BUSY BUSY BUSY
THIS WEEK Another week has passed and it couldn't have started any better! An across the card double coming at Newcastle and Southwell from Simply The Betts and Shantou Vow respectively. The weekend was a case of "fourthitis" but both ran well in extremely competitive races. Harry has had a busy week sales wise, buying one at the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales on Friday, picking up Franigane and then he skipped over the channel to the Arqana sale at Deauville and got an early lot in the shape of Black Abbey on Monday. Franigane has been gaining his education in Irish point to points while Black Abbey has been running on the flat in France. We had the pleasure of Ann and Steve Keen on Wednesday who were the winning bidders at the Lambourn Open Day for our lot of a morning on the gallops. We hope they enjoyed their morning and found it a good insight in to the goings on in a busy racing yard. In other news, the baby boom continued at Hill Barn last week with Gemma (Head Girl) & Jake Quintin becoming proud parents to George Joseph Quintin. Both mum and baby George are doing very well. Finally another big weekend with Ascot and Haydock on the horizon. Will Altior stay? Can Lostintranslation break Bristol De Mai's stronghold on the Betfair Chase? It will be interesting to find out on both points, but we are more excited about Sirobbie in the Grade 3 hurdle at Haydock! REPORTS SIMPLY THE BETTS Simply the Betts won the novices limited handicap chase over 2m at Newcastle last Friday. This looked a good opportunity on paper to back up his win 9 days earlier. He won extremely nicely on debut over fences and so we were looking forward to running him again. With only three in the race we were hoping to lead, which we did. He jumped well on the whole but was a bit sticky at the odd fence. As the race unfolded his class shone through and he won in impressive style. He has now been raised a further 5lb to 140 and so we will look to find him another race in handicap company. SHANTOU VOW Shantou Vow won at Southwell on Friday in a maiden hurdle over 2m completing the double for team HWR. This looked like the perfect opportunity on paper with the ground putting a few runners off. Shantou Vow showed signs of immaturity early on and Daryl had to give him a reminder to concentrate. Turning into the home straight, he looked to be going easily and had just one rival in contention. Bar a mistake at the last he ran with huge credit and jockey Daryl Jacob gave him a fantastic educational ride. It was a fantastic result and he is clearly a horse with ability that will only improve as he gains more experience. We will look to run him next time in a novice hurdle under a penalty. ROUGE VIF Rouge Vif lined up on Sunday at Cheltenham in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial over 2m. He won very nicely on his debut over fences back in October beating some useful types. He was stepping up in class off the back of that and this was a tougher task on paper. There was a confirmed front runner in the field so we decided to track the pace. Our concern was always going to be the ground as he is a good moving horse. He settled very well and and jumped superbly throughout the race. Coming to the last there were four upsides and he looked to have every chance. He wasn't able to quicken on that ground but still ran a cracker to only be beaten 8 and a half lengths by some of the best novice chasers around. He will no doubt improve on better ground. SAINT CALVADOS Saint Calvados headed to Cheltenham on Sunday to run in the Shloer chase over 2m. He was stepping back up in class here in a small but very hot field. We decided to adopt the same tactics as last time out and take a lead. He travelled and jumped extremely well throughout the race but couldn’t quicken in the home straight having jumped the last upsides. Non the less it was a cracking run and he was only beaten 6 and a half lengths. We will look at a few options for him in the coming months but he will most likely be tried over a longer trip next time out. COURT LIABILITY Court Liability headed to Lingfield on Tuesday to line up in a handicap chase over 2m7f. He was taking his chances here in a small field as we felt this would help him travel better throughout the race. After running a promising race in October we were trying him here on unknown softer ground. He was very reluctant from the word go, although jumping extremely well he couldn’t hold his position in the race. He managed to complete the race and collect 4th place. Will now get his wind check before deciding where to head next. LANTIERN Lantiern made his handicap debut at Warwick on Wednesday in the 2m3f handicap hurdle. We felt the flat nature of the track should suit him well. He shaped extremely well throughout the race, showing plenty of class and 3 out was going very well. As they were turning into the straight he was suddenly in trouble and Nico pulled him up very quickly. Nico reported that the horse made a noise and we will get this sorted out before he takes another entry. NEVERBEEN TO PARIS Neverbeen To Paris headed to Wincanton yesterday to run in the 2m3f handicap hurdle. He was dropping back in trip on better ground and we felt he has a good chance. Gavin jumped him off wide to go on the better ground and he settled nicely. There wasn’t much pace on and as they turned into the home straight they quickened up. At this point he hung left which took away his chance. With having lost his position he stayed on under hand and heels to finish mid–div. The race didn’t fall right for him on this occasion but we are leaning about him all the time. He will be freshened up now and will most likely take an entry at Kempton on Boxing Day where he has won before. SPARKLEANDSHINE Sparkleandshine also ran at Wincanton yesterday in the novices handicap chase over 2m. This was his first run back over fences, after a hurdle run, due to the fact he fell on his chase debut. There was plenty of pace on and it looked as if he was flat out. He didn’t jump with any fluency and never really got into a rhythm. After two disappointing runs he will be entered in the next sale. CATELINE Cateline made debut at Market Rasen yesterday in the bumper over 2m. She has taken plenty of time to get ready for this first run. She is a highly strung mare with plenty of ability and an excellent pedigree. The main concern for her was to make sure that she behaved herself before the race. Thankfully she took it all in her stride and on the whole was straightforward. We lined up with a bit room and she was very green jumping off. She ran in snatches throughout the race, as if she very much needed the experience. At the top of the hill she was outpaced and green but once she realised she was there to do a job she stayed on very well to finish 5th. She will come on a huge amount for the experience and we will aim her at another bumper in a month’s time. ENTRIES KLEOS Kleos has been declared for today at Catterick in the bumper over 2m. She shaped nicely on debut last time out but just got a bit tired toward the end of the race. Catterick should suit her well and this looks a good opportunity on paper for her to be competitive. She has come on for the run and so we are hopeful for a good performance. SIROBBIE Sirobbie has been declared for Haydock tomorrow in the grade 3 handicap hurdle over 3m. He is moving away from his beloved Uttoxetter this time and is being upped in class in what looks a very good renewal. He has a nice weight and the conditions should suit him well so fingers crossed he continues his upward curve and surprises us once again. DESIGNER DESTINY Designer Destiny holds a few entries over the coming weeks and it will be ground dependant as to where we run. She ran a cracking race on debut at Newbury last month and has come out of the race well. She has plenty of speed and jumps very economically so wherever she lines up we hope she will be very competitive. MY FRIENDLY COUSIN My Friendly Cousin heads to Southwell on Tuesday to run in the bumper over 2m. He has come on since his debut run but will need to show ability in this. Southwell should be a good track for him and hopefully we will learn plenty more about him. He was out of a tough mare that won races so hopefully he can take a step forward. THE KINGS BABY The Kings Baby holds an entry in a mares handicap hurdle at Hereford on Wednesday over 2m3f. It didn’t work out for her last time over fences and she probably struggles to jump them out of this deep winter ground therefore she is switching back to hurdles and hopefully she will bounce back to form. SHEILA NASH Sheila Nash holds an entry for Wednesday at Wetherby in the mares 2m bumper. She is a tough Fleminsfirth filly that has shown a really likeable attitude at home. She should relish conditions and we have been looking forward to running her. If she shows the promise she shows at home she will run a big race. STICK WITH BILL Stick With Bill has an entry for Ffos Las on Thursday in a maiden hurdle over 2m4f. He ran a very promising race on debut he holds a few entries but this race at Ffos Las will suit him very well. He will have learnt a huge amount for his first run and he should go very close. IN OTHER NEWS... HWR STAFF PROFILES John Russell - Part Time Secretary & Work Rider Jockey John has been a Hill Barn for what seems like forever. Having been a friend of Harry's for 15+ years, he moved up here with Harry when the barn was converted into a 2 bed flat. In the early days when Alice was still and Etchells and not a Whittington, Harry used to joke that Jockey was his weekday wife - cooking, cleaning and even having to iron the odd shirt for him every once in a while! Jockey is currently helping out in the office whilst Alice is on maternity leave and also riding out every morning. Jockey spent 5 or so years working in racing, starting as a stable lad and finished up as assistant trainer, working for Kim Bailey, Nicky Henderson and even as far afield as Justin Snaith in Cape Town, South Africa. Over the last few years, he has been working in insurance but now mixes helping at Hill Barn with working in Yorkshire for a care home that specialises in dementia. John is not to sure how he came to be known as Jockey but says it is most likely because of his riding in point to points over the last 15 years. "It is the only reason I can think of but it certainly can't be down to my ability in the saddle! There is only one owner I have ever ridden for and that is my father... and I am sure he has considered jocking me off a few times!" For all that Jockey jokes about his riding he has built up a healthy relationship with some of his pointers. With two of his horse being responsible for 25 of his winning rides, he is hoping that Gunmoney (pictured below) can eek out one more win this season as an evergreen 15 year old to get the horse to 20 career wins. Talking of horses his favourite horse is Young Bull. "He is everything I would look for in a horse. He is a big old fashioned chaser in the making. One for the future for sure.' Jockeys claim to fame is he rode Many Clouds for the first couple of seasons of his career at home. Away from the yard John enjoys spending time with his wife Georgie and daughter Clara (Harry’s god daughter) with another one the was any day now. He still enjoys cooking although not everyday as he did when living with Harry!