Despite it being the wettest, coldest and windiest May in living memory, believe it or not our horses still seem to be enjoying their ‘summer’ holidays and they all look magnificent and are already showing off lockdown bellies!
One good thing about the rain is that it helps the grass grow and our equine stars are definitely getting their fill of the lush green stuff and it’s lovely to see them all so happy and relaxed in their own environment.
Despite suffering a frustrating defeat in the G2 Oaksey Chase at Sandown, Mister Fisher, who carries the familiar silks of James and Jean Potter Ltd, lost nothing in defeat when really making Frodon pull out all the stops and he’s loving life at Leighton among his equine pals which includes his half brother Jack Sharp, Beep Beep, Wheesht and several promising youngsters who will be in action next season.
Plans remain fluid for Mister Fisher but the King George is a race that could be ideal for him. A sharp three miles around Kempton sounds very appealing, however before Boxing Day there is the possibility of a trip to Far Hills in New Jersey for a possible tilt at the American Grand National, or The Grand National Hurdle Stakes to give it its exact title.
First run in 1989 it’s a valuable contest worth $300,000 (over 2m5f) and often attracts some smart runners from Europe. Indeed a certain horse called Percussionist bagged the prestigious prize in 2010 a few years after finishing fourth in the Epsom Derby and winning the Yorkshire Cup in 2006! Jury Duty and most recently Brain Power, who was a fortuitous winner in 2019, are others whose names feature on the roll of honour. Nothing is set in stone but it’s something we have in the back of our minds and we’ll keep you updated should plans go any further.
Indeed, there could be some more very interesting news on the Stateside front so watch this space…
Wheesht looks in fine fettle after ending her campaign with a decisive victory at Plumpton and we are all really looking forward to seeing her over fences next season. She’s got the size and scope and has already schooled over the larger obstacles at Alastair Ralph’s so hopefully an exciting campaign awaits.
Unfortunately Jack Sharp failed to get his head in front in three starts over hurdles but that may be a blessing in disguise because at least he retains his novice status should we decide to stick to timber or he could obviously go straight novice chasing.
He’s still learning and it’s his raw ability that saw him finish third on debut before two fine efforts (when second)after that.
Sticking with the novices and there’s no doubt Milan‘s Edge is the winner that got away up at Hexham last month. She was odds on to make a winning hurdling debut and looked the likely heroine throughout the whole contest but sadly she ended up in front a little longer than ideal and got lonely and tired which resulted in her being reeled in close to the line by Gentle Jolie, herself a daughter of Yorton resident Gentlewave.
Of course it was disappointing to get beaten but it was definitely a step back in the right direction after a slightly below par effort at Aintree where she raced much too keen and she is already back at home enjoying a break before returning to Donald McCain where we hope to regain the winning thread; whether that’s over hurdles or fences time will tell but she’s won her Point to Point so we know she jumps and she remains a mare with a lot of potential.
We sold two beautiful horses at the Goffs UK sale in Doncaster last week including Royal Max, a very handsome son of Maxios who had done everything right in his early education and got knocked down to Anthony Bromley for £50,000 who also purchased, along with Nicky Henderson, a three year old filly by Yorton Stud sire Pethers Moon out of Uppermost for £24,000.
A three-year old son of Blue Bresil out of James and Jean Potter’s wonderful broodmare Sting In The Gale, AKA Twiggy, was also sold to new connections for £36,000, while Tom Malone forked out £50,000 for another son of Pethers Moon (ex Karla June) who has gone to the Tizzards. Indeed the Potters have his full brother (pictured below) who’s already been well educated at Tom Gretton’s yard in Worcestershire and we’re really looking forward to him running in Bumpers next season.
On the racing front things are, as you’d expect, much quieter at the moment but the likes of Potterman and Excelerator Express will continue on the go for the time being. Neil Mulholland’s charge got put up 10lbs for scoring at Haydock last time and is now off a career high mark but his trainer has entered him up at Uttoxeter on Sunday in a race that looks deep on quality. Potterman, who was undoubtedly a controversial winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (but we’ll take it) will continue in training with Alan King and there are some nice prizes for him over the summer. Funnily enough we’ve also not ruled out a trip to the United States with him as well!
Unfortunately La Reine Poutine suffered a career ending injury at Worcester in April and the vets did extremely well to treat and keep her comfortable on course. She is a beautiful mare with a lovely pedigree and we are extremely lucky to have her join the group of broodmares at James and Jean Potter’s Leighton Farm.
As restrictions continue to be lifted up and down the country, more owners and members of the public are able to attend the races which can only be a great thing and hopefully by the time the National Hunt season jumps into gear in October many more will be on course to enjoy the action first hand, and because of that we are currently looking at the possibility of creating our very own Potter Racing Syndicate which will give potential members the opportunity to own part of a racehorse and enjoy all of the benefits and enjoyment that come with it. It’s still very much in its infancy but if it’s something that might be of interest, let us know what would entice you to join the club and we can hopefully get the hooves in action.
A Top Notch Horse
Before we close this latest addition of Racing Ramblings we’d like to offer our deepest condolences to all of the connections of Top Notch who sadly lost his life earlier this week. He was a tremendous servant for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and all of the team at Seven Barrows including his dedicated rider and groom Sarah Shreeve who absolutely doted on him and she will be feeling his loss much more than any other. Losing any horse is always extremely hard to take and despite being involved in the racing and breeding industry since the mid 90s, I can tell you it doesn’t get any easier. These horses are loved and cared for so much and anyone who says differently only needs to visit a yard to see for themselves.