ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (1st– 7th November)


Introduction

A very busy period has just passed this gone week, with no less than 13 runners being sent out with mixed results. The stockpile of stable materials is ever growing and Gerald has finally got a bucket fitted onto the tractor. Though what has been most brilliant as of late, has been the rain which has finally allowed me to school on the grass.

Round Up of runners

Chasing Headlights built upon his previous run to go 1 better and be second at Plumpton, under Adam Wedge. Chasing still managed to make a couple of mistakes on his run round, though he is getting tidier with each run. Reading the RP review, they believe it is not long till he will break his maiden tag and we certainly hope not to disappoint them.

French Mix ran a much improved race at Kempton on the flat to finish a fast closing third. Her first run back after her break was disappointing, though upon reflection she probably just needed the run to blow out the cobwebs. Hannah gave her a good ride, with French Mix bravely holding her position on the bend to then finish with a flourish at the end.

Envole Toi made his stable debut at Ascot on Saturday, running very pleasingly and getting us excited for the future. He led for most of the race, jumping well and coming into the home turn in the mix. The long term plan for him will be chasing, though rather annoyingly due to his last run in France he is out of novice company. He has come down 5 pounds as a result of the race and so gives us lots more options for the future on a promising debut.

Thahab Ifraj made life hard for himself at Wolverhampton, by lumbering out of the stalls. The first time Visor appeared to help and he stayed on strong at the end, receiving a 2 pound drop.  Had he not been as slow out 4th would definitely have been achievable and so look forward to the future for him.

Enmeshing ran in his typical fashion again, this time at Kempton to finish 5th. This is the first time he has not been placed since August and so is a little gutting. Interestingly the race was half a second slower than when he was third beaten by 1 ½ lengths in mid-October.

Schooling

We schooled Blackwater Bramble, Getadollar and Geni Johnson over the hurdles, with the first 2 also jumping the chase fences. They all jumped well, especially the 2 over the chase fences who took to the task exceptionally and so was a good confidence booster going into their respective races.

There are a lot of horses who are yet to have their first runs back since their break and so there will be a lot of schooling over the next coming weeks, with a bit of luck.

News in Racing

It was the Melbourne Cup this week and a marvellous piece of history was made, when Cross Counter won the race leading the way of a British 1 2 3. This was the first time that this has ever happened and so shows how competitive the British Horseracing is, on an international scale.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 18/19

Earnings - £29, 892

Wins - 2

Top 4 finishes – 24/68 (35.29%)

Flat 18

Earnings - £104, 274

Wins – 13

Top 4 finishes – 55/175 (31.43%)

ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (25th October – 31st October)

Introduction

A much quieter period on the racing period on the racing front this week, with only three runners, though this did not stop Enmeshing from going very close at Wolverhampton. At home we schooled 10 different horses on Thursday and Saturday, with both Michael Nolan and Adam Wedge putting them through their paces led by Hannah and John. Alongside this, pallet loads of materials are arriving by the day with all the parts for the new stables, and lastly we have been very busy at Newmarket sales acquiring 3 new horses who I will tell you about in a bit.

Round Up of runners

As mentioned, only 3 runners this week going to both Newbury and Wolverhampton. Enmeshing backed up the form of his last 2 runs to go close again, getting beaten 1 ¾ lengths to finish second. It was a shame that Rossa no longer gets his 3 pound claim, after riding his 95th winner last week, as this may well have made some difference. The combination won over course and distance last time with a 5 pound claim from Rossa, so in theory Enmeshing has improved a squeak since June though annoyingly not quite enough. Rossa gave him a great ride to lead coming into the home straight though couldn’t fend off the challenge of the winner.

Cool Macavity and French Mix both ran in the same race at Newbury on Saturday, with French Mix running off the back of a break and hoping to make it back to back wins. Unfortunately this was not the case with the slightly longer trip getting to her in the last 2 furlongs and maybe just needed the run a tad after her break. Cool Macavity on the other hand made things hard for himself with a slow break out the stalls, yet despite this he ran on gamely through the field and if not for the slow start would have finished in the top half.

Sales Activity

This week it was the autumn horses in training sale at Newmarket and we were really pleased to pick up what we think are three great additions to the yard. Punkawallah has already been snapped up, but there are still opportunities to get involved with the other 2:

  • Reshaan – is a 3 yo Colt by Dark Angel, joining us from Richard Hannon. He has had 2 places from 8 runs, though has never been beaten far. He will stay on the flat for the foreseeable future and we plan to get him out as soon as we can.
  • Regulator – is a 3 yo gelding by Acclamation, joining us from Richard Fahey. He has run 13 times, winning one and being placed a further 8 times, finishing second on his last start at Musselburgh. Regulator is our record purchase in the sales ring and will continue to run on the flat, probably in some handsome Saturday races.
  • Punkawallah – is a 4 yo gelding by Sepoy, joining us from Tom Dascombe. He is a 2 times winner already from 10 starts and has 3 other top 4 finishes to his name. He again will remain on the flat and will go to Nottingham next week in an amateur rider’s handicap, to hopefully begin an exciting chapter.

    Schooling

    Lots of schooling this week, with all of the horses either shaking the summer rust off or learning their trade. Envole Toi, who has an entry at Ascot on Saturday has schooled really well and has had several lovers’ remarks from the jockeys.  Sandro Botticelli, Minella Voucher, Hill Fort and Blackwater Bramble to name a few were all superb as well as all the others.

    News in Racing

    A major tragedy as everyone has heard has been the death of racehorse owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was made famous for his exploits with Leicester City. His horses ran under the ownership of King Power Racing Co Ltd, sending out 56 different horses so far this year. Our thoughts and wishes go out to all affected from West Buckland.

    Statistical Summary

    Jumps 18/19

    Earnings - £28, 918

    Wins - 2

    Top 4 finishes – 23/64 (35.94%)

    Flat 18

    Earnings - £102, 707

    Wins – 13

    Top 4 finishes – 54/166 (32.53%)

ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (18th October – 24th October)

Introduction

It was ever so nearly Kublai again stealing the limelight this week, with a tremendous run at Uttoxeter getting caught so narrowly on the line to break our hearts. Chasing Headlights was not too far behind either being bang there 2 out and losing by a slightly less narrow 2 lengths to be third. Also Getadollar ran well in a maiden hurdle to finish with the yards second third of the week at Exeter and hopefully will soon be in Handicap company. In other news Gerald our yardman is purring over his new tractor at the yard and we are looking to fill the last remaining places in Cry Wolf, De Little Engine and Enmeshing.

Round Up of runners

A whole bunch of runners were sent put to various meetings this week with 4 on the flat and 7 over jumps. There were 3 placed finishes with other horses running well and improving upon previous performances.

Kublai has been hard at it with 3 runs in 19 days and will have a little rest.  His last race at Uttoxeter was another sterling effort only to be denied a second win by a nose on the line. We thought he had done enough to lead coming to 2 out but then we were just reeled in at the very end on the line. He was running under a 7 pound penalty though he was 3 pounds better for running earlier though the race being increased by 20 yards may have made the difference.

Chasing Headlights had a great spin at Plumpton, though we were obviously hoping for more. He wore cheek pieces for the first time as well as running on the good to firm for the first time and this seemed to help, and this was his best run to date. It was great to get a performance like this and gives us lots of confidence for the future.

Getadollar ran another nice race to be able to challenge the first two horses three out from home, though not quite having the toe of the first 2 she beat the 2 horses behind her nicely. Hopefully she will be given a handicap mark now and be able to make the step to handicaps in the near future.

Champagneforoscar made her debut at Fontwell Park on Wednesday in a bumper and it was a good start to her racing career. She was sensible in the stables and was happy to be tacked up, Micheal Nolan had her racing in the middle of the pack and she settled nicely the first circuit and was a bit tired on the run in though plugged on gamely and came back full of life. She had a great time and now we can look forward to the future to build upon this and we may give her another run in a bumper or put her into a hurdle race as she has schooled very well at home.

New Tractor

Gerald our yardman has been getting to grips with the new tractor, a big green John Deere. The old Massey unfortunately couldn’t go any further and so we decided it was time for a new addition, though for the life of me I cannot remember what model our John Deere is. At the moment it has no arms on it though pretty soon it will have them attached and so save us a lot of time around the yard unloading shavings bales or moving fodder bales. It will also be used for harrowing the gallop as it is not too heavy as well as topping the paddocks and towing the muck trailer amongst other jobs.

Shares still available

There are still share available in some of our horses at West Buckland and these are 3 to pick over.

  • Cry Wolf is our leading flat horse this season in terms of prize money with nearly £20,000 so far this season. He is only 5 and has the world at his feet. I firmly believe that he is not yet at his peak on the flat yet and not to mention his hurdling options too. It is a crime that there are still shares available in him with what he has done for us, and what I believe he can do yet.
  • Enmeshing has won this year and is now on the mark that he won on back in June. Enmeshing is good at his level and always has good runs in him being placed third on his last 2 starts and is definitely a fun horse to get involved with.

    News in racing

    I have been doing a lot of strimming the last couple of days due to Taunton losing their fixture next Wednesday as I was so devastated. We were all geared up to run Polo the Mumm, Chasing Headlights and others at the track and so will have to readjust our plans.

    In other news a huge congratulations is in order for James Bowen making it through to the last 3 of the BBC’s young sports personality of the year award. James has ridden a few horses for us now, with the Kid being one of his first winners under rules. We wish him all the luck going forward with the competition.

    Statistical Summary

    Jumps 18/19

    Earnings - £28, 918

    Wins - 2

    Top 4 finishes – 23/64 (35.94%)

    Flat 18

    Earnings - £101, 591

    Wins – 13

    Top 4 finishes – 53/163 (32.52%)

ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (11th October – 17th October)


Introduction

Kublai becomes the latest winner for the West Buckland team, winning at Worcester over hurdles impressively by 18 lengths! This links in nicely with the flat yard passing the £100,000 prizemoney barrier taking our tally under both codes to £127,450 this year and now looking to break the £150,000 hopefully before the end of the season. At the yard a roof has been placed on the existing walker, and we are now awaiting the much anticipated stables.

Round Up of runners

Six runners were sent to post this week, with an impressive win from Kublai and another good run from Enmeshing collecting another 3rd place.

A lot of work was paid off this week with Kublai’s win at Worcester, with everyone working hard to get him into shape. He ran in midfield for most of the race before going on with Shanroe Tic Tec and then getting away from him 2 out to coast home under a comfortable lead. He holds entries at Hereford and Uttoxeter next week and so will run again quickly, if we want to run again before the weights rise.

Enmeshing ran yet another good race at Kempton on the flat, finishing 3rd at a massive 20/1 and only getting beat by 1 ½ lengths. We tried to make more use of him this time as we haven’t had quite as much toe as some other horses in a finish and so Enmeshing was leading form 2 furlongs out, but headed close to the finish and lost 2nd right at the end. This time it was a trip 3 furlongs shorter than last and so we thought going earlier for home would help, which it did, yet not quite enough.

Sandro Botticelli ran in a class 3 at York on the Saturday and finished midfield. We tried first time blinkers and this helped, it is always exciting to have a runner in high class races, but sadly the wide draw proved too costly and he unable to finish placed.

News in racing

The future of Down Royal racecourse in Ireland has been put into uncertainty due to a dispute between the management company that runs the track with the actual owners of the course. The issue is that if the owners of the track were to run the course in house then they would require a licence granted to them by the IHRB and that there is no guarantee this licence will be permitted. Hopefully all can be resolved.

On a brighter note, after reading the Racing Post it has emerged that from 28 interested parties there are now four contenders vying for Towcester, with Arena Racing being one of them. Alas it looks as if Towcester will be saved and we may begin to breathe a sigh of relief.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 18/19

Earnings - £25, 859

Wins - 2

Top 4 finishes – 20/58 (34.48%)

Flat 18

Earnings - £101, 591

Wins – 13

Top 4 finishes – 53/159 (33.33%)