Friday, 29 May 2020

7 Class Two-Year-Olds (2yos) from Phoenix Thoroughbreds

Phoenix Thoroughbreds was a dream that materialised before our very eyes. 

Amer Abdulaziz Salman was the man with not only the ambition but vision. In 2017 Phoenix Thoroughbreds emerged as a global force with over 300 horses worldwide. Readers will have their own favourites from this reputable company who have seen major wins in the USA, Australia and Europe, while they continue to grow their presence in the UAE and South America. 

From our niche within two-year-old racing, Advertise, a son of Showcasing, proved a star turn in training with Martyn Meade. This £60,000 yearling purchase has turned into a great investment on the course and at stud. 

On the track, he raced 10 times achieving 5 victories and runner-up on 3 occasions. 

Racing at two and three-years-old, major wins included:


Arqana July Stakes (Group 2) 

Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1) 


Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) 
Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest (Group 1) 

Advertise achieved an official rating of 119 and total prize earnings of £904,358. In addition, such is the prowess of Advertise that he stands at the National Stud with a stallion fee of £25,000.

Other classy two-year-olds for Phoenix Thoroughbreds include:

Gronkowski who started his career with Jeremy Noseda before heading to Chad Brown and then S bin Ghadayer. Considering this son of Lonhro has achieved total earning of over £2M there is much to be enthused about. 

Another horse - a great buy from Phoenix Thoroughbred - came in the shape of Signora Cabello. She was originally in the ownership of Zen Racing & Partner (originally purchased at the yearling sales for 20,000GNS).

This January foal was sold at two to Phoenix Thoroughbreds for 900,000GNS. 

I've always thought John Quinn trained this filly very well and she is sure to win more races this season. 

Click this link to see Phoenix Thoroughbreds Top Horses

There is much to be proud of for the team at Phoenix. 

Anyway, let's move forward a little with thoughts about this Flat season and 7 talented two-year-olds kindly forwarded by Jamie Watson who is the PR and Marketing Manager for Phoenix Thoroughbreds. Check out his Twitter timeline for all the latest news @JWatsonRacing

STOLEN SPOTLIGHT Showcasing (GB) / Overturned (GB) B.C. (GB) Whatton Manor Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds 115,000 Half-brother to the 105 rated Joseph Patrick O'Brien colt Alligator Alley who won a Listed race at York last season. 

“Now called Stolen Spotlight (pending) and in training with Peter Chapple-Hyam. Really nice colt with plenty of ability. He'll be one of our first juvenile runners of the season and we'll be hoping to get a win into him early to go to Royal Ascot.”

FARAAH Awtaad (IRE) / Hi Katriona (IRE) B.F. (IRE) Baroda Stud, Ireland Phoenix Thoroughbreds 200,000

“In training with Ado McGuiness and is named Faraah. She is a lovely filly and very sharp. All things being equal she'll be our first two-year-old runner in Ireland this year. In a 'normal' year, we'd be looking at some Royal Ascot engagements.” 

MASTER OF SOULS Kodiac (GB) x Soul Searcher (IRE)2018 Colt Lynn Lodge Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds €160,000

“Named Master Of Souls and in training with Peter Chapple-Hyam. Plenty to like about him with a nice attitude and lots of talent. Should be out early season and we may look at Royal Ascot targets but the chances are the meeting will come too soon. Plenty of targets for him later in the season though.” 

UNNAMED Kingman (GB) / Madam President (GB) B.F. (GB) Genesis Green Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds 270,000 Half-sister to the Ger Lyons colt Cappella Sansevero who was a decent performer as a 2-year-old when winning the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes at Curragh and also ran a cracking race when finishing second in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot. Official Rating 104+

“In training with Ed Vaughan, she has been a little slow to come to hand but she's certainly not devoid of ability. Would be another we'll be taking our time with so probably won't see her on the track until late in the season.” 

UNNAMED Frankel (GB) / Attraction (GB) B.C. (GB) Floors Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds 525,000 A full-brother to the Mark Johnston 1,600,000 Guineas colt Elarqam who won his first two races as a 2-year-old including winning the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket and then went on to win the Group 2 York Stakes last season as a 3-year-old. Official Rating 124 

“He's a big scopy colt and like most Frankels is just taking his time to mature. He's showing plenty of ability and will go to Pete Chapple-Hyam when he's ready to go into full training. Looking towards the end of the season at least before he's ready for a debut.” 

UNNAMED Galileo (IRE) x Convocate (USA) 2018 Colt Marlhill House Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds €380,000

“Still in pre-training but will go to Peter Chapple-Hyam when ready. He's a big boy so is taking some time to come to hand. He clearly has plenty of ability and probably won't be ready until next season.” 

UNNAMED Australia (GB) x Seven Veils (IRE) 2018 Colt Mount Coote Stud Phoenix Thoroughbreds €100,000 

“With Karl Burke and looks to be another late-season type. We'll be taking our time with him but he's a nice mover and showing ability.” 

Visit Phoenix Thoroughbreds website for all the latest news. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Guest Post: 5 to follow from Simon @PaddockInspecto

I have been approached and asked whether I would like to provide a write up of some of my horses to follow for the forthcoming Flat Season. Something which I have never ever done before in my life. I used to write my own amateurish paddock notes, never published them, though a professional gambler once asked to see some copies and meet up. He has since completely given up on the game and discovered health, diet, and nature! 

So, I agreed. Due to being under the group of those people at higher risk from coronavirus I am in permanent lockdown which allowed me the time to select a few hopefully high-class horses and some possibly at a lower level.

I go racing as much as possible however midweek meetings are always dictated by the amount of annual holiday work that allows me. Following my football team reduces the number of days too. Therefore, I am not a professional, do not watch every single race on TV, not a ratings expert, not a breeding expert, and certainly not compared to others on course a top paddock judge. Some have disagreed with that last bit I’m not so sure. Simply I open my eyes and close my ears on course. Unless I happen to be standing next to John Gosden! 

So maybe a different point of view to other horses to follow articles. I have only included horses I have actually seen on course with my own eyes with the exception of one.

Al Madhar

Al Madhar made his debut at the Newmarket July Meeting. At the time it was my impression this was clearly the nicest bunch of two years olds that I had seen all season in the parade ring pedigrees to match. Nothing has changed my mind since.

From this fourteen-runner maiden twelve have run since with seven individual winners. I am confident too that the Queen’s First Receiver (one further run good second) should quickly pick up a novice or nice handicap this season.

Al Madhar looked a smashing type. Good size, athletic, and quite tuned up. It caught my attention at the time he was very professional for his first-ever visit to a racecourse in every aspect from walking around in the parade ring, during the race itself and in the winner’s enclosure – a really good temperament. Clearly had a good education of the job in hand beating a decent yardstick in the not quite as fit Godolphin trained Al Suhail – currently rated 112. Still he will have learned further from the experience. The step-up in trip will be ideal. Noting his behaviour, temperament, professionalism and what he would have learned I have no issues he has not been seen out since. 

Military March 

My first sighting of this beast Military March was at Newmarket for his second ever run. He just stood out head and shoulders above the others in the pre-parade ring and hopefully will become a top middle-distance prospect for the remainder of the season and going forward. He was a beautiful good physical specimen who in my opinion had the scope to develop further during the winter. Co-incidentally he was running against his stablemate Al Suhail who actually, compared to his debut, this time I did not like his demeanour in the pre-parade ring whatsoever. I really enjoyed witnessing Military March win the Group 3 event beating his stablemate Al Suhail with another useful yardstick Molatham back in fourth. Possibly assisted further by racing against the stands rails both Godolphin horses went lengths clear and Military March showed a fantastic attitude up the rising ground to win going away with Oisin Murphy having a good job pulling him up. His physic, breeding, and his relaxed racing style plus attitude screamed Derby horse to me and the 28/1 ante-post price at that time was a no brainer not so sure at the current rates of 8/1 through. I really look forward to seeing him in the flesh next time out.

Vatican City
The Weatherby’s Design & Print Novice Stakes ran at Newmarket was clearly all about the scintillating performance of the winner Kinross. 

Vatican City a superbly bred chestnut colt of Galileo was too making his debut. A good looking individual, well put together, he caught my eye but did not immediately stand out against maybe some others. However, it definitely caught my eye in running. Last, in the stalls he displayed early signs of immaturity. Tenderly handled, not appearing to have the greatest of openings with horses in front of him, when the gap did appear, he made up ground in a pleasing fashion. 

He was a different proposition next time out in a weak Dundalk maiden winning easily with at least the second winning next time out. I really look forward to seeing him next time out be it in an English or Irish 2000 Guineas.

Society Lion

Society Lion is a horse who I feel can possibly notch a couple of wins on the turf or all-weather at a lesser level than those horses previously mentioned. His dam Pavlosk has already produced the three-time winner in Derevo. By Invincible Spirit he looked a well-made fairly strong two-year-old prior to his debut at Newmarket. Unfortunately, not a lot went right for him on debut as he was slowly away from the stalls, appeared keen, and from my vantage point became unbalanced in the dip. He made no mistake on his return in a small Yarmouth maiden next time out – his only run since. He obviously learned a lot from his debut run and won going away with some authority. Currently rated 86.

Spring Of Love 

Spring of Love, a good-looking filly, appeared quite fit and well compared to her stablemate in the field. Her sire is Invincible Spirit plus her dam Desert Blossom bred by Sharmadal. 

I believe after witnessing this performance she can progress again. To my eyes she was traveling very well for much of the race even when her opponents were coming under pressure. She handled the dip well and although ran around a bit the final furlong went away again with her nearest rival the staying on Waliyak 1 ¼ lengths behind. It was suggested at the time she would be put away for one of the trials this year though obviously now one will have to wait and find out what the intentions are from Godolphin & Charlie Appleby

Top Rank 

Top Rank is the horse I have included that I have not seen in the flesh. This Dark Angel colt should be included as he was originally my first bet of the new season at a double-figure price for the cancelled Lincoln at Doncaster. Current rating 91. I was really taken with his debut at Lingfield. He had to race wide for most of the race showing greenness in the process however once he hit the straight this strong specimen picked up really well and ran on to win on debut. He has since gone on to win at Thirsk (got struck into) and Newmarket. It appears he is well suited to a galloping track, and although I have read the trainer sited him as a fragile sort, he also believes he has the making of a pattern horse therefore potentially leniently rated for handicaps.

Powerful Breeze 

I would have definitely have liked to include the Hugo Palmer trained Powerful Breeze as I saw her as a major player in the 1000 Guineas however one will now have to wait until the second half of the season as she suffered a setback at home. 

I would like to thank Simon for this guest post and beautiful photographs.  

Guest post: Simon@PaddockInspecto

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Two-Year-Olds (2yos) With the Biggest Price Tags for 2020 Flat Season

Each year horse racing fans wait with anticipation for the most esteemed yearling sale:

Tattersalls’ Premier Yearling Sales Book 1

The best of the best stallions are represented with the likes of Dubawi who stands at Darley Stud for a fee of £250,000. 

Kingsman's stallion fee has been increased from £75,000 to £150,000 for Juddmonte Farms. 

The mighty Frankel a stallion fee of £175,000. 

Let’s not forget the daddy of them all Galileo - the father of Frankel - who stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland and is reportedly one of the most expensive stallions in the world. 

Although the stud fee is given as private, a figure of £400,000 isn't too wide of the mark for this super stallion. 

No wonder their offspring are costly acquisitions. 

The hope of owning the next superstar - it's a billionaire's dream. These high profile owners think nothing of writing a cheque with ten zeros for a prized yearling. In general, they don't make much of a betting proposition because their reputation proceeds them. The buzz of seeing these big-ticket purchases set hoof on the racecourse it a joy to behold. 

Take a look at this post in a year's time and see if any make the grade. 

I will update names when I can. 

BLUE PLANET Kingman (GB) / One Last Dance (AUS) B.C. (GB) Hazelwood Bloodstock MV Magnier 1,800,000 Guineas 

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and bought at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales. Second foal of dam One Last Dance who won the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude Stakes in Australia back in 2011. Blue Planet was bred by John Camilleri's Fairway Thoroughbreds who introduced us to Australian superstars Winx and Vancouver. Blue Planet has the potential to be an exciting prospect for the O’Brien yard and one I'm looking forward to seeing in the future.

ESPANIA Filly by Galileo (IRE) x Green Room (USA) Ballylinch Stud M V Magnier/Westerberg €3,000,000 

Bought at the October Orby Sale by M V Magnier/Westerberg and trained by Aidan O’Brien. Dam Green Room was unraced but that hasn’t stopped her producing some top-class offsprings and Aidan already has two talents from this family in the names of Together Forever(rated 112) and Forever Together(rated 117) interesting that both needed a couple of runs to release their full potential but Espania could potentially a smart horse from the O’Brien yard.  

MAGIC HOUR Filly by Galileo (IRE) x Aleagueoftheirown (IRE) Glenvale Stud Westerberg €2,200,000 

Bought at the October Orby Sale by Westerberg and will be possibly trained by Aidan O’Brien. A full-sister to the 122 rated Alice Springs who was also trained by Aidan O’Brien and was a multiple group winner in an outstanding career. The Falmouth Group 1 Stakes was just one of many highlights for the 550,000. 

ST MARK’S BASILICA Siyouni (FR) / Cabaret (IRE) B.C. (FR) Norelands Stud, Ireland MV Magnier 1,300,000 Guineas 

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and bought at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales. Half-brother to the 340,000 Guineas Magna Grecia who of course won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last year for the O’Brien team and is rated 124. Dam Cabaret was a fairly useful performer herself with a rating of 93 after a decent 2-year-old career winning the Silver Flash Group 3 Stakes at Leopardstown. Acted on soft ground. 

UNNAMED Dubawi (IRE) / Without You Babe (USA) B.C. (GB) Newsells Park Stud Ltd. Kevin Ryan 1,000,000 Guineas 

Bought by Kevin Ryan on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales. Dam Without You Babe was unraced but has produced some quality horses including the 125 rated Tamarkuz, the 107 rated John Gosden filly She’s Got You and the 119 rated Without Parole who won the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot in 2018 to name just one success. The colt has a lot to live up to but one of interest. 

UNNAMED Dubawi (IRE) / The Fugue (GB) B.C. (GB) Watership Down Stud David Redvers Bloodstock 1,000,000 Guineas 

Bought at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales by David Redvers on behalf of Sheikh Fahad and will be trained by John Gosden. Dam The Fugue was an exceptional performer for John Gosden and owner Lord Lloyd-Webber. The 128 rated filly contested top-quality races and one of the highlights was winning the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes in 2014 to make it her fourth Group 1 win in a remarkable career. Outstanding pedigree on paper and another to look forward to this season. 

UNNAMED filly by Galileo (IRE) x Devoted To You (IRE) Barronstown Stud Phoenix T'breds/Aquis Farm €1,100,000 

Bought at the October Orby Sale by Phoenix T'breds/Aquis Farm Comes from a nice family who has produced some nice types that are usually trained by Aidan O’Brien including the winner of the Irish Derby Sovereign who last year sprung a surprise when given an outstanding ride by Jockey Padraig Beggy when getting first run and not stopping. Also, a full-sister to Dawn Rising who was too green to do justice on his only run last year and one to keep an eye out for next time. 

UNNAMED Galileo (IRE) / Quiet Oasis (IRE) Ch.F. (IRE) Barronstown Stud, Ireland MV Magnier / Westerberg 2,100,000 Guineas 

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and bought at the Tattersalls Yearling Sales. A full-sister to the exciting Lancaster House who was the first foal for dam Quiet Oasis. Lancaster House won his first three races including a Listed event at Listowel before quickly turning out again in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown five days later and disappointing but still remains with potential. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Photo: Galileo

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Future Stars of 2yo Racing 2020

Craig's Betting Blog has its finger on the pulse of two-year-old racing. Yeomanstown Stud has a select number of two-year-olds that are being sent to the Breeze-Up Sales and worth a closer look.

An unnamed colt, sired by Dark Angel out of the mare Maureen caught my eye. 

Many readers will have fond memories of both sire and the dam as they proved notable two-year-olds.

As a sire, Dark Angel needs little introduction. This classy stallion has proven his worth with a bumper crop of winners including the likes of Battaash, Harry Angel, Mecca's Angel, Lethal Force, Persuasive & Raging Bull. 

2019 saw a number of talented juveniles including Dark Lady, Khadeem, Angel Alexander, Decrypt, Angel's Hideaway, and Mountain Angel. 

It's interesting to consider the stallion fee for Dark Angel is 85,000 euros. However, this unnamed two-year-old out of Maureen went through the yearling sales for just 40,000 guineas. The vendor being Newsells Park Stud Ltd and the buyer Yeomanstown Stud who look to capitalise when this youngster heads to the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sales 2020 (Lot 81). 

Readers may remember the mare trained by Richard Hannon in the ownership of Ahmad Alkhallafi. Maureen was something of a bargain buy herself fetching just 20,000 euros at the yearling sales. However, she proved a very capable filly winning well on debut at Newbury when starting at odds of 11/10f. Beaten a neck when runner-up in the Cherry Hinton Stakes (Group 2), then winning the Princess Margaret Stakes (Group 3) ''readily'' at Ascot. She disappointed in her final start at two when she was priced 2/1 favourite for the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1). In truth, she had no luck in running on that occasion. 

At three, she won on debut when taking the Fred Darling Stakes (Group 3) and far from disgraced when sixth in the 1000 Guineas behind stablemate Sky Lantern, but beaten less than three lengths. 

In total, she raced thirteen times, achieving three wins and over £110,000 in prize earnings. The highest official rating of 107 illustrated a very classy filly. 

She concluded her career at four (2014). 

Take a look at this video footage of this son of Maureen, sired by Dark Angel. 

He is going to the breeze-up sales and sure to fetch much more than his original price tag of just 40,000 guineas. 

A lovely-looking colt who could well be winning this two-year-old season. 

A horse I will be watching out for this season. 

Good luck to connections. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Godolphin 2yos to Follow for 2020

Where do we start when it comes to detailing the triumphs of Godolphin? I would need to write a book rather than a blog post. 

However, there is one thing we can all agree British horse racing would be a poor relation without the support of Sheikh Mohammed. 

Think of all those superstars - the majority started their careers at two. From that initial start, wonder horses appeared before our eyes. 

Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby have been gifted with some exceptional talents. And this year may well be the same. 

Godolphin is a powerhouse for any two-year-old horse racing fan, and the following horses - many with lofty price tags - will be hitting the headlines this Flat season. 

There will be plenty to look forward to. 

NOBLE DYNASTY trained by Charlie Appleby. 

Dubawi (IRE) / Alina (IRE) B.C. (GB) Hazelwood Bloodstock Godolphin 3,600,000 at the October Yearling Sales.

A half-brother to the brilliant 122 rated Barney Roy won the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2017. 

Dam Alina was a 200,000 euro foal who was unplaced twice for trainer Freddy Head.

UNNAMED - Dubawi (IRE) / Chachamaidee (IRE) B.C. (IRE) 

Redgate Bloodstock Ltd.Godolphin 200,000 at the October Yearling Sales. 

A half-brother to the 300,000 Yearling filly Klassique who won the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock and a full-brother to the George Scott trained Narak who looks a nice prospect herself for the season ahead. 

DHAHABI trained by Charlie Appleby. 

Frankel (GB) / Fleche d'Or (GB) B.C. (IRE) Norelands Stud, Ireland Godolphin 3,100,000 at the October Yearling Sales. 

A half-brother to the smart 134 rated Golden Horn trained by John Gosden who never finished outside the top two in what was a phenomenal career. Dam Fleche d'Or was unraced.

UNNAMED New Approach (IRE) / Token of Love (GB) B.C. (GB) 

Hascombe & Valiant Stud Ltd. Godolphin 320,000 at the October Yearling Sales. 

Dam Token of Love was rated 107 and only raced on good/firm or firm ground for William Haggas, the highlight of her short career was winning the Dick Hern Fillies Stakes at Haydock before moving to America. 

UNNAMED Dubawi (IRE) / Ghurra (USA) B.F. (IRE) 

Castlefarm Stud, Ireland (Agent) Godolphin 700,000 at the October Yearling Sales.  

A half-sister to the 123 rated John Gosden colt Shalaa who had an outstanding career winning the Darley Prix Morny Group 1 to name just one of her group wins. Dam Ghurra never really hit the heights that were expected and moved to America in 2006. 

UNNAMED Galileo (IRE) / Jacqueline Quest (IRE) Ch.C. (IRE) 

New England Stud Godolphin 1,100,000 at the October Yearling Sales.

A full-brother to the Charlie Appleby trained Line Of Duty who was a 400,000 Yearling and was rated 121 after an excellent career, the highlight winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf race at Churchill Downs. Sadly suffered a fatal injury. 

Dam Jacqueline Quest was a 109 rated filly who was trained by Henry Cecil before moving to Ian Williams. Demoted to second in the 1000 Guineas after hanging in the final furlong. 

CREATIVE FORCE trained by Charlie Appleby. 

Dubawi (IRE) / Choose Me (IRE) 2018 Colt Owenstown Stud Godolphin €400,000 at the Orby Sale.

A half-brother to John Gosden trained 123 rated filly Persuasive who won the Redrock Entertainment Atlanta Stakes at Ascot. 

Dam Choose Me was rated 109 herself who finished third in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes in 2010. 

UNNAMED Dark Angel (IRE) / Beatrix Potter (IRE) 2018 

Filly Baroda Stud Godolphin €1,000,000 A full-sister to Harry Angel and a half-sister to Pierre Lapin. 

Harry Angel was a £44,000 yearling and had an official rating of 131. One of the many highlights being winning the Duke of York Stakes at York in 2018. 

Pierre Lapin looks a class act for Roger Varian and can hopefully grab another big win this season after winning the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes on only his second start last season. 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Marco Botti: 4 Two-year-olds to Follow for 2020


2018 Bay Filly Farhh ex Magika A half-sister to 110 rated Malotru also trained by Marco Bott who won the Premio Primi Passi Group 2 in Milan on only his second start as a 2-year-old. Opened his 3-year-old career in style winning the Spring Cup Listed Stakes at Lingfield and looks one to follow this season. Dam Magika was a useful handicapper on her day with a rating of 92.

“Like the rest of the family, she is not very big. She goes well but we haven’t done any serious work with her yet.” 


2018 Chesnut Colt Twilight Son ex Wakeup Little Suzy The Castlebridge Consignment Global Equine Group 42,000 Dam was a fair performer on the flat and owned by Mr Philip Newton.

“Sharp 2yo showing speed and will probably be out soon over 6f. Should be competitive in novice races and looks to be a 2yo.” 


2018 Grey Colt Dark Angel ex Sleeping Beauty New Approach Bloodstock 11,000 Dam Sleeping Beauty was a fair performer for Dermot Weld and had an official rating of 95 on the flat.

“Looks more a 7f type and goes okay but we haven’t tried him yet.”

2018 Grey Colt Lope De Vega ex Claba Di San Jore 

Watership Down Stud Meah Lloyd Bloodstock Agent For Heart Of The South 100,000 

A half-brother to the excellent Marco Botti trained Jakkalberry who wasn’t afraid to travel and won the Dubai City Of Gold at Meydan in 2013. Jakkalberry finished his career winning at Wolverhampton in 2014 with an official rating of 122. Dam Claba Di San Jore was unraced. “He is a nice scopey colt that goes well. He will need 7f so perhaps he will be one for the second part of the season.” 

Other named two-year-olds in the stable:

Angels Will Rise (Dark Angel) (F)
Atalis Bay (Cable Bay) (C)
Captain Helmet (Helmet) (C)
Cassowary (Australia) (F)
Cosmic George (Dawn Approach) (C)
King Tiger (Swiss Spirit) (C)
Apres Dark (Estidhkaar) (C)
Summertime Romance (Declaration Of War) (F)
Colorando  Territories (F)
Bigalsonsuntown (Speightstown) (C)
Pop Ya Collar (Pride Of Dubai) (C)
Lady Argento (Australia) (F)
Valentinka (Helmet) (F)
Tricolore (Twilight Sun) 
Zurak (Zoffany) (F)

We would like to thank Marco for taking the time to detail these two-year-olds and good luck for the season. 

Visit Marco Botti's website here

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Day I Bumped Into...

My good friend Simon Fowler is an actor. 

Well, I always listen to his Facebook lives where he chats about his life, acting experiences, and musing about playing rugby for a number of clubs. He is a very interesting man and someone I admire in the pursuit of his many and varied goals. 

The other day he chatted about one of his latest parts in a great comedy called Down The Caravan written by Kay Lockett, directed by Sara Sugarman, starring Matthew Rhys, Maxine Evans, and Jan Anderson to name a few talents. 

Well, Simon, talked about how he got the part of Ivan in Down The Caravan, after chatting to Jerry & Kay Lockett while off set for another part playing an Isis terrorist. They said they had a part in mind and would contact him in a few month's time. 

Just as Jerry Lockett said, after three months Simon received an email about the audition and got the job.    

It was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. 

In many ways horse racing is very much the same.

My cousin's Danny and Paul recounted the day they asked the opinion of Sir Henry Cecil (pre knighthood) at Great Yarmouth racecourse, explaining the hopes of a debutante. It will always be a special moment. 

We reason that those we admire are too busy to talk to us.

I guess the moral of the story is this, often we are the problem because we don't give someone a chance.

Years ago I had a similar experience. 

My brother is a plasterer and he did some work for a livery yard who had a few ex-racehorses. He got chatting to the owner who mentioned a horse called Western Art, originally trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the ownership of Matthew Green and Ben Sangster. 

As it turned out, this son of Hennessy was a rare talent who won the Dragon Stakes (Listed Race) at Sandown on July 6th, 2007. 

Sadly, Western Art must have incurred an injury at some point thereafter and took a steady decline, changing from trainer to trainer until being retired. He was eventually, luckily, owned by a wonderful lady named Alex Steel. 

The post was found by Alex as she searched the internet. 

It was fate that my brother told me the story and that she had read my post. I was delighted when she contacted me. 

She didn't know much about Western Art's racing career so I said I'd research his story for her. 

She learned about Western Art [Artie, as she called him] and even watched his victory at Sandown. In addition, I found the contact details of his breeder a lady called Nellie Cox, of Rose Retreat Lodge, in America. Alex had the chance to correspond. They had the chance to talk about a horse they both loved and would never forget.

The original buyer was Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock. 

I had much of the information but not everything. I knew Western Art was purchased from the Keeneland Sales as a yearling, and that he was sold at the Doncaster Breeze Up sale for £62,000. 

But I didn't know how to join the dots of his travels from the United States so I sent an email to Peter Doyle. 

I didn't think I would get a reply convincing myself Peter would be far too busy to contact me. 

A week or so had passed and I had forgotten about the message, thinking at best I would receive an email.

I heard the phone ringing and answered.

It was Peter Doyle. 

A soft, Irish accent asked how he could be of help and ready to answer any questions. He said he was about to fly from Ireland to go to Royal Ascot. 

Nothing was too much trouble. A kind, decent man who loves his horses and, importantly, each and every transaction was worth much more than pounds, shillings, and pence. 

He asked where I went racing and what was my local course. 

I said Great Yarmouth and Newmarket. 

Amazingly, he invited me and Alex to meet him at Newmarket's July meeting. I don't know why, but we never took him up on the offer. 

Yes, crazy, I know. 

Western Art was a special horse to those who loved him most. But his greatest love was his last owner Alex Steel.

So many times horse racing seems to be about the first horse that crosses the line. But as Nellie Cox said: ''Every horse has its story to tell.''

How right she is. And that story, if anyone takes a moment to consider, is the meaning that makes each and every life all the more important. 

I never guessed that I would learn so much from one horse, a two-year-old who I had watched win not realising that years to come he would play an important part in my life, meeting people who are still friends to this day. 

It is perhaps a valuable lesson that we simply don't know unless we ask. Like attracts like and even though people may seem so different on this day we all had something in common and that was a horse called Western Art. 

God bless you, Artie. 

Author: Jason Coote

Sunday, 10 May 2020

13 Mark Johnston Two-Year-Olds to Follow in 2020

Sending out 200 winners in a season is an incredible achievement in itself but to repeat this fantastic accomplishment another eight times since 2009 is damn right ridiculous but Mark Johnston's incredibly high standards mean nothing is left to chance when training horses. The Middleham based trainer has excelled with his 2-year-olds over the years and last season(2019) was no different with plenty of talent on show including a couple of top-class fillies. 


A cheap purchase bought at the 2018 September Yearling Sales for 3,000 euros by Johnston Racing. The Kingsley Park 14 owners had a memorable year with the Make Believe bay filly when she won five times including finishing off the season with her best performances to date when taking the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes and also the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and bringing her total prize money for the season to £115,483. 


Raffle Prize was no doubt one of the 2-year-old stars of the season for Mark Johnston and owner Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. The hombred chestnut filly won two group races and lost nothing in defeat when runner-up twice in group one races in what was an outstanding first season for the Slade Power filly. Total prize money of £255,887 for the season and an official rating of a 114 make her one I will be looking forward to this season. 

As for the new season I’m sure Mark’s 2-year-olds will be fit and raring to go after the lockdown and hopefully a couple of these could race at a higher grade. 

Now I’m no expert on pedigrees, to be honest, I have my own methods for trying to solve the puzzle of 2-year-old racing but I have tried to get my head around it in lockdown and have come up with these thirteen for the season ahead. At the end of the season, I will check to see if any make a higher grade or just plain average. 

1 - EX LANDELA Exceed and Excel Landela 

Purchased for 140,000 gns for Hamdan Al Maktoum and is a full-brother to the 90 rated Gravity Flow who was trained by William Haggas and won four times at six furlongs in what was an excellent season as a 3-year-old. 

2 - EX NAOMH GEILEIS Excelebration Naomh Geileis 

A full-sister to the Mark Johnston trained Rebel Assault who is also owned by Christine Budden & Partners. A first time winner at two and won the Listed Rockingham Stakes at York. 

3 - EX PRETTY DIAMOND Sea The Stars Pretty Diamond 

Expensive purchase for Hamdan Al Maktoum when snapped up for 500,000 gns at the October Yearling Sales last year. The Sea The Stars chestnut colt was a 130,000 gns foal and is a half-brother to the Mark Johnston trained Vivid Diamond who has a rating of 105 after a consistent career to date. One of the highlights being the win in the Listed Chester Stakes last year and a great run to finish third in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster also last year. 

4 - EX RECKONING Muhaarar Reckoning 

A 100,000 gns purchase at the Yearling Sales last year and owned by Dr J Walker who also has the 104 rated Austraian School in training with Mark Johnston and is a half-sister to Sir Ron Priestley. Dam Reckoning only had a short career but ran at a decent level when placed in a couple of Listed races. One offspring who improved with each race last year was Sir Ron Priestley who managed to finish the season with an official rating of 112 after winning five times.  

5 - EX YOU'LL BE MINE Frankel You'll Be Mine 

This Frankel colt ticks a lot of boxes for the Johnston yard. Purchased for 280,000 gns at the Yearling Sales last October for owner Mr Mohammed Obaida and is a full-brother to Eminent who won the Craven Stakes and the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain as a 3-year-old for Martyn Meade. Dam You’ll Be Mine ran in some decent races for trainer Aidan O’Brien, a third in the Fillies Mile as a 2-year-old was one of the highlights. 

6 - FRAGRANT STORM Frankel Rose Bonheur 

This time it’s a Frankel filly that goes on the list who was purchased for 185,000 gns and is owned by Mr Mohammed Obaida. A half-sister to Nayef Road who won third time of asking as a 2-year-old and went on to win the Group 3 Great Voltigeur Stakes at Goodwood last season. Dam Rose Bonheur ran to a decent level for trainer Kevin Prendergast and finished her career with a rating of 106. 

7 - HARLEM SOUL Frankel Giants Play 

I do love a Frankel, this time we have Harlem Soul who was a 130,000 gns purchase by Johnston Racing. The Teme Valley 2 owned chestnut colt will have to be on top of his game to run at the same level as half-brother Ispolini who picked up some nice prizes in Meydan last year. 

8 - JUMEIRAH BEACH Exceed And Excel Dubai Sunrise 

Dam Dubai Sunrise was unraced but her offspring have done pretty well, the most notable is Dee Ex Bee who seems to get better with age and distance in what has been an excellent career. Jumeirah Beach is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. 

9 - LOVE IS GOLDEN Golden Horn Holy Moon 

The Golden Horn bay colt was purchased for 175,000 gns and owned by Crone Stud Farms. Dam Holy Moon has produced some great performers over the years in Italy for trainer Stefano Botti, also the brilliant Sea Of Class who was trained by William Haggas and won the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks as a 3-year-old. 

10 - MARCH LAW Lawman Dookus 

A 58,000 purchase for owners Susan & John Waterworth. Dam Dookus was pretty disappointing in France but has produced a nice colt in the name of Frankuus who was trained by Mark Johnston in his early career before moving to David O’Meara. 

11 - MESHAKEL Shamardal Mehronissa 

First foal of dam Mehronissa but was an expensive purchase by David Redvers Bloodstock at the October Yearling Sales last year for a cool 500,000 gns and is owned by Mr Salem Rashid Bin Ghedayer . Mehronissa was an excellent filly for trainer Ed Vaughan finishing her career with a rating of 106. 

12 - MUTAZAWWED Muhaarar Muteela 

 Dam Muteela was a quality filly for Mark Johnston winning her only race as a 2-year-old back in 2013. The bay filly progressed as a 3-year-old and ended her career rated 111. Owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum. 

13 - POLAR FLEECE Frankel Lacily 

Half brother to the excellent Exceed and Excel colt Yalta who was trained by Mark Johnston who won the Molecomb Stakes as a 2-year-old. 

Dam Lacily never set the world alight but won on debut as a 2-year-old. 

Check out Mark Johnstons Stable tour 2020 

Thanks for reading and stay safe.