Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Magnificent Middleham Park Racing

Middleham Park Racing was launched 25 years ago. 

While other racing syndicates come and go - they are as strong as ever. Their undoubted success is a testament to understanding horse racing on many levels from owners to trainers and much more. 

Global pattern race successes and astonishing prize money detail the superb job Tim Palin who is Partner & Director of Racing and his team has done to bring enjoyment to owners and a respected part of the racing industry.

You have to go back to July 1995 to remember their first horse China Castle, trained by Patrick Haslem. Finishing tenth on his debut at Beverley didn't look the most aspiring of starts but by the end of his career, he had notched up 26 wins with prize money totaling £125,000. 

Since then, the winners have kept on coming and coming for Middleham Park Racing. 

Richard Hannon Snr and now Richard Hannon Jnr have always been worth looking out for when training horses for Middleham Park Racing. These successful partnerships are testimony to how Palin and the team have their operation running like a well-oiled machine.

The list of winners the partnership has enjoyed is always worth remembering. 

Older readers may remember Esentepe causing a bit of shock when winning the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes for Richard Hannon Snr back in 2012 at odds of 28/1 and a nice pot of £31.190.50 to go with it. Esentepe was bought by Peter Doyle Bloodstock for 22,000 Guineas and sold for 220,000 Guineas two years later, not a bad bit of business to be honest. 

Toormore has to be Middleham Park Racing's biggest success to date. 

What a horse! 

An inspired purchase for £36,000 at the Premier Yearling Sales in 2012. 

This son of Arakan won on debut at Leicester and remained unbeaten in his next two races as a 2-year-old winning the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood then winning the Group 1 National Stakes with ease. 

It was Richard Hannon Snr’s last season holding a licence, and he couldn’t have gone out on a higher note after Toormore was crowned European Champion 2-year-old colt. Over the years more group success followed Toormore before being sold to Godolphin. It was a tragedy when Toormore suffered a heartbreaking leg injury and had to be put down in 2018. A highest official rating of 122 and prize money of £475,551 means Toormore will always be remembered as an amazing horse and a great success story for Middleham Park Racing. 

Chief Barker was another nice winner for Richard Hannon Snr and Middleham Park Racing. The Azamour colt won first timeout at Sandown before going on to win a Listed race at Haydock in 2013 and then went on to race in America for new trainer Larry Rivelli as a 3-year-old. 

Kool Kompany was a top-class 2-year-old for the Middleham Park Racing team back in 2014 when winning his first three races on the racecourse including a Listed race at Naas and going on to win the Group 2 Railway Stakes, Group 2 Robert Papin and finished runner-up in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at Curragh. Kool Kompany then went on to win the Craven Stakes at Newmarket as a 3-year-old in what was a brilliant racing career. 

Currently standing stud at Dehesa De Milagro, Spain. 

Lexington Times did well to win the Spring Cup as a three-year-old in March 2015 and then contest some nice races without winning. 

Ventura Storm was an expensive purchase for the Middleham Park Racing team at the Craven Breeze Up Sale back in 2015 when bought for 110,000 Guineas but it was definitely money well-spent on the Zoffany colt.

A 20/1 shot on debut at Newmarket, Ventura Storm ran a decent race to finish third but made no mistake next timeout at the same venue. Pitched in at the deep end for his last race of the season in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp, Ventura Storm was never involved after being short of room and finished near the back. 

It was a different story when he made his reappearance as a 3-year-old and went on to win two Listed races, the 2016 Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club, Milan and the 2016 Group 3 Prix De Reux, Deauville before moving to Australia. 

A highest official rating of 113 and Prize Money worth £327,648 made Ventura Storm a brilliant purchase for all involved. 

Great Page is another who won on debut this time at Windsor. The Roderic O'Connor filly went on to win a listed race at Naas and a Group 3 at Deauville in 2015 and finished her career in America. 

The same year Viren’s Army finished his career off in style for Richard Hannon Jnr and the Middleham Park team when winning the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester before moving to the Charlie Appleby yard and enjoying success in Meydan for his new trainer. 

Raymond Tusk wasn't seen as a 2-year-old but soon made up for lost time when winning his maiden at Newbury on debut as a 3-year-old. The 11/1 shot put the race to bed at the furlong pole and better was to come when taking a Listed race at Hamilton and a Group 2 in Milan.

Boitron has also won a Listed race this time as a 2-year-old at Newbury and this after winning his first two races of the season. 

A great look down memory lane with plenty of fantastic horses for the Hannon's and the Middleham Park Racing team. I really hope we see another Ventura Storm or maybe another legend like Toolmoore this year out of this bunch.

CITYZEN SERG (Pedigree RAVEN'S PASS (USA) SUMMER DREAM (IRE) OASIS DREAM) is a 3-year-old bay colt who had a few niggles as a 2-year-old, the 75,000 euro purchase will be hopefully making up for the lost time when he makes his debut this season.
  
VENTURA TORMENTA (Pedigree ACCLAMATION (GB) MIDNIGHT OASIS (IRE) OASIS DREAM) is a 2-year-old bay colt who cost £95.000 at the Goffs Premier Yearling Sales and one I will be looking out for this season. 

ROGUE NATION (Pedigree ACCLAMATION (GB) XEMA (GB) DANEHILL) is a 2-year-old with a great pedigree who Richard has a share himself and describes him as a great mover and a real athlete. 

LEXINGTON LIBERTY (Pedigree DANDY MAN (IRE) WARM WELCOME (GB) MOTIVATOR) is a 2-year-old who cost 50,000 euros at the Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sales and a full sister to black-type performer Danielsflyer. Another with a great pedigree and could be an early type to look out for. 

LEXINGTON FURY (Pedigree FOOTSTEPSINTHESAND (GB) MAJRAA (FRA) INVINCIBLE SPIRIT) is a 90,000 euro purchase for the Middleham Park team and looks a nice type who could be out midseason over 6 or 7 furlongs. 

FOUR CLUBS (Pedigree MAXIOS (GB) TRIMURTI (USA) HARLAN’S HOLIDAY) is a 2-year-old who has been described as a physically imposing sort. 

KEEP RIGHT ON (Pedigree ACCLAMATION (GB) KHALICE (GB) BAHAMIAN BOUNTY) A £26,000 purchase at the Goffs Yearling Sales and could be out in April.

MYBOYMAX (Pedigree MYBOYCHARLIE (IRE) PLEBEYA (IRE) DUBAWI) is a 2-year-old purchased at the Osarus Yearling Sales in France. 

VENTURA WIZARD (Pedigree PEARL SECRET (GB) CONCENTRATION (IRE) MIND GAMES) is a 2-year-old that was purchased at the Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale just like Ventura Rebel was last year so hopes are high for this £30,000 colt. Described as looking very strong and looks like a real athlete by the team. 

Thanks for reading and look out for my next 2-year-olds to follow.

Photo: Toormore (A True Champion) 




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