2021 has a positive feel about it for so many of us in the racing industry. For what now feels like an eternity, the priority over the last year has been getting Covid-19 under control. It has been a testing time for everybody both financially and mentally but there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine rollout has been incredible, and the third (and hopefully last) lockdown has seen cases of the virus reduce dramatically in numbers. We are now on the verge of a phased lockdown exit and, with this, the expected return of owners and crowds to the racecourse. I for one will be extremely happy to see people back enjoying our great sport as the past year has not been the same without an atmosphere. Once again, I must thank all my loyal owners for sticking with us during this financially taxing time.
We have also been blessed with our wonderful horses, who continue to fly the flag for Southgate Stables. The ultra-consistent, Thegreatshowman, was in tremendous form leading up to Christmas and into the New Year, picking up a Class 3 handicap on New Year’s Day and being placed in his last six starts. Part of the Amy Murphy Racing Club, he amassed a total of £15,000 for the club and, along with Lilypad’s achievements earlier in 2020, it has been an incredibly enjoyable term for the Club members. We are always happy to welcome new members to the Club so please get in touch if you are interested in being part of our team.
Our golden nugget, Jennivere, picked up another race for owner/breeder Mr James Acheson at Lingfield Park under Marco Ghiani. Although drawn in stall four, as the race panned out, she found herself on the wide outside and virtually last coming round the home turn. Thankfully, she showed a good turn of foot to power her way to the front to win again by the shortest of margins. She has now been retired and will head back to Mr Acheson’s Tirnaskea Stud to join his band of broodmares.
Two time winner Jennivere with Shannon Bishop
Billy’s Angel has proved to be slightly frustrating since arriving with us from Ireland with a rating of 106. Unfortunately, the BHA handicapper’s assessment of him was much harsher as he rated him 10lb higher at 116 which ultimately made it difficult to find suitable races for him. This coupled with his preference for quicker ground made life incredibly difficult especially as his work at home is always good. However, thanks to the additional jumpers bumper fixtures we managed to get him on the quicker All-Weather surface at Kempton. Jack Quinlan had him buried in amongst the pack and then took the race by the scruff of the neck at the cutaway in the rail to win by 1 ¾ lengths.
Billy's Angel & Jack Quinlan winning at Kempton Park
Another one of our stars to take advantage of the jumpers bumpers was the really super Really Super. This versatile mare had an incredible 2020 and picked up from where she left off winning with plenty in hand under Jack Quinlan. We then let her take her chance in the new mares chase at the Cheltenham Festival, however, it was not to be. She made a few errors early on which prevented her from getting into a rhythm on the undulating track and the ground was also on the dead side which would not have suited her. I have no doubt she will be back in the winners enclosure sooner rather than later for her enthusiastic syndicate White Diamond Racing.
Soldier On Parade was another to make a winning return to the races at Lingfield after a well earnt holiday. It also marked the return of Gabriele Malune to race riding. Gabriele sustained two broken vertebrae and a broken wrist in a fall at Yarmouth last August and had been out of action since. In all honesty, we thought this would be a prep race for both horse and jockey in order to get them 100% fit for the rest of the year. As it turned out, both had enough in the tank to hold on by a head, however, we are pretty sure that Gabriele blew up before Soldier On Parade did. The sad news is that Gabriele has returned home to his native Italy having been offered a job he could not turn down. He will be missed by everyone at Southgate Stables, however, we wish him the very best of luck in his new job.
Nirodha came good again for Daniel MacAuliffe and Anoj Don at Wolverhampton winning for the first time over a mile. Reunited with Rossa Ryan, she sat handy until the home turn then kicked clear down the home straight, a performance which was reminiscent of her win at Haydock last year. She is another that is due to be retired to stud, however, she will have one last swansong at either Lingfield on All- Weather Championship day or Kempton in the Listed Snowdrop Fillies Stakes.
Ehrmann was a special winner for the team as a lot of patience and hard work has gone into getting him back to the track. Having only ran once at Windsor last year, he picked up an injury in the race which unfortunately required a period of rehab before we ran out of time in 2020. This horse has always shown a huge amount to promise in his work at home and to see him produce a stunning victory under Stefano Cherchi at Southwell made the wait worthwhile. It was also another success for my partner, Lemos De Souza, who bought Ehrmann as a yearling back in 2019. Lemos has a particularly good eye when it comes to buying horses and he has nurtured Ehrmann into the horse he is today. Without tempting fate, there could be plenty more to come from him.
Lastly, a small word on Kalashnikov who is gradually working his way back to somewhere near his best. His problems have been widely documented over the last year and, again, it is down to the hard work of everyone involved behind the scenes who have got him back to where he is now. He has now been placed in his last three starts all of which were in Graded races and with any luck his final race of the season will be back at Aintree where he picked up his Grade 1 victory.
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