It was with great trepidation and excitement that we ventured to France for three months with a temporary training license and during that time we were blessed with eight winners and fiteen placed runners. In truth, the comparisons in prizemoney are there for everybody to see. Our earnings in France currently total 183,620 euros or £155,785. Compare this to the UK where we have had 18 winners and 23 placed horses to date, and we have roughly accumulated the same figure. I feel that racing in UK needs to take drastic action and be way more proactive in addressing the current prizemoney situation before it’s too late. In short, the smaller owners and trainers cannot survive in this current climate and the foreseeable future for many could be bleak.
On French turf, our first winner came in the shape of Manhattan Jungle while in the ownership of D MacAuliffe, A Don and D De Souza. After destroying a sizeable field of predominantly colts, she caught the eye of Meah Lloyd Bloodstock who pounced to purchase her with a Royal Ascot target in mind for the U.S. based Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. The filly then backed her debut up with another convincing win at Lyon-Parilly before stepping up and winning in Listed class at Vichy. Manhattan was not disgraced at Royal Ascot when only beaten 8 lengths, however, post race, we felt that the five furlongs on very quick ground was to her disadvantage and her next targets will be back in France.
Manhattan Jungle & Tony Piccone winning in France
Baileys Eminence recorded his second career win for G.R. Bailey Ltd (Baileys Horse Feed) having won a 5 ½ furlong claimer easily under Tony Piccone. Being a three year old French Bred he also qualified for the 80% French Premiums which added another 6,840 euros on top of his near 8,000 euros winnings making his trip to France extremely worthwhile.
The wonderful Chateau d’If picked up another win for the Chasing Euros Racing Club. The gelding was purposely bought for a campaign in France and he duly obliged at Lyon-Parilly for the Club members. Tony Piccone was the man on board and dictated the pace from the get-go. Leading the field into the home turn, it was a case of catch me if you can and he gradually asserted his authority to win a shade cosily at the line. Again, he was also eligible for the French Premiums and collected an added 55% on top of his winnings.
Clairefontaine proved to be a happy hunting ground where we gained our first French double for my father courtesy of Carole’s Pass and Mercian Prince. The former is a filly that we have liked since she arrived at Southgate Stables from Ireland and it was especially rewarding to see her win in such convincing fashion having been bred by my father who also bred her dam, the mighty Carole’s Spirit. However, it was enigmatic old timer who stole our hearts once again by putting in a herculean winning performance. Just nine days later, we took a chance and ran him in an 82,000 euro handicap on soft ground which he hates. However, he led the field a merry dance until the dying strides when he was collared just before the line but he still collected 18,000 euros. He might be eleven years of age but he most certainly still behaves like a two year old and I will be forever thankful to him for what he has done throughout my training career.
The dynamic duo - Mercian Prince & Carole's Pass
Another revelation across the channel was Havana Angel. She ran three times here in the UK but, frustratingly, didn’t manage to win even though on her early work we had her on a par with Manhattan Jungle. Her first race came at Dieppe and she absolutely hosed up by ten lengths on the bridle under Tony Piccone. We then took another chance and sent her to Chantilly on French Oaks day for the Group 3 Prix du Bois Longines where she ran an incredible race to finish 3rd, collecting 12,000 euros and, importantly, Black Type. The owners then accepted a wild card entry to the Arqana Summer Sale where she made an eye watering 320,000 euros. Although it always sad to see them leave so early in their career we most certainly wish her new US owners the very best of luck.
Proud connections with Havana Angel after her Group 3 placing at Chantilly
Back in the UK, the rest of team have kept the flag flying with gusto most notably with the multiple winning Pride Of America and The Covex Kid. Pride Of America has continued to excite us following on from his emphatic win at Newcastle. Having only just been denied at Pontefract on his next start he has since gone on to take two Class 3 races. His trademark front running style produced a facile victory at Chester’s big May Festival where he made all under Silvestre De Souza and put the race to bed coming out of the home turn. It was déjà vu at Haydock, same trip, same jockey, same tactics and same result.
Pride Of America & Silvestre De Dousa winning at the Boodle May Festival at Chester
The Covex Kid has gone from strength to strength since arriving at Southgate Stables and is now the first horse by Mehmas to win 4 races in 2022. His first win came at Lingfield, having been off the track for 245 days and with a step up to seven furlongs. We then ran him back four days later with a 6lb penalty where he again made light work of the stiff 7 ½ furlongs at Beverley. Another five days later and it was back up North for another victory at Catterick. His next two starts produced a 3rd and 2nd place and then it was back to winning ways over a mile at Brighton. As you can imagine, he doesn’t do much work at home, but he absolutely thrives on his racing. We did attempt to give him a two week break but he became so fresh that we decided the racecourse was where he wanted to be.
The first of The Covex Kid's four wins which started at Lingfield (photograph courtesy of John Hoy)
Tarbaan picked up his second win of the year with a gutsy performance back at a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile under Stefano Cherchi. So far, he’s been extremely consistent for his owners, Constellation Syndicate & Partner, and he is lightly raced so I am sure there will be more to come throughout the season.
We were delighted to get Dreams Of Thunder off the mark for The Cool Silk Partnership at Nottingham under Benoit De La Sayette. She is another new recruit that had been off the track for an extended period of time having shown plenty of promise as a two year old when trained by Robert Cowell. A bit of give in the ground is one of the keys with her and, at present, with the continued good weather in the UK, I am not sure when or where her next race will be.
Dreams Of Thunder at home prior to winning at Nottingham for The Cool Silk Partnership
Ipanema Princess is a lovely two year old filly who we were fortunate enough to get from the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up. She has a lovely physique and one that looks like she will only get better with time. We were disappointed with her first effort at Newbury as her work at home had been flawless, however, her next two starts were more of what we had been seeing. Narrowly denied at Lingfield, she then won at Epsom in decisive fashion under Stefano Cherchi. Our thoughts now are to try and get Black Type with her and she is likely to head to Sandown this week for a 7 furlong Listed race.
Lastly, the Amy Murphy Racing Club has been a tremendous success with Marie Paradis and Thegreatestshowman providing members with some memorable days at the races. Marie Paradis has scored twice during 2022 and the Showman has taken the Club to some of the best race meeting in the UK, most notably the Epsom Dash on Derby Day where he ran an incredible race flying home at the death having been slowly away at the start. As always, we are more than happy to welcome new members to Club at anytime so if you fancy some fun days at the races with some of our lovely members then please do get in touch.
Members of the Amy Murphy Racing Club in the Epsom Parade Ring on Derby Day
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