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Jonelle and Tim Price top the field at Event Rider Masters third leg competition in Belgium

24-06-2019 A Correspondent

It was Tim Price's first win in an Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition - and his wife Jonelle took second place.  A great day at the office for the New Zealand couple who live in Marlborough.

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Barbury International Horse Trials: preparations well under way & "the grass is looking amazing"

20-06-2019

Up on the Marlborough Downs, preparations for the Barbury International Horse Trials (July 4-7) are on schedule at the Barbury Castle Estate.   The temporary stabling for up to a thousand horses are built and the main marquee is up.  

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Father's Day racing at Salisbury sees Daddy's Daughter make her turf debut on just the right day

19-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

Salisbury racecourse hosted their Family Father’s Day race meeting, with a crowd of 5,000 including children (June 16) and Daddy’s Daughter was undoubtedly the most appropriately named winner of the day.

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Tim Price & Ascona keep Luhmuhlen's top honours in the family

17-06-2019 A Correspondent

New Zealand's Tim Price - recently named world's No. 1 eventer - has added another top trophy to the cabinet - this time taking out the Longines CCI5*-L at the Luhmuhlen Horse Trials in Germany (June 16).

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Newbury Races: She's in a class of her own - Antonia De Vega lands Johnnie Lewis Memorial race by four…

14-06-2019 Emma Blackburn

Antonia De Vegamay have earned the chance to emulate Sea Of Class in the Irish Oaks after coming from last to first to run out a clear cut winner of Newbury’s feature race (June 13), the Listed Johnnie Lewis Memorial British EBF Stakes.

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She won the world's toughest, longest horse race - or pony race - and has written a compelling account of…

14-06-2019

In 2013, on a bit of a whim, Lara Prior-Palmer travelled to Mongolia and became the first woman - and the youngest competitor - to win 'the world’s longest, toughest horse race'.  Six years later this niece of Lucinda Green has written an astonishing book about her race: Rough Magic.

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Salisbury racecourse defies the weather to give punters a card with debuts and surprises

14-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

It was unseasonably damp and cold at Salisbury for their fifth fixture of the season (June 11). 32 millimetres of rain in the 18 hours before racing left the ground soft, heavy in places.

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Newbury: Antonia De Vega's new campaign starts in race last won by Sea Of Class

11-06-2019 Emma Blackburn

Antonia De Vega, winner of last year’s Group 3 Prestige Stakes, is ready to make her first start of the campaign in what promises to be another informative running of the Listed Johnnie Lewis Memorial British EBF Stakes for fillies at Newbury (June 13).

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Top of the world: Tim Price takes first place in the international eventing rankings

05-06-2019

Tim Price has made it to the top spot in the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Eventing Rankings announced yesterday (June 4).

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For the record: Oisin Murphy wins at Salisbury's 'Spire FM Back on the Track' meeting - will he be…

04-06-2019 Harriet Hodgkinson

2018 Salisbury champion jockey Oisin Murphy made a dash across country from a successful afternoon at Goodwood, where he rode a double, to ride Pempie to victory for Andrew Balding, in the closing race on the card - the 10-furlong classified stakes (May 25).

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Eventing: do Badminton four star results give clues for Olympic team selections?

Michael Jung with the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy (photo courtesy: Badminton Horse Trials) Michael Jung with the Mitsubishi Motors Trophy (photo courtesy: Badminton Horse Trials) Germany's Michael Jung riding La Biosthetique took the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2016 four star title - coming home nine points clear of his fellow German Andreas Ostholt on So Is Et.  

His win completed the treble of winning Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton - making Jung only the second winner ever of the £240,000 Rolex Grand Slam prize.

New Zealand's Olympic hopes got a boost with their riders taking fourth, fifth, sixth and tenth places.  Marlborough based Sir Mark Todd took Leonidas II into fourth place - aged 60 will he be going to his seventh Olympics?

Todd was followed by fellow Kiwis Clarke Johnston (fifth), Jonathan Paget (sixth) and Mildenhall based Jonelle Price (tenth).  Jonelle's husband Tim Price was eliminated when he came off Ringwood Sky Boy during the cross country.

New Zealand's Blyth Tait came in at thirteenth place and Jess Campbell was placed at thirty-three.

Jonelle Price's horse Classic Moet - or Molly - was in great form and the pair were one of only ten combinations to come within the allotted time in the cross country.  In the final show jumping stage of the competition, Molly was described as being 'on springs' - with just four faults. 

Molly has now won her own Badminton silver horse and will not feel overawed by Ringwood Sky Boy's trophy when he and Tim came ninth.

Among other headlines:  Great Britain's Gemma Tattersall - who had never been higher in the Badminton results than sixteenth - took third place on Arctic Soul and Zara Tindall rode High Kingdom - who she rode so successfully at the 2012 Olympics - into twenty-third place to give her qualification for the Rio Olympics.

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Field of 14 for Newbury's StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup on Saturday  

 

A field of fourteen is set to go to post for the £50,000 StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup - the highlight of the seven-race card at Newbury on Saturday (March 5) - Greatwood Charity Day.

This is one of the main days for Greatwood's fundraising for its work at Clench Common, Marlborough with retired racehorses and disadvantaged children.
 
The weights for the handicap chase, run over just short of two and a half miles, are headed by Shutthefrontdoor (11st 12lb, Jonjo O'Neill/Barry Geraghty, 16/1 with Stan James), who finished fifth in last season's Grand National and was third over hurdles on his only appearance this season at Aintree in December.
 
Paul NichollsPaul NichollsPaul Nicholls has landed the StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup an amazing seven times since its inception in 2004, including last year's race with Sound Investment.
 
This year the champion Jump trainer, based in Somerset, enters Stan James's 11/2 favourite Art Mauresque (11st 4lb, Noel Fehily) and 7/1 joint second-favourite Sametegal (11st 3lb, Harry Cobden (7)).

Art Mauresque won a novices' chase at Cheltenham in October and went on to finish a close sixth in the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup back at the same course the following month, while fellow novice Sametegal scored at Huntingdon in November and was travelling well when unseating Sam Twiston-Davies in the Grade Two Fuller's London Pride Novices' Chase at Newbury later the same month.
 
Bennys Mist (11st 5lb, Venetia Williams/Liam Treadwell, 9/1) was the three quarters of a length runner-up to Sound Investment last year and has been in great form this season. Successful in the Grand Sefton Chase over two miles and five furlongs of the Grand National course at Aintree in December, he was last seen out when a close third to stable companion Dare Me in a valuable handicap chase at Ascot on January 23.
 
The 10-year-old runs in the Manchester United-inspired colours of the Mezzone family and Graham Mezzone commented today: "Bennys Mist has been an outstanding horse for us and exceeded all our expectations.
 
"He was second to Sound Investment in this race last year and they finished 17 lengths clear of the rest. We were really using the race last year as a prep race before going to Aintree so it was a tremendous effort.
 
"My daughter picked him out as a three-year-old when Venetia held a celebration at her stables after Mon Mome won the Grand National (2009) and he has been a real star for us - he has won almost 10 times what we paid for him.
 
"The horse seems to love Newbury and Aintree - they are the two courses he always seems to run well at. He has run four times at Newbury - he won a novices' chase, fell in a race when Aidan Coleman thought he would have won and ran a cracking race in the Greatwood Gold Cup last year.
  
French trainer Emmanuel Clayeux is set to saddle his first runners at Newbury in the StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup, headed by Pythagore (11st 8lb, Felix de Giles, 10/1), a multiple winner over fences in France including in a Grade Two contest at Auteuil in November. Clayeux's other starter is Vicomte Du Seuil (10st 8lb, Jacques Ricou, 12/1), who won a chase at Pau in December and ran most recently when runner-up in a hurdle at the same venue on February 2.
 
Other contenders prominent in the betting market with Stan James include Little Jon (11st 3lb, Nigel Twiston-Davies/Wayne Hutchinson, 7/1), successful over the course and distance in November, and Generous Ransom (10st 10lb, Nick Gifford/Daryl Jacob, 8/1), a winner at Cheltenham last season who hinted at a return to form on his latest start at Doncaster in December.
 
Colin Tizzard's yard is in great form and is set to be represented by Ultragold (10st 5lb, Paddy Brennan, 8/1), a comfortable winner at Wincanton last month.
 
 

 

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Champion jockey AP McCoy to retire this season: surprise announcement after Newbury win

"The real McCoy" - talking to Rishi Persad"The real McCoy" - talking to Rishi PersadThe nineteen times champion jump jockey AP (Tony) McCoy brought Mr Mole home at Newbury on Saturday to win the Betfair Rush Chase - and as he rode back to the winner's enclosure he told Channel Four Racing's Rishi Persad that he is retiring by the end of the season.

Mr Mole, trained by Paul Nicholls, gave McCoy another landmark in his career - he was his 200th winner of the season and it is the ninth season he has reached 200 winners.

Speaking to Channel Four Racing, McCoy said:  "I want to go while I'm still enjoying racing and while I am still near the top.   This is without a doubt the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I've been dreading this day."

But he did say that being Champion Jockey twenty times would be "a good number" - and that looks a cert as there is no one to challenge him this season.

McCoy's wife, Chanelle, said: "He made the decision maybe two weeks ago. Some days he's at peace with it, some days he's a little bit sad. Hopefully he'll be 20 years champion jockey this year and will go out on a high."

McCoy is 40 years old - and is part owner of The Outside Chance pub in Manton.  He and his wife and two children live north of the Marlborough Downs.
In 2010 he won the Grand National - at his fifteenth attempt - and went on to become the first jockey to be BBC Television's Sports Personality of the Year.

As if to prove that racing is a game of hard knocks and ups and downs, in the very next race at Newbury McCoy's horse fell at the first fence.  He was riding the Jonjo O'Neill trained Goodwood Mirage in The Betfair Hurdle - which has a prize fund of £155,000.

Walking back after his fall Walking back after his fall With trainer Jonjo O'NeillWith trainer Jonjo O'Neill

 

He seemed none the worse for his fall as he walked back along the course explaining to Jono O'Neill what had happened to the 5-year-old Goodwood Mirage.

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Champion jockey Richard Hughes retiring early to start training

Richard Hughes at NewburyRichard Hughes at NewburyRichard Hughes, who lives in Collingbourne Ducis and has been stable jockey to the nearby Hannons' training yard for twenty years, has announced he his retiring before the end of the current flat racing season.

As the Racing Post headline put it so succinctly: "Champ calling time at top of his game as he puts future first."  That future is his new career as a trainer - based just over the border in Hampshire at Stockbridge.

He had said he wanted to be flat racing's Champion Jockey for a fourth year running.  Now, as the preparations for his training yard take preference, he will retire in two weeks' time - at the end of Goodwood.  From August 1 he will no longer be a jockey.

Earlier in the year Hughes told Marlborough News Online that it would be harder to win the championship again as he had to make time to prepare his yard and employ his staff.  With 45 winners on the board, he could still have won the championship - though at present he is lying in second place in the table behind Silvestre de Sousa.

On Saturday (July 18) Richard Hughes rode a winner at Newbury.  He took the four-year-old Windfast, trained by Brian Meehan at Manton, to beat Mister Universe by a length in a seven furlong handicap.  As it happens Mister Universe was ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.

Richard Hughes in the Queen's racing colours Richard Hughes in the Queen's racing colours Hughes wrote in his Racing Post column: "It's only recently things started to change in my head.  I began to realise the enormity of what I was trying to take.  While at the July Sales at Newmarket it became obvious how much time, care and attention I must devote to the upcoming yearly sales.'

"I honestly feel my first full year of training will be the most important year in my training career."

Hughes apologised to those who had backed him to retain the championship.  Betfair Sportsbook and BoyleSports have said they will refund stakes on Hughes.

Richard Hannon, who is Hughes' brother-in-law, said: "`It's the end of an era but he wanted to enjoy his last couple of weeks and Goodwood has been good to him, so it's a nice place to end things."

Richard Hannon told the Racing Post: "I totally understand his situation.  He wants to get on with training and that's fine.  he has to do what's best for him."

2015 will indeed go down in racing history as the end of an era.  In April twenty times Champion Jump Jockey AP McCoy retired.

Before he retired: AP McCoy with trainer Jonjo O'NeillBefore he retired: AP McCoy with trainer Jonjo O'Neill

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Changing the game : five great achievements by female jockeys in 2015

Lizzie Kelly dashes back to weigh-in Lizzie Kelly dashes back to weigh-in On Boxing Day 22-year-old Lizzie Kelly, who lives and works near Marlborough, made history, becoming the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 race over jumps in the UK.  Kelly was riding Tea For Two at Kempton Park Racecourse in the Kauto Star Novice Chase for trainer and Nick Williams - who is her step-father.  Tea for Two is owned by her mother, Jane Williams.   

Lizzie Kelly has brought the curtain down in a fitting fashion on a decisive year for female jockeys.  In 2015 we celebrated some major milestones of women’s achievements on the racecourse around the globe.   Here are some highlights:

Silver Saddle for Sammy Jo

Sammy Jo Bell (photo Louise Pollard)Sammy Jo Bell (photo Louise Pollard)Apprentice Jockey Sammy Jo Bell was the heroine at this year’s Shergar Cup held at Ascot Racecourse in August.  Following a late call up for the ‘Girls’ Team', Bell won two of the six races – in the process arguably outriding four times winner of the L’Arc De Triomphe Olivier Peslier, as well as Damien Oliver - a three times winner of the Melbourne Cup.

Along with team mates Hayley Turner, the first female jockey to win a Group 1 race outright in the UK and Canadian Emma Jayne-Wilson, the girls were crowned the Queens of the Shergar Cup beating Great Britain and Ireland; Europe and the Rest of the World consisting of leading male jockeys from around the globe. Bell was also awarded the coveted silver saddle trophy as the fixture’s top jockey.  

Hayley Turner on Iftikaar (photo: John Grossick)Hayley Turner on Iftikaar (photo: John Grossick)In October, Sammy Jo’s contemporary and confessed role model Hayley Turner announced her retirement from race riding.  The 32-year-old is Britain’s most successful female flat jockey.  She became the first women to ride 100 winners in a year and accumulated 750 wins during her career including two Group One races: the July Cup at Newmarket and York’s Nunthorpe Stakes.  She also became joint champion apprentice jockey in 2005.  

Michelle Payne says ‘get stuffed’

Michelle Payne became another history maker on the 3 November, when victorious in the race that stops a nation – the Melbourne Cup in Australia. Payne became the first woman to win the race in its 155-year history.  

Riding Prince of Penzance, the pair were sent off as outsiders with odds of 100-1.  However following a strong move down the home straight they held off the fast-finishing Max Dynamite, ridden by Frankie Dettori, by three-quarters of a length to secure victory.  

Moments after making history, Payne made some controversial remarks much quoted in the press, criticising the racing world as chauvinistic.

Sopohie Doyle on Fioretti Sopohie Doyle on Fioretti Doyle flies the flag State-side

Brit Sophie Doyle has been making a name for herself riding in America over the past two years.  After becoming disillusioned due to lack of riding opportunities in the UK, Doyle made the decision to move to first California then Kentucky.  In her second year riding in the US she’s won over $1.6 million in prize money.   

In 2015 she rode in 747 races and won 72, however Sophie’s highlight was making her Breeders’ Cup début in the $1m Filly and Mare Sprint race, riding Fioretti the mare that brought her first graded stakes victory.    

 

Katie Walsh (Photo: Aintree Racecourse) Katie Walsh (Photo: Aintree Racecourse) Katie Walsh - Thunder and Roses at the Irish Grand National

Katie Walsh, arguably the most successful woman jump jockey in Britain and Ireland, in April became the third female in history to claim the Irish Grand National as she guided Thunder And Roses to victory at Fairyhouse, Ireland.

It is 31 years since jockey Ann Ferris struck gold aboard Bentom Boy, while Nina Carberry, also a highly respected Irish jump jockey, enjoyed National glory also aboard Organisedconfusion in 2011.

So what does 2016 hold?

Walsh is the most the successful female jockey in the world’s most famous jump race the Grand National held at Aintree. In 2011 she finished in third place riding Sea Bass.  She is tipped to become the first woman to win the ultimate test of horse and jockey.

Women jockeys have proven in 2015 that when given the opportunity they can deliver on a world stage.  So come on trainers and owner’s keep up the support and let’s cheer home the first Grand National female ridden winner in 2016!


Harriet works in Marlborough running Rochester Women, specialising in PR and marketing for sportswomen and female teams. All the details here.  Read her blog SportWoman            

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Brodie Hampson voted Stobart Jockey of the Month for her February victories

Brodie Hampson being interviewd on Channel 4 Racing (Photo by C4 Racing)Brodie Hampson being interviewd on Channel 4 Racing (Photo by C4 Racing)Amateur jump jockey Brodie Hampson has been voted the Stobart Jockey of the Month following her two victories in her father's colours.  On February 19 she won the Royal Military Gold Cup on Jennys Surprise - her first win over jumps.

Her father Mark Hampson was there to see her win - he is at present patient at the Prospect Hospice suffering from cancer.

The Jockey of the Month award was made at Sandown (March 12) - with an interview on Channel 4 Racing's transmission.

Brodie Hampson is part of trainer Sally Randell's team at Broad Hinton.  Sally and Brodie, who is 21 years-old, have worked together for the past five years.

Just before February disappeared, Brodie also rode the eight year-old gelding Goal to win at Southwell in a two mile selling handicap hurdle.  Goal is owned by Mark Hampson and - to complete the circle - is trained by Sally Randell.

 Brodie Hampson's award announced on Twitter by Great British Racing - horseracing’s official marketing & promotional bodyBrodie Hampson's award announced on Twitter by Great British Racing - horseracing’s official marketing & promotional bodyAnd to add to the 'firsts', Goal was Sally Randell's first winner since she got her training licence in November.

The Stobart Jockey of the Month is voted for by Channel 4 Racing viewers.  Also nominated for February was Richard Johnson - for reaching his two hundredth winner of the season.  Johnson tweeted his congratulations to Brodie.

Interviewed on Channel 4 Racing by Alice Plunkett, Brodie said: "It means a lot - and thanks to everyone for voting for me - it's a privilege."  She was asked how her father was: "He's doing well - he has good days and bad days, but he's been good lately."

Another young woman jockey, Lizzie Kelly, was voted last December's Jockey of the Month.  At the time she worked for Neil King up on the Marlborough Downs above Broad Hinton.

Jenny's Surprise won again at Sandown on Friday (March 11.)   Trained by Fergal O'Brien and ridden this time by Lieutenant Colonel Erica Bridge, she won the Grand Military Gold Cup - a three mile chase for military amateur riders.  

And to nearly complete the connections - Sally Randell was the first woman to win the Grand Military Gold Cup - indeed won it three times.

Great British Racing - horseracing’s official marketing and promotional body.

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Champion jockey Richard Hughes eyes two of trainer Richard Hannon's hopes for the new flat season

Tiggy Wiggy - with Richard Hughes - wins the Cheveley Park Stakes (September 2014) (photograph by Steven Cargill)Tiggy Wiggy - with Richard Hughes - wins the Cheveley Park Stakes (September 2014) (photograph by Steven Cargill)Richard Hughes is looking forward eagerly to see how two of Richard Hannon's great successes of the 2014 flat season will shape up now they have graduated from two- year-old to three-year-old status:  Tiggy Wiggy and Ivawood.

The bay filly Tiggy Wiggy won five of her seven starts on turf - with Hughes riding her in four of those races.

Marlborough News Online asked Richard Hughes whether, now she's a three-year-old, she can have similar successes this season? "Don't know.  Only she knows that. Before she raced, she was a menace in the yard - used to take off a bit.  When she won her first outing by seven lengths we were amazed - she was never meant to be this good."

The day before her appearance at Ascot last June, she got loose and was out for about half-an-hour.  Hughes thinks she may have calmed down: "She's not as small a horse as some people think, and she got bigger over the winter."

She is set to make her first appearance in mid-April at Newbury's Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials meeting:  "She'll go for seven furlongs - and if she gets that, she'll go for a mile.  She's a bit of freak - we'll have to give her the benefit and try the distance - if not she'll go for sprints."

She is already entered for the 1000 Guineas at the beginning of May.

Richard Hughes believes the bay colt Ivawood is a different matter altogether: "He's the real deal.  We have huge belief in him - I've no doubt he'll stay."

Ivawood won three out of his four races as a two-year-old - all partnered with Richard Hughes.  For a two-year-old Ivawood was a very big horse.   After his Goodwood victory last year Richard Hannon was also optimistic about his future: “Physically he looks streets ahead of a lot of two-year-olds, and I don’t think he will become ‘just a two-year-old’."

Ivawood came second at Newmarket in October - and Hughes believes that at that time he was having some growing pains in his bones.  Over six furlongs he came home second to Charming Thought.

He is entered for Newbury's mid-April Greenham Stakes - seen as a trial for the 2,000 Guineas.  The Richard Hughes-Richard Hannon Senior combination last won this seven furlong race in 2013 with Olympic Glory.

And he is entered for May's Qipco 2,000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket.

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Changing places: Sally Randell takes over Broad Hinton training yard from Andy Turnell

 

Sally Randell and KillimordalySally Randell and KillimordalySally Randell has just applied for her training licence.  For the past year she has been assistant trainer at Andy Turnell's yard on the edge of Broad Hinton - soon she will be taking over the yard.  

Turnell, who as a youngster was a star jockey and then became the quiet man of racehorse training, is still recovering from the stroke he had two years ago which paralysed much of his right side.  He will be changing to a 'supporting role' at the stables.

He and his wife hit it off with Sally from the word go.  He told the Racing Post: "I'm confident this will work.  Apart from being a tireless worker, Sally is bringing new owners to the yard."

Turnell 'inherited' his licence from his father who trained at Ogbourne Maizey.  But Turnell, who is now 66, moved his training establishment around England, before settling back to Wiltshire and his everyday view of the Hackpen white horse.

Sally had been training point-to-pointers in Wales and when she arrived at the Turnell yard just a year ago, it was empty.  While Andy was recovering from his stroke, the horses had gone to other other trainers.  Working together closely , Andy, his wife Gilly and Sally have re-built the yard and have been having successes - six winners in the 2014-2015 jump season.

There are now seven horses training in the licensed yard for the summer.  In the winter Sally hopes to get that up to sixteen or seventeen.

Sally has completed her three modules at Newmarket's British Racing School.  Also on her courses was another soon-to-be trainer from just the other side of Marlborough, champion jockey Richard Hughes.

On the all-weather circuit On the all-weather circuit When Marlborough News Online was at the stables, Sally and amateur jockey Brodie Hampson were riding out the final two horses of the morning.  Brodie was on the eight year-old Waddingtown Hero who has had two recent wins in chases at Ffos Las.

"Ffos Las has been good for us," says Sally with a smile.  But looking closer at the results tables you find that Waddingtown Hero has come third-first-second-second-first in his last five races - providing quite a tonic for the yard.

Sally was riding the bay gelding Killimordaly - a six year-old named after a village near Galway.  His Irish owner, Patsy Hardiman, died recently - very suddenly.   

Sally Randell, Donnas Palm, Brodie Hampson Sally Randell, Donnas Palm, Brodie Hampson His  family are keeping Hardiman's other horse, the four year-old Any Destination.  But Sally is now forming a syndicate to keep Killimordaly at the yard.  He raced over hurdles last season and early in June he came second in a two mile seven furlong chase at Ffos Las.

Brodie, in the earliest of her twenties, has known Sally since she was eleven.  Her father was Sally's detachment commander when they were serving with the Royal Artillery.  And she met Brodie who kept a pony at the regimental Saddle Club when Sally was there.  

They have worked together for five years and Sally believes Brodie has a great future as a jockey.  She won her first ever point-to-point race and with six wins over jumps and under rules she came second in the 2014-2015 Amateur Lady Jockeys National Hunt Championship - behind Bridget Andrews.

Sally told us that one of best memories of her year at the stables was seeing the delight on Andy Turnell's face when Brodie rode Aristocracy to a three lengths victory in a hurdle race at Wincanton last November: "He thinks the world of Brodie."

Sally herself was no mean jockey and only announced her retirement earlier this year.  In 2009, riding Oakfield Legend, she became the first woman to win Sandown's Grand Military Gold Cup.  She won it again in 2014 on Bradley and again this year on Loose Chips.   

Another boost to her year has been seeing how Andy made great progress in his recovery once the horses were back in the yard: "He's back to his old self."  

He travels to the races with Sally, but gets pretty tired.  Every week he goes to Oaksey House, the Injured Jockeys Fund headquarters in Lambourn, for physiotherapy - and he rides with the Lambourn Riding for the Disabled.

Sally says the Turnell training establishment is "A really great yard" and she is very pleased to be taking it over.  It has 17 licensed boxes, enough paddocks for the horses to be turned out every day, an under-cover horse walker ("Great for the winter!") and a long all-weather circuit.  Further down, the barn has sixteen more horses that Sally plans to keep for point-to-pointers.

Brodie Hampson & Donnas Palm at the Cambridge Harriers Point-to-Point, Cottenham December 2014 (Photo copyright Racehorse Photos) Brodie Hampson & Donnas Palm at the Cambridge Harriers Point-to-Point, Cottenham December 2014 (Photo copyright Racehorse Photos) On the day we visited Sally, yard manager Gerald Burton and his son Sam were away on training courses.  Sam is just turning sixteen and joins as a novice aiming to be an amateur jockey.

Sally has just appointed Emma Owen to look after the yard's admin and publicity, and she too has been at the Racing School.  And Kate Leahy is joining the team soon.

And then we are introduced to Donnas Palm - an eleven year-old grey gelding with a history and now quite a magisterial presence at the yard.  

Beginning in 2008, Donnas Palm raced in Ireland and chalked up six wins and three seconds in his first 13 outings.  Ridden by such well-known jockeys as Paul Carberry and Barry Geraghty, he won eleven races under rules.   Racing in England from April 2013 onwards was not such a success.

He is now trained by Sally for point-to-pointing.  In that first race in Ireland at Navan he was ridden by Nina Carberry, so it is fitting that Brodie Hampson has been racing him recently.

Brodie says he is an 'absolutely straightforward horse'.  There is, however, a 'but'.  If he finds himself in the 'wrong position' with other horses in a race "He simply tries his best to stop."  Brodie now has the measure of him and Sally hopes he will be at the yard for the rest of his days.

Thanks to Racehorse Photos for use of their photo of Brodie Hampson and Donnas Palm.

[Click on photos to enlarge them.]

 

 

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Chelsea Pearce wins Chepstow charity race - on a camel

 

Sam Twiston-Davies (left) & Chelsea approaching the finishSam Twiston-Davies (left) & Chelsea approaching the finishCharity races have been in the news recently - Victoria Pendleton  (retired cycling champion) and Tony McCoy (retired jump jockey champion) have both made headlines riding for charity at some of England's premier racecourses.

They were both riding race horses.  Chelsea Pearce won her charity race at Chepstow Racecourse on a camel - what is more in the final she came home ahead of the highly rated jockey Sam Twiston-Davies who had been the runaway winner of the three heats.

Though still at school, Chelsea Pearce, who is based near Marlborough, is making her mark as an accomplished eventer.

The race was sponsored by William Hill and was to provide funds for the Bristol-based Paul's Place charity.  Paul's Place works to improve the lives of physically disabled adults across South Gloucestershire, Bath and North-East Somerset, North Somerset and Bristol.

Chelsea - in the orange and light blue silks - led all the way in the final race: "It was  for a great cause - and I had a wonderful day!"  It certainly does not look the easiest of rides.

You can still support Paul's Place at this Justgiving web-page.

They're off...They're off...

 

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