It has been a long and frustrating few months. Now Sally Randell Racing of Broad Hinton is official - and officially licensed.
She has been assistant trainer to Andy Turnell and today (November 19) she declares Sir Albie for his National Hunt flat race at Haydock on Friday - he will be the first horse running in her name as his licensed trainer.
Sally Randell applied to the British Horseracing Authority for her trainer's license back in July. She got her NVQ Level 3 in horse management and she did the required modules at the British Racing School in Newmarket - alongside Richard Hughes.
Like Hughes, Sally is a jockey turned trainer. After five years with the Royal Artillery, she became the first woman to win Sandown's Grand Military Gold Cup - and after winning it twice more, retired from the saddle and started training point-to- pointers.
She came to the Broad Hinton yard a year after Andy Turnell suffered a stroke and had had to close the yard. As assistant trainer, she helped re-open it and has been bringing more owners and horses to the yard.
Most of the Sally Randell Racing team - l to r: Emma Owen, Sally Randell, Gerald Burton, Sam Burton, Kate Leahy and Brodie HampsonIn those months she has been gathering a team to work under Andy and ready for when her license came through. The yard will be sponsored by the Jigsaw women's dress chain.
Gerald Burton is her yard manager. He was an amateur jockey for twenty years, worked as travelling head lad for local trainer Jim Old on the Barbury Castle downs, and started his own training yard for point-to-pointers. In his spare time he enjoys training his children's ponies to race.
Emma Owen is Sally's racing secretary. She has a degree in nutrition from Nottingham University. She has her own small yard - Coldharbour Grazing near Faringdon. Her main interest is in breeding and hopes to expand the stud side of her yard over the next few years: "I also enjoy competing with my own two horses in British Dressage and British Eventing."
Brodie Hampson is an amateur jockey with a Category B licence - which allows her to ride against professional jockeys in National Hunt races. She started riding point-to-pointers while Sally was training them. On the flat she has had 30 rides with five winners and seven placings.
Over jumps Brodie has had 38 rides with seven winners and ten placings: "Looking to the future I hope to progress to riding a lot more winners and riding for different trainers and owners - and hope to turn professional once I have achieved everything I would like to as a an amateur."
Sam Burton (Gerald's son) has worked for Roger Charlton at Beckhampton and for Louise Carberry in France. He has raced ponies - and competed as part of the British team against Ireland in County Kerry. He has been working with Sally for over a year, has his amateur dual licence and looks forward to riding in point-to-points and under rules for Sally Randell Racing.
Kate Leahy studied horsemanship and equitation in college and when she was 18 first worked in racing for an Irish trainer. In May this year she began a fourteen week course at the British School of Racing - were she met Sally and was offered a job: "I am delighted to be a part of the team here at Sally's and next year I hope to take out my amateur licence."
James Best started racing on the flat - following in his grandfather's footsteps. But switched to the jumps and worked for Alan King and won an important amateur race at Cheltenham. Now he is a freelance jockey and rode 'a few winners' for Sally last season: "Target for this season is to ride out the last few winners of my [conditional jockey's] three pound claim. My aspiration for the future is to be in the top twenty jockeys in the country."
Tanya Charlton worked for eight years at Mick Channon's yard. She started working at Broad Hinton this year: In the future, I hope to start riding again and become a full time yard manager and maybe assistant trainer."
Laura Brown has worked in racing since she was sixteen - for Peter Taylor, Jeff King and then Andy Turnell. She now works for Wiltshire Council - and does the Saturday shifts and rides out for Sally.
Who is the other very important person in the team, the man with all the experience? Andy Turnell was a successful jockey for 19 years, a successful trainer for 34 years. He trained winners of the Grand National, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Hennessy and Whitbread - as well as a fourth in the Derby. He still likes to go racing and will still be involved in the running of the yard - as assistant trainer.
Coming soon: Sally Randell Racing's horses to watch.
Paul Nicholls with Dodging BulletsSaturday (February 13) approaches and all eyes are on the weather for Newbury's Betfair Super Saturday - its first major race day of the year.
The latest news from the course was that the ground was drying and might end up a little better than this latest forecast: hurdle course - heavy, soft in places and chase course - soft, heavy in places.
Nine times champion trainer, Paul Nicholls looked as though he would send out the favourites in all three of the card's main races. But the Irish trained Blazer has deposed Nicholls' entry Modus as favourite for the Betfair Hurdle. Modus is owned by J.P. McManus and trained at Nicholls' Somerset yard.
Rocky CreekBlazer is trained by Willie Mullins, owned by J.P. McManus and will be ridden by Barry Geraghty.
Betfair say that Geraghty's choice of Blazer over Modus meant there was 'no doubt' the Irish-trained horse will go off the favourite of the 22 runners for the Betfair Hurdle. Modus will be ridden by Nick Scholfield who has been schooling Modus since he joined at the yard.
Just a week ago punters could have found Blazer at 33-1. The odds shortened after his performance at Leopardstown on ground that some judged too heavy to race at all.
The other favourites from Nicholls' yard are Rocky Creek - now favourite for the Betfair Denman Chase - and punters' favourite Dodging Bullets who is clear favourite for the Betfair Exchange Chase.
With good advanced bookings, Newbury are expecting a record crowd for the meeting. The meeting has prize money totalling £350,000.
IRichard Hannon receives his Lockinge trophyt was the first time Newbury Racecourse's Lockinge Day was sponsored by Al Shaqab - the major equestrian and training centre in Qatar. And the card's prize money topped £750,000 making it Newbury's richest ever in the course's 110-year history.
The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes - with a total prize fund this year of £350,000 - was won by the Godolphin owned four-year-old colt Night of Thunder, trained at Richard Hannon's Marlborough stables and ridden by James Doyle.
Second by a neck in the 15 horse field was another Hannon trained horse, Toormore ridden by champion jockey Richard Hughes, who is Hannon's stable jockey.
For Richard Hannon it was his second consecutive win in the Lockinge after Olympic Glory won the 2014 race: “We are delighted. Toormore has run a super race and Night Of Thunder looked to me that he was going to go and win very well and has probably just got tired after a long time off the track. I couldn’t be more pleased."
Night of Thunder was Godolphin's sixth Lockinge Stakes victory - a new record for the race. The race was watched by a crowd of 13,343 - up on last year's attendance.
Ryan Moore and Mrs Charlton on the podiumThe race before the Lockinge Stakes was the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup - won by another local trainer, Roger Charlton of Beckhampton. Time Test was ridden by Ryan Moore who won five of the day's seven races - a spectacular achievement which enthralled the crowds. His feat was said to be a 1,961.6/1 chance - if anyone had thought to lay a bet with the bookies on the number of his winning rides.
Roger Charlton reported on his website: "Time Test behaved beautifully in the prelims and the work that had been done on away days at other racecourses appeared to help him. They went slowly, as the time suggested and Time Test sat at the rear of the field. Ryan rode him as confidently as we had hoped and he quickened through the field in taking fashion, having to be brave along the way."
|James Doyle talks with Godoplhin representatives ||Richard Hannon talks to Channel 4 Racing ||Richard Hughes - second by a neck |
Tim Price and Wesko (courtesy U.S. Eventing Association)New Zealand eventing pair Tim Price and Wesko, who are based at Mildenhall, have finished second at the Rolex Kentucky Four Star Three Day Event, just behind the reigning Olympic champ Michael Jung.
On the final day of the competition, Price and Wesko (owned by Christina Knudsen and The Wesko Syndicate) had a single rail down in the showjumping. This allowed Germany's Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST to take first place.
Jung also took third place with his second horse. And the defending Kentucky champion, Britain's William Fox-Pit and Bay My Hero went clear to hold on to fourth place.
The showjumping phase took place in front of a crowd of more than 23,000: “You just have to put everything to one side and focus,” said Price. “My horse is very good in a crowd and I believed that would lift him today . . . and it did.”
Next month, Price will be competing at Badminton with Ringwood Sky Boy, and later in the season he will return to Luhmuhlen which he won last year, but this time with a young horse.
His diary for 2016 is filling up: “I will definitely be back at Kentucky next year.”
For New Zealanders at the event, the last day was clouded by Emily Cammock's hard decision to have her horse, the 15-year-old grey gelding Dambala, put down. Vets told her that the leg injury that recurred during the cross country meant he would never be right again - even in retirement.
Cammock said in a statement: “He was the most honest, willing and trusting horse that always gave 150 percent. I feel honoured that he put his trust in me and together we made a pretty awesome team.”
Modus at Nicholls' Somerset yardBetfair Super Saturday (February 13) is Newbury Racecourse's first major meeting of the year - and its Betfair Hurdle will be a major test for Modus trained by nine-times champion trainer Paul Nicholls at his Ditcheat yard in Somerset.
The six-year-old chestnut gelding is at present the 5-1 favourite with Betfair to win the £155,000 race - won last year by the Gary Moore trained Violet Dancer. The race is Britain's most valuable handicap hurdle. Paul Nicholls won the race in 2012 with Zarkandar.
Modus - described by Nicholls as 'a good bumper horse' - was sold at the Cheltenham sale in May last year for £190,000 and is now owned by J.P. McManus. He won his first two hurdle races for his new owner - Taunton (November 12) and Newbury (November 26).
On his third outing he came third at Taunton on December 30 when, in Paul Nichols' words, the ground was "Heavier, heavier and heavier in places." He has not raced since: "I wanted him to settle in after his races. He needs better ground, but he's lots of stamina."
Nicholls with Dodging Bullets (L) & Silviniaco Conti (R)In the Betfair Super Saturday meeting Nicholls also has Dodging Bullets running in the Betfair Exchange Chasse and Rocky Creek in the Betfair Denman Chase.
It will be the eight year-old Dodging Bullets' first run of the season. Nicholls thinks he will lead the race: "I'm absolutely thrilled with him at the moment."
Last season he won three Grade One races in a row. This season he has been troubled with injury - going lame and throwing an enormous splint which confined him to his box for a month. He has now been fine for the last eight weeks: "I don't think we have ever had him quite so fit and well going into his first race of the season...He should be at the peak of his powers now."
How he does in this first outing of the season will show how he is set for the Cheltenham Festival: "Hopefully this race will put him spot on for his bid to retain his title in the Queen Mother Champion Chase."
Rocky Creek goes in Newbury's Betfair Denman Chase Rocky Creek is running in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday. He has not run since 5 December when he was pulled up at Aintree, but Nicholls has every confidence he is now in good shape. He has come first or been placed in ten of his fifteen steeplechase starts.
"He is a good solid staying chaser. He is also in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but is very unlikely to run in it as there are other races for him. Saturday's race is ideal for him as it is a valuable prize and he does like Newbury. He is a definite runner whatever the ground."
Another Nicholls' entry at Newbury on Saturday will be Capeland. He is a four-year-old French-bred bay gelding going in the meeting's bumper, the Tap Tap Boom National Hunt flat race. He won his first outing in England, a listed race at Cheltenham on New Year's Day on ground that was officially 'Heavy - soft in places'. Nicholls is sure he will make a good chaser in the future.
Newbury expects the ground on Saturday will be "Soft - heavy in places - obviously it will be testing."
Paul NichollsThe rain has taken its toll on the jump season with meetings abandoned and the size of fields reduced. But Nicholls knows more than he need about the rain.
On Saturday one of his yards suffered a flash flood that left up to three feet of water in the some of the boxes and horses had to be evacuated and after the water subsided, their bedding replaced: "It happens once every few years. It's just nuisance value - especially when it happens on a Saturday evening and there're no staff on."
On Tuesday morning 120 horses rode out from Nicholls' yards and he has as many as thirty horses that have not raced so far this season. He had a good start with a run of results in October: "Then it went a bit quieter."
He is looking forward to the Spring - and better ground: "I've never known a season like it. Everyone needs better ground - it's going to be a busy spring for everyone."
Last year several of his star horses reached the end of their careers: "This is a massive transitional year - we've lots of four-year-olds - rebuilding doesn't happen over night."
Nicholls with Silviniaco ContiThe other horse on show on Tuesday during the press event at Nicholls' Ditcheat stables was Silviniaco Conti. The ten-year-old chestnut is set to run in the Betfair Ascot Chase on February 20.
Two times winner of Kempton's Boxing Day King George VI Chase, he was pulled up in the 2015 race.
He has an entry for the Grand National in April but is unlikely to take it up. Nicholls said he does not really want him to go to Cheltenham. But he will go to Punchestown and there is already talk of a Grand National entry for the 2017 race.
His season has been interrupted by sarcoids - especially a painful sarcoid under his nearside fore-leg that kept opening up. (Sarcoids are common skin tumour on horses.)
The condition is now cured and Nicholls said: "He looks great at the moment. He had a racecourse gallop last week at Wincanton and we have been cracking on with him."
After you have won money on all next Saturday's Newbury races, then rest assured that Silviniaco Conti looked in tip-top shape for his Ascot outing a week later.
The condition of former world number one eventer and British Olympian William Fox-Pitt has improved. He has been in hospital in France since a fall on October 17 at the Lion d'Angers World Young Horses Championships.
He suffered a head injury and has been in an induced coma. On Monday (October 26) a statement on his website said "...he is conscious, breathing on his own and communicating with his family and doctors, however he is still very ill".
On Friday (October 30) it was announced that: "William's condition has improved enough for him to be moved out of the intensive care unit. He remains in hospital in France."
Fox-Pitt's horse Reinstated was unharmed by the fall.
Twenty-time champion jump jockey, AP McCoy is to join the Channel 4 Racing team. His exclusive contract begins this month - to coincide with the start of the jump season.
He will certainly be part of the Channel 4 Racing presenting team for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on November 28.
AP McCoy and his family live near Lambourn - and he is part-owner of Manton's Outside Chance pub and restaurant.
Finally, flat racing's former champion jockey Richard Hughes who was based near Marlborough and rode mainly for the Richard Hannon yard, has moved his new training operation to Lambourn.
After retiring as a jockey in the summer, he was setting up a training yard at Stockbridge just over the border in Hampshire. Now he has moved his horses and staff to Lambourn.
He will be using the Weathercock House yard - one-time base of jump trainer Jenny Pitman. His string of horses moved in on Saturday (October 31.)
Hughes told the Racing Post: "I've been around all the gallops and I'm very pleased with what I've seen...The whole area has a very positive feel to it and I'm looking forward to being part of it."
Bonita stables - as shown on the Windsor Clive International websitePeter Makin's Bonita training yard at Ogbourne Maizey is up for sale following the trainer's decision to retire in November. He has been training for 48 years and has trained 780 winners - he is 71.
Bonita racehorse training centre has some of the finest gallops in the country - 154 private acres of them. With 54 boxes in two yards, two houses, two flats, a cottage, a staff hostel and 45 acres of paddocks, the agents are asking for offers "in the region of £3,000,000".
Explaining his decision to the Racing Post, Makin said: "I still love being with the horses on top of the downs every morning, but I find driving to the likes of Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Lingfield too tiring these days, which, at the age of 71, is probably something I must accept."
He added: "The time is right for me now. I feel privileged to have been involved in the sport for such a time. If I don't retire this season I'd be tempted to make it 50 years, by which time I'll be 73."
Makin sent out many winners of group races and high class handicaps from Bonita including the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot twice, the Stewards Cup at Goodwood and the Magnet Cup at York.
Bonita was set up by George Edwardes, the theatrical impresario in the 1890s. Former trainers there include the Hartigan brothers, Sir Gordon Richards and the leading national hunt trainer Bob Turnell who used the gallops and facilities to train many winners including the Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Bonita has been owned by only two families in the last 120 years.
One of Makin's most successful horses was Elbio who won Ascot's King's Stand Stakes twice - and Makin thinks Elbio would have made it a hat-trick if there had not been interference during that third race.
Full details of the sale can be found on the Windsor Clive International website.
Tracy Richards with RosieFor a growing company in the equine and pet care business, Tracy Richards' Aqueos Care is an excellent example of the way SMEs ('small and medium sized enterprises') are run in the twenty-first century business economy.
Aqueos develops, makes and markets a growing range of ground-breaking alcohol and bleach free eco-friendly disinfectants for horses and dogs. They use a technological breakthrough to produce a water-based disinfectant that kills 99.999 per cent of known bacteria, fungi and viruses - and is no more hazardous to anything else than distilled water.
Managing Director Tracy Richards works from home. There is no manufacturing plant at her home near Pewsey. There is not even a warehouse nearby. How did this flourishing business start and how does it work?
Tracy Richards was the managing director of a clothing wholesale company when it was suddenly taken over. The new owners wanted her to stay on for a year, but she decided to leave.
She did not want to work for anyone else and when a colleague showed her a new technique for making disinfectants for dentists, she spotted how it could be applied to animals. She was, after all, a long-term rider - owning a grey called Rosie - and a dog owner.
Four years later and after some very expensive safety testing of each application of the technology, Aqueos has 28 products - split evenly between equine and canine use. And Aqueos now has DEFRA approval for general orders.
The complex biochemistry involved is probably only really understood at post-graduate level. But simply put Aqueos uses a highly stable agent and a complex blending technology to combine a number of biocides which in tiny amounts work together - each one enhancing the effect of the other.
AQUEOS SHAMPOO PACK SHOT For example, Aqueos' horse shampoo kills that proven 99.999 per cent of most bacteria, fungi and viruses including strangles and ringworm. It is so fast acting that it does its work within 30 seconds of contact - and it is gentle to the horse's skin.
This technology also gives the disinfectant a long lasting effect because it disrupts the surface tension of the treated area and makes it difficult for new micro-organisms to attach themselves to it.
The products are manufactured by a firm in Gloucestershire - “Very much made in Britain” - and she uses a pay-as-you-go warehouse in Calne which dispatches and delivers orders to wholesalers around the country and to retailers. Local retailers include TH White and the Wadswick Country Store in Corsham.
Tracy is in the process of employing her first full-time staff members: sales agents. She has one on board so far and hopes to build-up a team of about six regional agents.
She has recruited a number of well-known figures from the equestrian world as 'Brand Ambassadors'. These include eventer Kitty King who earlier this month secured a silver medal for the British team at the European Championships in Scotland increasing her profile with a Horse and Hound cover photo. And last weekend she came third at the Blenheim International CIC3* competition. Kitty King is based near Chippenham.
Other local Aqueos ambassadors are the up-and-coming young Marlborough eventer Chelsea Pearce, and the young show jumper Oscar Hobby who is the son of eventer Fiona Hobby whose stables are close by in Pewsey.
Tracy also works closely with the Greatwood charity near Marlborough which uses retired racehorses to help disadvantaged children. In particular they find Aqueos 's hand sanitising foam a great boon for keep visiting children safe.
Tracy with her PATS awardEarlier this year Aqueous put down an industry marker at the national Pets and Aquatic Trade Show (PATS). Facing 170 new product entries Aqueos was awarded Best Pet Care product for its innovative spray plaster for horses and pets.
This can be sprayed directly onto animals and protects minor cuts and grazes from water, dirt and bacteria - it gives a bandage-like protection and stays elastic but is still breathable and waterproof. Tracy Richards was delighted to win the award: "That was quite exciting as we were up against some big brands."
Tracy and her husband Tim have two sons. The elder is at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire studying equine business management and the younger is at Pewsey School working for his GCSEs.
Keeping stables and kennels free of bugs with safe disinfectants and keeping horses and dogs safe from infections and humans safe too is what the Aqueos range does for establishments with one horse or dog - or with a string of ponies or a yard full of expensive racehorses. And if there's a bevy of hens stalking round a stable yard, they and their hutches can be treated with a special Aqueos poultry spray.
Rosie helps with a pack shot