All Things Southgate
It has been an incredible few weeks of sport and British sportspeople have proudly flown the flag for our country. Royal Ascot provided us with its usual high calibre of equine athletes, while over at Wimbledon, Emma Raducanu burst on to the tennis scene and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the future. We now have the Tokyo Olympics to savour over the next two weeks plus the British & Irish Lions have taken the first out of three Test Matches against the Springboks. However, it was the England football team that really brought the nation together during the Euro 2020 and if I had a pound for every time I heard “It’s Coming Home” I’d be an incredibly rich woman by now. Gareth Southgate and his team of players should be immensely proud of their achievements and any aspiring young footballer have the likes of Rashford, Sancho and Saka as rolemodels to look up to. Having made it through the group stages and past Germany it seemed fitting that, as we train from Southgate Stables, we should reserve the name with the British Horseracing Authority. Thankfully, "Southgate" was available and subsequently approved by the powers that be and we now need to find a horse that fits the name.
Ehrmann has been ultra-consistent since his winning at Southwell on his seasonal debut having racked up three seconds and a third. We did try him over six furlongs at Kempton however he is all speed, and five furlongs appears to be his optimum trip. He is also a horse that prefers soft ground so the trip and the going at Pontefract at the beginning of July were ideal for him. Drawn 4 of 5, the three horses drawn widest tracked right over to the stands rail while the other two runners remained on the far rail. Coming down the home straight, the deceptive camera angle made it hard to decipher Ehrmann's true position. However, once the camera straightened up on the line it was clear that Tom Marquand had ridden an impeccable race as the duo were the comfortable winners.
Dual winner Ehrmann with Lemos de Souza on board
Alborkan is another very consistent horse and finished his dual-purpose campaign with a facile win at Plumpton followed by a third at Market Rasen. He’s a horse that can expend to much energy, so we spent a lot of time at home helping him to relax, however, this backfired on us somewhat as he “fell asleep” when taking the lead at Market Rasen and managed to get pipped on the line. Although he is a four year old he is still very lightly raced having only run thirteen times. With three wins, three seconds and two thirds to his name, I am sure there is still plenty of exciting times ahead for owners Jamie Hambro and Alan & Sally Coney.
Alborkan at exercise during the winter months
Tonyx was bought out of Ed Walker’s as a future broodmare for Philip & Lesley Rann. Being out of Kadoma she comes from the legendary Fittocks Stud bloodline of Kithanga whose pedigree includes horses like Milan and Koora who is the dam of Kemari. She is a filly that requires plenty of patience as she also tends to expend too much energy both at home and on the racecourse. However, she won by 25 lengths at Sedgefield under Jack Quinlan before taking a heavy fall at Taunton. She has since had a wonderful holiday back at her owner’s Mill Farm Stud and, due to the fantastic care she has received from Jade Taylor, she has returned to Southgate Stables looking a million dollars.
Tonyx & her best friend Flash after winning at Sedgefield
Hawthorn Cottage is another of our favourites who finished her 20/21 campaign with a tenacious win at Warwick. It turned out to be an emotional victory as jockey Lucy Barry who bought the affectionately known Big Momma H and has ridden her in all but one of her races, retired from race riding immediately after crossing the line. Lucy had ridden a winner for owners Melbourne 10 Racing under ever possible code bar over fences so, once she had the race in the bag, she decided to call it a day. Thankfully, Lucy will not be a stranger as she continues to be Racing Manager for Melbourne 10.
Hawthorn Cottage & Lucy Barry relaxing after an emotional win at Warwick
It was lovely to get another winner on the board for G.R. Baileys Ltd (Baileys Horse Feed) with Love Baileys. Top of the ground has obviously been the key to her as she has produced two solid runs with a win and a close second both at Yarmouth under Stefano Cherchi.
Zebelle was originally bought by my partner Lemos de Souza as a breeze up project. Having been accepted for the Guineas Breeze Up sale, she then failed to make her reserve in the sales ring, even though she produced a good breeze. Because of this, Lemos was obviously reluctant to let her go as he felt she was more than capable of winning races. This proved to be the case on her racecourse debut as she won impressively over five furlongs under Martin Harley. This then secured a wildcard entry for her in the Tattersalls July Sale where she was bought for Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah and we hope she proves to be very successful for him.
What can be said about Mercian Prince that hasn’t already been said. Our very own unicorn is still proving that he can mix it with the kids having started his 21/22 campaign with a good second at Market Rasen followed by a gutsy win in a Class 2 at Worcester. The old boy just doesn’t know when to give up especially if he is allowed to dictate from the front. As always, Jack Quinlan was on board and knows exactly how Prince likes to race and once he had established a lead down the back there was no way another horse was going to get past. We took a chance in the Grade 3 Summer Plate at Market Rasen even though we knew the 2m5f might be too far for him. This proved to be the case and Jack brought him home safely and he is now enjoying a mini break at grass with some of his friends.
Mercian Prince & Jack Quinlan at full stretch on the Newmarket gallops
Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to our wonder mare Really Super who has been retired from racing due to a small but significant injury. What a journey we have all had thanks to her incredible versatility. She has won races under every code with the pinnacle of her career being the aforementioned Summer Plate. Regally bred by Meon Valley Stud, her pedigree page is full of Black Type and as one chapter finishes another one starts, so she will now head to the broodmare paddocks in the near future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank White Diamond Racing and all its members for giving me the opportunity to train such a special horse.
Really Super and her devoted groom Connor Fox
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