Horses in great form as yard switch nearly complete

Four winners heat up a freezing January

January isn’t usually a busy time of year for a flat racing yard, but combining the move into our new home at Machell Place and plenty of runners has meant everyone here has been starting 2024 flat to the boards!

We’re delighted to have been able to send our first runners out from Machell Place in the last week and even more so that so many of them have been successful. It’s a strikingly impressive yard and a wonderful facility to train from, and we look forward to welcoming owners and visitors to see us throughout the season. 

It was a great start with Goldsmith being our first runner and first winner from our new surroundings, backing up his Wolverhampton success at the end of December. It’s important to us to have the support of owners as respected as The Horse Watchers, and they’ve shown plenty of patience with a horse who’s often promised more than he’s perhaps delivered. He has now won four times for us though, placing on another seven occasions, and won his race at Southwell in really good style. He does still have ideas of his own at times and that may have contributed to his run at Lingfield four days later, but we’d be hopeful he’s not finished winning just yet. 

A winner on our first day became four winners in four days with successful trips to the track for Livinthelife, Cavalluccio and Aspire To Glory. Livinthelife found himself in the winners’ enclosure for the first time on his first start in a handicap, overcoming inexperience to battle hard and nail the well-supported Glistening Nights late on. He is bred to stay well and suggested at Lingfield that middle distances will be his calling in time, so it was frustrating to us that his next intended start over a mile-and-a-half at Kempton was cancelled due to the race attracting three declarations. We all understand that frequent small fields are not beneficial to the sport, but we would question how many declarations were ever anticipated in a race for three-year-olds over a staying trip in January, especially at 0-85 level. Rules are rules when it comes to the race being cancelled, but perhaps the rules are not really benefitting anyone in this instance, and are indeed punishing those of us who did wish to race. 

Cavalluccio had been unlucky not to win at Chelmsford in December, but put that right in good style over the same C&D last week. He is a very talented horse, but as with so many of them (and us!) he has days where he’s keen to do his best and others where he’d perhaps rather still be in bed. If in the same form he’ll run very well in one of his weekend options off his new mark of 73.

Aspire To Glory and Tommie Jakes combined at Lingfield to keep up their 100% record together, rewarding the Coral Racing Club’s faith in Aspire eventually showing his capabilities! It was another really good ride from Tommie, especially considering the Lingfield track and the way the race was run were of no help to the horse, and we’d be confident it won’t be the last time they’re in the winners’ enclosure together.

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