying chaser but we might run him in a three-mile novice hurdle at the end of October first. He’s sure to be up to winning.

    Ibis Du Rheu

    This is a three-year-old, a big, green baby. We’ve had him about a month and he’s not quite as forward as the others. He’ll run in December in a juvenile hurdle. We got him from Guillaume Macaire’s yard in France. His first run over there, he was tenderly ridden, you could say, in a race that his stablemate happened to win. Then next time he bolted in by seven lengths at Enghien. He’s an embryo chaser, so we’ll look after him as we did with Saphir Du Rheu, his half-brother. He probably won’t take in the Triumph Hurdle.


    A grand, big, chasing type that won a Sligo bumper for Charlie Swan last October and then ran twice more the same month. When he joined us, he was light and lean, so we decided to leave him as a novice for this season and he’s turned himself inside out physically [meaning he has matured well]. I’d say he wants good ground and he’ll be ready to run in October.

    More Buck’s

    His dam is a half-sister to Big Buck’s. Ran in a bumper at Exeter and was very green but managed to win by a neck. He jumps well at home but will probably have one more run in a bumper before going over hurdles. He’s got his whole future in front of him.


    A half-brother to Ptit Zig. He was very green but won nicely on his debut in a Wincanton bumper in March and then ran well to be third at Taunton the next month. He jumps hurdles well. He’ll be in National Hunt novice hurdles from the end of October and will be ready to run at Wincanton. He looks to have strengthened up over the summer.


    Joined us from France, where he showed plenty of ability behind the unbeaten Top Notch in a couple of three-year-old hurdles in the spring. The form of those races now looks strong. He looks well, he jumps well and he’ll be ready to run in juvenile hurdles from early November.


    A big, strong, scopey horse, he won a bumper in France despite having got loose before the race. He was then just beaten at Auteuil. He ran a tidy race to be fourth in the Adonis. We decided to keep him as a novice for this season and he’s definitely a horse to follow. We like him a lot.

    Le Mercurey

    He showed some smart form as a three-year-old in France last November and got a juvenile rating of 149, which was one of the highest anywhere last year. We’ll send him back to Auteuil for the very valuable four-year-old race we won with Ptiz Zig in November last year. After that, I doubt whether he’ll go chasing this year but what a prospect he’ll be for chasing next year. It’s not the easiest season for four-year-old staying hurdlers.

    Easter Day

    He was a bit green on his chasing debut at Chepstow in October but he won his next two and beat the RSA Chase winner at Ascot in December. Then he had a bad bout of colic that needed surgery and ended his season. He’s ready to go to war with now. He could start in a graduation chase. He’ll definitely get a Hennessy entry.


    He was running on the Flat in Germany before we got him and he ran for us at Newbury last month, when he was just beaten a neck under Megan [Nicholls, daughter]. I think the trainer wanted shooting that day because I might have given Megan the wrong instructions and we were in front too soon. The more he strengthens up, the more he’ll improve. He’ll be a 2m 4f hurdler and he’ll want some time.

    Dormello Mo

    Made his hurdles debut for us at Exeter in February and wasn’t the best jumper you’ve ever seen. So we did plenty of work on his jumping and then he absolutely hosed in the next month at Sandown. He was over the top when he ran the next time at Newbury. I suspect he’ll be ready to run at Chepstow on 11 October in the four-year-old handicap hurdle.

    As De Mee

    A gorgeous, big horse who jumps nicely. He’ll be running in National Hunt novice hurdles and is definitely capable of winning some races. He’ll make a lovely chaser one day. He was only fourth in a Kempton bumper when he made his British debut in February but he’s benefited hugely for a summer break.


    When he won his point in Ireland last year, one of the horses he beat was Shaneshill, who went on to win the Grade One bumper at Punchestown in April. He took a while to acclimatise last season but he came good in the spring and won at Newton Abbot when he last ran. He can still run in novice hurdles until November, so I suspect he’ll have one more run in those and then go chasing. He’s strengthened up.


    We fancied him for the Fred Winter but unfortunately the horse that fell and injured Bryan Cooper probably cost him the race, falling right in front of him. So he was unlucky but he’s still got a decent handicap mark. He was possibly a little over the top when he ran in April. He could start in a four-year-old race at Chepstow or Cheltenham. He’s got a future and he’ll make a nice chaser one day.


    A big, chasing four-year-old. He won twice over hurdles in France, most recently at Toulouse in March, when Geluroni was 16 lengths back in third. That one has won four at Auteuil since then, including a Listed and a Grade Three. I haven’t decided yet whether he’ll go hurdling or chasing. He’s got quite a nice mark and he’s got chaser written all over him.

    All Yours

    This is a half-brother to Lac Fontana. He’s had one run on the Flat in France, when he was fourth at Chantilly in April. He’s been gelded since he joined us, has just started schooling and should be ready to run in some nice juvenile hurdles from November. If he’s half as good as Lac Fontana, we’ll be happy.

    All Set To Go

    Had some smart form on the Flat in Ireland. We bought him, gelded him, he’s had a nice summer here and we’re really pleased with him. We just need plenty of rain so we can get him schooling on grass.

    Silviniaco Conti

    He’s the highest-rated chaser in training, having won the King George and the Betfred Bowl at Aintree, though the Gold Cup was a bit disappointing, when he led over the last but got overhauled on the run-in. He needed the run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last autumn, so we’re going to give him a run first in the Charlie Hall this time, a race that he won two years ago.

    After the King George, he’ll have a break before the Gold Cup. I still don’t think I had him at his best last year. Even though he won at Aintree, he didn’t finish off his race, to my eyes. If we can just improve him a few pounds this time, maybe he can win the Gold Cup.

    Rebel Rebellion

    Won the Grand Sefton for us in December and that will be the aim again this season. He’ll then go back to Aintree for the Topham in April, although he might possibly have a Grand National entry as well. He’s a good, tough horse.

    Dodging Bullets

    We always thought of him as a chaser and he won his first three starts over fences, including the Wayward Lad at Kempton’s Christmas meeting. He’s tough and genuine but his form can tail off a bit in the spring. We might start him off in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter or the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham’s Paddy Power meeting.

    Sire Collonges

    Found his niche last season when he won a handicap over Cheltenham’s cross-country course in December, having run well in a conditions race there the month before. He might turn out in a three-mile chase at the first Cheltenham meeting in October and go back there for the cross-country race at the November meeting. Then we’ll take a view whether to go back again in December or to go to Aintree that month. We’ll train him for the Grand National in the spring.

    Caid Du Berlais

    Had a go at the Galway Plate in the summer but didn’t quite see out the trip and will now drop back to 2m 4f. His last season was filled with solid form, starting with a second to Jezki in Down Royal, and he ran two cracking races in handicap hurdles at Cheltenham and Aintree in the spring. He’ll probably go back over fences and there’s a graduation chase for him at Kempton on the first Monday in November.

    Arpege D’Alene

    Comes from a real good chasing family [he’s a Dom Alco half-brother to Triolo D’Alene]. He ran third in a bumper on his only start in France and the form of that race looks good. He wants a trip over hurdles and he’ll be out some time in November.


    He’s a good, consistent horse who got better and better all season, winning two handicap hurdles at Taunton and running another solid race at the Cheltenham Festival. He jumps very nicely, should make a good novice chaser and will be running in early November.

    Valco De Touzaine

    Won twice in novice chases in November and was very consistent but his handicap mark was high enough and he struggled a bit when the ground was soft. He’s only five and entitled to improve as he matures physically. He should be a good two-mile chaser and he’ll probably run at Cheltenham in November.

    Ptit Zig

    This horse was a sensation for us last season. He started by winning a Grade One at Auteuil in November and then he went to Ascot for the Ladbroke Hurdle and was a really game second to Willow’s Saviour, giving him 21lb. Then he was second to Melodic Rendezvous, sixth in the Champion Hurdle and fourth in a Grade One at Aintree, so he’s run some really solid races. We’ll run him in a beginner’s chase somewhere when we can find him some decent ground. He’s got chaser written all over him.

    Black Thunder

    This is a horse we really like. He won three times over fences at the start of last season. He’ll have an entry in the Hennessy but we really like going to Down Royal early in the season and he’ll probably run in the three-mile Grade One there. He goes really well fresh.

    Lac Fontana

    One of the great success stories of last season, he won four times, including the County Hurdle and a Grade One at Aintree. I’ve got a bit of dilemma just now about whether to go chasing with him. He has the size and scope to make into a smart chaser in time but I think there’s a bit more to come over hurdles from him, so we’ll start in the 2m 4f race at Ascot in November and then make a plan.

    Celestial Halo

    Won the Prix La Barka at Auteuil in May and also won Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle after his summer break. He wasn’t the easiest to train after that but he looks as well as he ever does now and, touch wood, all his problems have gone away. If he keeps sound, he’s capable of competing in the top stayers’ hurdles. He’s been an absolute legend for us and whatever happens, we’ll look after him.


    He’s really consistent at his level and I can’t believe we haven’t won a novice chase with him. A summer out should have served him well. He’s done plenty of work and may run at the end of this month before going to Ascot in November.

    The Eaglehaslanded

    A half-brother to Pepe Simo, he was an impressive point to point winner at Stafford Cross despite greenness. We’ll find a nice bumper for him some time in November.


    Had his first run at Auteuil in April and was second. The third, Bonito Du Berlais, has won twice since and is probably the best juvenile hurdler in France. Marracudja then ran moderately a couple of times but we’ve sorted out a few issues with him and he looks really nice now. He’ll probably go to one of the better meetings in November.

    Wilton Milan

    Should have won on his chasing debut at Chepstow in December but he made a mistake and all but fell. He lost his confidence after that but we got him jumping good by the end of the season. He’s capable of winning a novice handicap chase from his present mark and he’ll be ready to run by the end of the month.

    Buck’s Bond

    Won a decent chase at Wincanton in December. He’s big and strong and he stays well but he doesn’t want the ground too soft. There’s a race for him on the last Sunday in October at Wincanton. He’s capable of winning a good handicap chase over a trip from his current mark.

    Southfield Vic

    A half-brother to Southfield Theatre, he ran some good races in bumpers last season and made a very encouraging start over hurdles at Wincanton in March. He was quite big and backward and we minded him after that to save his novice status for this season. He jumps nicely.

    There’s No Panic

    Won what they call the London National at Sandown in December but was never travelling in the Kim Muir at the Festival and unseated at Fontwell in May. He stays well but he’s probably handicapped to the hilt now. He might start at Chepstow or Cheltenham in October. He’s a good, fun horse who always pays his way.


    He won a novice hurdle at Huntingdon on the first day of last season but then picked up an injury at Newton Abbot and we didn’t have him quite right until the new year. Since then, he’s been first or second in all five starts and he’s been first past the post in both chases [though he was disqualified for interference at Stratford]. After he won at Newton Abbot in June, we decided not to risk him again on summer ground and he might run at the first Cheltenham meeting in October. He loves good ground.

    Rainy City

    Is not the sort to reveal his potential in bumpers but we gave him a couple of runs for experience in the spring. He travelled really well in his second race at Newbury. He’s done well in the summer, he looks a different horse now and he might have one more bumper run before going over hurdles.

    Vibrato Valtat

    Won novice hurdles at Exeter and Ayr and was third in the Imperial Cup and the Swinton, though he went up 7lb for that last run. He always looks a bit disappointing. He travels but finds nothing off the bridle. I’m hoping we can help him to finish off his races a bit better and he should be one to follow in two-mile novice chases.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Stable Tours 2014 started by granger View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. granger's Avatar
      granger -
      David Pipe tomorrow
    1. Perpetual's Avatar
      Perpetual -
      Not a huge amount from Pipe:
      Dynaste will probably end up in the Ryanair, but could step up or down in distance
      Kings Palace goes 3m chasing and may start at the Cheltenham's PP meeting
      Caroline Tisdall has loads of horses there (Simon Munir has a few as well)
    1. granger's Avatar
      granger -
      King's Palace is one I like. Have to forgive him his festival run
    1. Euronymous's Avatar
      Euronymous -
      Completely agree. Was really surprised he didn't prep for the AB and I doubt Pipe will make the same mistake again. Although the way he trained Grands Crus for the RSA would concern me.
    1. granger's Avatar
      granger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Euronymous View Post
      Completely agree. Was really surprised he didn't prep for the AB and I doubt Pipe will make the same mistake again. Although the way he trained Grands Crus for the RSA would concern me.
      hopefully they are viewed differently. Don't think there is any doubting that KP stays.

      whats the UK three mile novice season like outside of the Feltham?
    1. tiggers1972's Avatar
      tiggers1972 -
      Reynoldstown? Is there not a graded race at Lingfield too?
    1. Euronymous's Avatar
      Euronymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
      whats the UK three mile novice season like outside of the Feltham?
      Reynoldstown like tiggers said and of course the Denman Chase
    1. granger's Avatar
      granger -
      Nice blog by the way Nick.

      just copped it now
    1. Euronymous's Avatar
      Euronymous -
    1. Grasshopper's Avatar
      Grasshopper -
      Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
      hopefully they are viewed differently. Don't think there is any doubting that KP stays.

      whats the UK three mile novice season like outside of the Feltham?
      The Worcester is usually a good, early-season 3m novice chase on the Hennessy undercard. Previous winners include Grands Crus himself and Ballycassidy; owned by TH resident Roddy Owen.
    1. granger's Avatar
      granger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Euronymous View Post
      was one I liked beforehand and meades words were certainly strong on him but check out his words on wounded warrior.

      has an entry thurs but probably too quick still I'd say
    1. chroniclandlord's Avatar
      chroniclandlord -
      The Mullins stable tour is in Monday's Racing Post.
    1. chroniclandlord's Avatar
      chroniclandlord -
      Apart from Un Atout, Pont Alexandre and Back in Focus, other Mullins horses back in training after missing last season are Inish Island, Tennis Cap, Union Dues and Outlander.

      Ones I noticed missing from the stable tour were Rathvinden who I think was injured at the end of last season, Urano, Devil's Bride and Turnandgo.