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Ladbrokes Trophy hope De Rasher Counter is a real local interest - both bred and trained very near Marlborough

Karina Casini with De Rasher Counter's dam Dedrunknmunky - who is in foalKarina Casini with De Rasher Counter's dam Dedrunknmunky - who is in foalOf real local interest in Saturday's (November 30) running of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury Racecourse, is seven year-old gelding De Rasher Counter.  He is trained by Emma Lavelle at the Bonita Racing Yard in Ogbourne Maizey and owned by a partnership that includes Andrew Gemmell - owner of Paisley Park.

However - doubling his local interest - he was bred very close to Marlborough by Karina Casini who runs the Greenlands Farm Stud just south of Lockeridge.


Originally named at home as Yeti, De Rasher Counter's dam was Dedrunknmunky and his sire - in his first year standing as a stallion - was the great Irish-bred Yeats who won fifteen of his twenty-six starts under rules.  For a while Dedrunknmunky had been in training at Lanbourn and Karina bought her as a hunter: "But she just didn't want to be ridden!"  


Dedrunknmunky is now 20 years-old and is in foal again to Yeats.   So, all being well,De Rasher Counter will soon have a full brother or sister at Greenlands Farm.  Karina Casini says Dedrunknmunky is a 'brilliant brood mare':  "She really looks after her foals and teaches them."


De Rasher Counter - Dedrunknmunky's third foal - was last seen in public at Newbury Racecourse's media gallops morning (November 19).  Ridden by Adam Wedge, he schooled over the five jumps on Newbury's back straight and then galloped up the stands side of the course with hurdling champion Paisley Park and Private Malone for company.

De Rasher Counter at Newbury - with Adam WedgeDe Rasher Counter at Newbury - with Adam Wedge

Emma Lavelle told the Racing Post (Monday, November 25):  "He was absolutely super at Newbury's media morning last week, jumping all the fences down the far side quickly and accurately and then quickening up the home straight with Paisley Park."


"He's a street fighter who needs plenty of graft and I had been a bit too easy on him before Uttoxeter [were he came sixth of eleven in a handicap hurdle]."


"He hasn't missed a beat since and he's on real good terms with himself. I think he's the right type for the Ladbrokes Trophy and with luck in running he should be there or thereabouts."

Adam Wedge takes De Rasher Counter (2) over a Newbury jump (Photo courtesy Newbury racecourse) Adam Wedge takes De Rasher Counter (2) over a Newbury jump (Photo courtesy Newbury racecourse)

News of his perfect performance during at the Newbury gallops morning has got about and his odds for the race have shortened from 20/1 to 11/1 - still worth an each way bet!


Karina Casini told  "De Rasher Counter has always been switched on and game - he wants to be part of what's going on. He's been a lad from day one."   She says he can cope with any ground - which with recent rain will be to his advantage.


Karina Casini came to Britain from Belgium in 1989.  She was a chemical engineer by training - a course she took when she could not train to become a vet because she was allergic to cats and dogs: "I was always passionate about science and always wanted to understand things."   


After some years in 'traditional banking' and then teaching financial courses, she did a three-year equine osteopathy course in France: "That gave me a really good understanding of the horse."


Soon afterwards she started breeding horses - first in that most difficult area, breeding event horses and then national hunt racehorses:  "Breeding is a very difficult business.  Mother nature dictates - so you're not in control.  It's a business where you need to have a lot of luck.  There's no guarantee - you can have the best mare and the most expensive stallion..."  She throws her hands in the air. "You need to be passionate about it."


De Rasher Counter: a few hours old (Photo courtesy Karina Casini)De Rasher Counter: a few hours old (Photo courtesy Karina Casini)De Rasher Counter (right) as a yearling  (Photo courtesy Karina Casini) De Rasher Counter (right) as a yearling (Photo courtesy Karina Casini) Karina Casini sold the young Yeti at a Doncaster Store Sale to Tom Keating an Irish trainer who specialises in producing young racehorses.  He was attracted to the  horse as he had previously produced his dam.


How on earth did the youngster called Yeti (with a 'Y' for Yeats) come to be named De Rasher Counter?  It is not quite clear, but it has been said that Tom Keating frequented a local pub that had an in-house bacon counter which must have sort of fitted - perhaps late one night - with Dedrunknmunky's dam who was called Rashar.


Despite a fall in his first point-to-point in Ireland, De Rasher Counter was prepared very well by Keating and has to date clocked up earnings of £51,663.  He came to Emma Lavelle's yard at the end of September 2017.


De Rasher Counter is owned by the astutely named Makin' Bacon Partnership which includes Andrew Gemmell - the owner of long distance hurdling king Paisley Park.


At Greenlands Farm Stud, Karina Casini usually has between fifteen and twenty horse - including five brood mares.  Among them is the stunning 13 year-old grey Ixora by Milan who won six races for Jamie Snowden.


Dedrunknmunky takes advantage of her photo callDedrunknmunky takes advantage of her photo callIxora Ixora Among the non-brood mares present at the moment are Tierra Verde an eight year-old mare owned by the Greenland Racing Syndicate which Karina runs.  She bought Tierra Verde for £3,000 hoping she might make an eventer.


Trained first by Harry Whittington, she went to the Bonita yard last November and won two races at Taunton. Emma Lavelle found Tierra Verde had some wear and tear to her tendons and needed time to get right again.  So she is having nine months off at Greenlands - and, says Karina Casini,  enjoying the current mud.


The Greenland Racing Syndicate also owns four year-old gelding Head for the Hills by Kayf Tara.  He has been training with Emma Lavelle, has had time out for a rest and goes back into training on December 1.  One to watch out for as the season progresses...

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