Stolen Silver flies the flag for Potter Group in the feature Fleur De Lys Chase on the final day of the Winter Millions meeting at Lingfield on Sunday and with a whopping £165,000 in total prize money stretching to sixth place, (just short of £86k to the winner) it was a no brainer to head to Surrey for a crack at the 2m6f event which is live on @ITVracing and @SkySportsRacing.
Our gallant grey has been a stable stalwart of Sam Thomas’s team, winning twice and finishing out of the frame just once (unseated) in all eight starts for the Cardiff based yard, and if his latest effort at Cheltenham is anything to go by, he ain’t done yet and is surely capable of adding to his already impressive prize money haul of over £120,000.
After his excellent effort when second to Midnight River at Prestbury Park on New Year’s Day, the way he appeared to get a second wind and stay on dourly up the hill would suggest the extra couple of furlongs at Lingfield will be right up his street, and while he does have a 4lbs penalty to shoulder for his Silver Trophy success at Cheltenham last April, he’s still slightly better treated in this company rather than if it were a Handicap. He got put up another 4lbs for his most recent effort to a revised mark of 154 which doesn’t seem all that fair bearing in mind he was already conceding 5lbs to the Skelton runner/winner, but that’s neither here nor there in the context of this race!
Sam Thomas has done a brill job with him, not least finding the most suitable races but also riding him every day and whatever happens on Sunday he should be extremely proud for the way he’s handled Stolen Silver. We are certainly very grateful.
Looking at the actual contest; last year’s winner Two For Gold is back for more and sports a visor for the first time, which has to be significant, while the evergreen Bristol De Mai isn’t quite the force of old, and has a first preference at Haydock, but if he does turn up here, this is likely to be a proper slog and he’ll no doubt be staying on well. Brave Seasca will be more at home in this smaller field but whether he’ll quite stay this trip on this ground is questionable. Kalashnikov is a proper mudlark and Amy Murphy has opted to bung a set of blinkers on the seven time winner which could be enough to see him put up a bold show.
Whatever the result, it’s a fantastic race to be involved in with brilliant prize money and we’re very proud to have a horse good enough to compete on the big stage. All we can do is hope for a safe and sound return and hope that Silver can strike Gold!
WHETHER THE WEATHER
Whatever the weather whether we like it or not! There’s absolutely nothing we can do about it and unfortunately many of our (trainers) best laid plans went slightly wayward after this week’s cold snap and many meetings we had runners scheduled to run at were called off. However, it’s fantastic that the BHA have managed to reschedule some fixtures and we’re extremely pleased that Market Rasen is able to restage its Friday card to next Tuesday (24th). Alfie’s Princess and Strong Belle, who is owned by James and Jean Potter Ltd, are set to renew rivalry in the Listed Alan Swinbank Mares’ Bumper and Uncle Bert could also reappear there, but he also holds entries at Ffos Las on Monday.
We popped along to Donald McCain’s last week to check in on Milans Edge who looks a picture and has certainly grown a bit since the last time we saw her on the racetrack in May 2021! Donald is absolutely desperate to run her and she’s been declared twice only for the meeting to be abandoned. She’s got entries at Leicester, Catterick and Warwick next week so keep an eye out for where she might pop up next.
On the subject of the James and Jean Potter Ltd-owned mares, Smiling Getaway has been working well at Dan Skelton’s and is another set to run next week. The impressive Irish Point to Point winner is due to reappear at Huntingdon next Friday in a Bumper.
Potter Group’s Spring Meadow has been put in Novice Hurdles at Market Rasen on Tuesday and Wincanton Thursday.
James and Jean Potter Ltd have three lovely youngsters in training at Seven Barrows, two of which have already made their debuts and appear very exciting prospects.
As we’ve mentioned on this page before Choccabloc ran a very eyecatching race in a bumper at Wincanton on Boxing Day and is due to reappear soon along with Call The Dance who was particularly pleasing when finishing fourth at Ludlow earlier this month. Nico De Boinville was rather complimentary after the race and said had he had more luck in running and not been caught towards the back of the pack early on, he’d nearly have won – even if there was an extra furlong to go – so she could be one to keep an eye on.
Moon Lady is the only one left to run and she was ready to go but scoped slightly dirty a few weeks ago so was given time to recover but word had it that she’d been going as well, if not better, than the other two at home…
Dear Mister Fisher has not been his usual brilliant self this season and we knew something wasn’t quite right so he’s had a full MOT and his palate cauterised. Top vet Ben Brain said there is no wonder ‘Jezza’ was not performing to his best having had a good look inside and discovered what was troubling him, so hopefully we’ll get him back to where he belongs. He is the most handsome and talented horse who has carried the flag for us with great distinction over the years and we all really hope and pray he can net another big prize.