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Labrokes Winter Carnival


As the end of November draws near we can start to look towards the future, the end of lockdown 2.0 and finally some festive cheer.  The famous Labrokes Winter Carnival gets underway at Newbury today, where we'll be sending 4 runners to our favourite local track over the course of the 2 day meeting.  Sadly the atmosphere is likely to be a shadow of it's usually self but with news that crowds of up to 4,000 people can head back to sporting venues from next week things are really looking up...
Calvario made his yard debut in testing conditions at Chepstow last Friday, in a race that looked like a good opportunity.  We wanted to learn about him by taking a lead but there was absolutely no pace at all.  Once they set off down the back straight Gavin decided to let him stride on and take up the running.  He looked to have the race at his mercy turning in but from the back of the third last he got a little bit tired and came home in 3rd position.  He ran with promise however, and we will just have his wind looked at before he runs again.
Young Bull had his second start over fences at Ascot on Saturday having shaped nicely on debut 6 weeks earlier.  He was having to take on his old rival again; Demachine in what looked a very competitive field.  We had hoped the ground was soft enough for him and he lined up and sat in a very handy position.  The track was going to teach him plenty and he jumped from fence to fence and looked to be enjoying himself.  He was in top gear most of the way though and turning in stamina kicked in from the back of the second last, and he ran on to finish a very game 2nd.  The winner has beaten him twice now and looks a fair sort.  We will look to run him again on softer conditions around Christmas or New Year time.
Cateline made her hurdles debut at Uttoxeter on Sunday having schooled nicely at home.  It was a race with lots of pace and she showed signs of greenness over the first 3 hurdles.  She was jumping markedly left which meant that she was losing her position fairly quickly.  She made up ground down the back straight though, and then warmed to the task with her jumping.  As they turned into the straight she seemed to be tagging onto the coat-tails of the leaders but just got very tired from the back of the second last.  She was frustratingly too green on this occasion and we won't leave it too long before running her again so the jumping is fresh in her mind.
Sirobbie also headed to Uttoxeter on Sunday, his home hunting ground where he was won 5 races over course and distance.  There was a couple, of what looked well handicapped horses in the race, but off the back of a good run were hoping for yet another good performance at the track.  The race was run at a furious pace and he adopted his usual position with a bit of daylight, ¾’s of the way back.  On the second circuit he made up ground up along the back straight and as they turned in he looked to be coming into contention.  The winner was very impressive and was well handicapped.  Sirobbie just ran his heart out, in conditions that were just too soft for him finishing a gallant 3rd.  He will now have a winter break before coming back for a race potentially around mid-February.
Artistic Language headed to Southwell on Tuesday.  First run back having had a wind operation we were looking forward to getting him back out on the track.  It looked a good opportunity on paper as it was another drop in class.  There was plenty of pace on early and although he lined up with the front runner, he lost his position at the first bend.  We were then where didn't want to be, with too much cover.  He did actually jump and travel ok but turning into the straight he had a wall of horses up in front of him.  It wasn’t until a gap opened that he then flew home.  It was a frustrating run but nevertheless there are plenty of positives to take from it.  In a similar sort event next time out, with a bit of room we'd like to think he could go very close.
Warranty lined up in the juvenile hurdle at Wetherby on Wednesday.  We felt he was an exciting prospect for this division having won nicely on the flat in the summer in his last start.  This was his debut over hurdles having been sourced in the summer, after which he needed plenty of schooling at home.  There was plenty of pace on in the race and he settled nicely in mid division.  His jumping was a little bit in and out but turning into the straight he was making his move, and it looked like he was going to run well.  In the back of the second last, he just got tired and it might just take him a couple of runs to get the hang of things over his obstacles.  He will definitely stay further in time and he will improve for the experience.
Numberoneson lined up in the same race at Wetherby on Wednesday.  We decided to switch tactics this time and make the running.  On this occasion he was really enjoying himself out in front and was popping away from hurdle to hurdle which was really encouraging to see.  He made a small mistake at the last hurdle in the back straight and then unfortunately just lost his position.  From there on in he looked to be struggling and he came home at the one pace.  We will have a look at this wind next before deciding whether or not we go back over hurdles or have a go on the flat.
So Easy Way also headed to Wetherby on Wednesday to line up in the handicap chase over 2 miles.  Coming back from a wind operation and having been in good form at home we were hopeful of a step forward.  And the race was an easier opportunity than last time.  We let him bowl along in front where he jumped economically and looked to be going well.  As they turned out the back, he lost his position and was suddenly struggling.  He very much came home at one pace and doesn't look to be well handicapped.  He probably wants to step up in trip now and to be coming down a fair bit to win a race.
Pat Kelly ran at Lingfield yesterday in what looked like a really good opportunity for him to take a step forward, in conditions that were more in his favour.  There was a bit of pace on early but we managed to get a nice position with the introduction of the cheek pieces.  He jumped incredibly well but from the top of the hill he was unable to go with the eventual winner.  He did however plug on gamely to finish 4th.  We will school him over a fence in about ten days time and make a decision about whether we go straight for a chase now or take him back over hurdles.
Caught Inthe Slips aka Sammie had her debut run in the mares' maiden hurdle on the same card at Lingfield yesterday.  She shaped well and jumped nicely which was really pleasing to see.  It was a shame it wasn’t a 2 mile race first time out but the options for Mares are limited.  She’ll have no trouble with the trip but first time up it was a bit to ask of her.  However once she got her second wind she stayed on again.  There were some very useful mares in there and they were very strung out in the end.  She’ll come on for the run a huge amount being her first time and should take a big step forward for that.  We look forward to having plenty of fun with her and she should show the club some great days...
Sir Sholokhov is set to make his yard debut at Newbury later today in the National Hunt Maiden Hurdle over 2 miles.  He is a fine big chasing type with plenty of quality but has had to have some correction to his wind.  He's done plenty of work now and is fit and ready to go, so we hope that with his wind issues behind him, he can show us some promise on this first start over hurdles.
Anemoi is another who is set to head to Newbury this afternoon.  Having won really nicely on debut over fences he is now back out again fairly quickly in this novices' limited handicap chase at Newbury.  It is a race that we know well having won it twice over the last 4 years with stable heros Arzal and Bigmartre.  He only went up 3lbs for his last win at Chepstow and we think he's got a bit more in hand, so we are looking forward to running again over the bigger obstacles.
Neverbeen to Paris has come out of his last race fine and is our final runner on the card at Newbury today.  Bryony was of the opinion that he needs to go left handed over 3 miles and that's what we are going to do.  He will also have his preferred good ground.  We have decided to add the cheekpieces on this occasion as we feel he needs these to help him concentrate over his hurdles.  He's in good form so off a light weight, hopefully can run a nice race and bounce back to form.
Breaking Waves has been declared to run at Newbury tomorrow.  He is a new addition to the stable this summer and has been in good form after having kissing spine surgery.  We feel this should bring plenty of improvement in his racing.  He's been schooling well and we look forward to him having his yard debut.
Seddon is another who is set to make his debut for the yard over the next few days, and will head to Doncaster tomorrow.  We are extremely excited to have our first runner for the McNeill Family and he is an interesting new addition to the yard.  He has always shown a very high level of form in all his bumpers, hurdles and chases.  It is a big shame that Adrian Heskin is injured as he would be riding him, but we have managed to book the services of Kevin Brogan, who is one of the top conditionals at the moment.  We have done a little bit of work with this horses' jumping thanks to the help of Laura Collett and Adrian has been happy with his schooling at home.  It is a competitive race but hopefully he has the class to go and run a nice race.  We are looking forward to running him.
Early Morning Dew holds a couple of bumper entries next week.  He has come out of his last race well and we are looking forward to running him again.  The bumper he ran in on debut was extremely strong and there will be plenty of wins coming out of the race.  He has always shown us plenty of class, so hopefully with the benefit of the experience, he can run a big race.
Fiscal Prudence holds a couple of entries next week in juvenile hurdles around sharp tracks.  We have introduced the hood to him at home, due to the fact that he was very keen on his debut over hurdles.  He seems to be nice and relaxed now and we will likely make the running on him as it is the best way to settle him.  We are looking forward to running him.
Henrietta Bell holds an entry at Southwell on Tuesday.  She has been a victim of her own attitude with the handicapper by always running her race.  She has however finally dropped into the same class she won her last race here in a 0-120.  3 miles around a track she has won at gives her a good chance of winning again.  She's been in good form at home and we're looking forward to the run.
Booley Beach is likely to run in the mares' bumper at Ludlow on Wednesday.  She was unlucky not to win last time out on her debut and was by far the best filly in the race.  She is a classy individual and we have always held her in high regard, so we are looking forward to her running her again.  We have done plenty of work at home to bring her on again mentally and we are hopeful she can go one better this time. She is a very exciting filly for the future.
Since Ross has started with us he has shown a great attitude and willingness to learn all aspects of the job. Ross also has a great work ethic and gets stuck in grafting around the yard. Well Done Ross keep up the good work! (Pictured here with Young Bull)