ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (6th– 12th June)

Introduction

It appears that we are in the midst of a wash out, but this has not halted the results by any means. We sent out three winners in three days, built a new car park and have finished the foundations for our new schooling circuit. Therefore it would appear that progress is the name of the game this week.

Round Up of runners

Some 13 runners were sent out this week, accumulating two wins on the flat and a further win over fences, but not forgetting three other places as well.

Thursday was a busy day with no less than four runners across three tracks. Punkawallah ran first and was given a strong ride, with ultimately the trip finding him out to finish tenth of fifteen. Tsundoku ran next and what a run it was. She raced keenly the whole way, settling on the inner to take up the pace on the last bend where she kept on strongly despite leaning towards the chase track and ridden out to win by Charlie. This was her third run of the season over hurdles coming second, second, first and it was great to be there with Dave Arthur.

 

Rogue was the third to run, but could not follow up on Tsundokus success. He ran well for the majority of the way, but was caught wide. He began to falter coming to the last furlong and ultimately weakened close to the line to finish sixth of eight. One of my favourites Guaracha, closed the day at Chelmsford to finish fifth. He ran well for most of the way, but like rogue wasn’t able to maintain his run to the line.

Friday was a day of torture for me, knowing we had four good chances going to post. Minella Voucher, looked obvious to follow up on his previous success at Market Rasen and for most of the way it looked as if this was going to be the case. Jumping well and travelling with ease, he moved up to take closer order coming into the last bend, when just as I was wondering when he would make his challenge he hit the deck, slipping up on the wet bend. I am happy to report that he did indeed get up and is back home now with no obvious injuries, though we are going to be extremely careful. Speaking to the jockey he believes the horse did not clip heels, but in fact hit a patch of false ground. Thankfully Waqt did not see what happened at Market Rasen and delivered a great win at Brighton. It was an odd race due to the atrocious downpours and so the entire field, bar for Waqt went wide on the apparent better ground. Waqt took full advantage of this, taking up the lead from two furlongs out on the inner to win by 4 ½ lengths. When taking this all into account, I cannot believe that the handicapper has put Waqt up by eight pounds, five would be fair enough, but eight in a race that fell apart is cruel indeed. The as mentioned conditions caught out De Little Engine, who simply put hated the conditions. He finished eighth of nine, but this was only by 6 ¾ lengths which the handicapper recognised by not dropping him. French Mix closed the curtain on Friday at Goodwood, finishing a creditable third. This was her first run since a small lay off and so we knew a few cobwebs would need to be blown out, none the less coming third was an excellent benchmarker. She was giving the winner 21 pounds and the second 13 pounds, only getting beaten four lengths, thus showing that this was in fact a great run.

Saturday saw a return to Chepstow with two runners starting at the track. Sigrid Nansen was the first of the two to start, and was miles quicker jumping out of the stalls. She led for most of the way, just getting headed by the front two from three furlongs out and headed from a furlong out for third to finish fourth of twelve. Gendarme was able to go even better, tracking the leaders like a hawk, pouncing two furlongs out to be ridden clear and eased down across the line to give us another winner. We had pulled Gendarme back in trip from twelve furlongs to ten furlongs, and so this gives us lots more options going into the future.

No runners on Sunday sadly, but we did have one on Monday. We have played around with Foxy Lass a fair bit and you will have noticed that John was leading her around at the start. These new tactics have worked a treat for her and saw Foxy jump off at the front, leading for the majority of the race. The well in Hurricane Rita soon ran us down along the back straight, but Foxy fought hard with the other leading three horses to battle on for fourth place across the line.

We sent two runners out on Tuesday, the first being Reshaan to Lingfield. Reshaan was found out by the firm going at Lingfield, due to the course receiving 45mm of rain in the 24 hours prior to racing which hardens the sand. This combined with a wide draw made it very difficult for Reshaan to compete. Panatos however went on an expedition to Carlisle, but the expedition ultimately proved to be in vain as he finished fifth of fifteen. He broke very well from the stalls, but he settled in behind a horse that struggled early in the race and saw us lose ground. It didn’t cost us the win, but a third place finish could be argued.

Next Week

Both Newton Abott and Haydock look to vulnerable to waterlogging and it would not surprise me if these and other cards were abandoned. All being well Regulator is declared for Chepstow Thursday and French Mix heads off to York Festival on Saturday. We have a further two declarations at Bath and another at Sandown. Looking into next week we will have a spread of entries at Brighton, but the rain will influence a lot of our runners next week.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 19/20

Earnings - £14,647

Wins - 2

Top 4 finishes – 10/20 (50%)

Flat 19

Earnings - £112,418

Wins – 15

Top 4 finishes – 61/148 (41.22%)

Year 2019

            Earnings - £150,678

            Wins - 18

            Top 4 finishes – 88/224 (39.29%)

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Gendarme  

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Another of Gendarme 

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Tsundoku  

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Waqt

 

 

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Sigrid Nansen  

​ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (30th May – 5th June)

Introduction

A busy week and some new face to the yard. Last year at Ascot sales we spent £20,400 on three horses, this year we have spent slightly less on another three. Last year’s trio set quite a benchmark and so the new additions have quite a way to go to catch those seven winners and a further 15 places.

Round Up of runners

Seven runners were sent out to six different meetings, collecting two more placed efforts for the yard.

Sigrid Nansen ran well in what turned out to be a blanket finish at Lingfield, the first seven being covered by less than 2 lengths. Sigrid finished fifth, beaten a length and was produced from off the pace to try and run down the leader in the closing stages. Despite finishing well, she ran out of time to real in the winner though again has run well. She has been schooled over the poles this week and we may look at a dual purpose challenge come the future.

O Maonlai was turned around quickly to run at Stratford on the final hunter chase meeting of the year. We knew the race was coming too quickly and the trip unfavourable, but it was another opportunity for the improving Tamby Welch to have another ride and O Maonlai will now be put away for the rest of the summer.

Gendarme defied his inflated price to run a game race and put a challenge in to the market leaders at Brighton. This was his eighth run for us and he has only finished outside the top four twice. It was his first attempt in a class four for us, hence his price, and he ran with credit to take the lead up with three furlongs to run, but the final rise caught him out and the first two soon went past. As said he has been a useful purchase, and hopefully we can continue to maintain his 75% place strike rate.

Diligent ran an ok race at Southwell on Tuesday, though after his last run we were rather hopeful. He is a classic French horse, preferring to fiddle his strides before a fence, but is gorgeous to look at. He ran well up the inside for most of the trip and was hard on the bridle for most of the way though turning in a small mistake just took the wind out of him and he faded in the closing stages. He will continue to run this summer and will have his success sooner or later.

We sent two runners to our local summer track Newton Abbot, though sadly no wins this time round. Thahab Ifraj was back over hurdles, yet he never managed to make an impression on the affair and ran a quiet race. Chasing Headlights collected the second of the two placed efforts this week with a fourth. He went on well to beat the field though was lacking the toe of the front two who were able to pull away.

Gang Warfare closed the week at Ripon, coming sixth at the expense of carrying top weight. Annoyingly he ran on an off day, lumbering eventually out of the stalls and giving himself plenty to do to get back in the affair. Ultimately this mistake proved costly and he soon drifted away from the group.

Ascot Sales

As emphasises last years’ trio of Blackwater Bramble, Cry Wolf and Compton Abbey set the bar for this year’s guys to attain. It was a good sale and I am happy with our three purchases, all of which have existing marks on the flat.

Kafeel:                        An eight year old gelding from Gary Moore brought for £2,500. He was beaten on his last start 2 ½ lengths by Waqt, with the second Maazael beaten 3 ¾ lengths by De Little Engine on his next start. Kaffel is currently on a mark of 56, eight pounds lower than his most recent win in 2018. He is fit and ready to go and holds entries immediately.

Sarasota:                    A four year old filly from Jamie Osbourne’s was brought for £6,000. She has a mark of 61 on the All Weather and is another ready to go. She is a sprinter with her best run coming over seven furlongs and shares similarities to Dee Little Engine who also came from this yard.

 

War Drums:                A five year old gelding brought for £4,500 from Paul Webbers’, has had two starts over hurdles and a mark of 71 on the flat. I think he is a steal for that price and is another one ready to go. We will probably revert to the flat for the time being and he may be slightly above his mark at the moment, but one that could be versatile between a mile four and two miles.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 19/20

Earnings - £9,990

Wins - 1

Top 4 finishes – 8/17 (47.06%)

Flat 19

Earnings - £102,356

Wins – 13

Top 4 finishes –57/138 (41.3%)

Year 2019

            Earnings - £135,959

            Wins - 15

            Top 4 finishes – 82/211 (38.86%)

Kafeel

Kafeel

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Dunnitalls

ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (23rd- 29th May)

Introduction

It seems ‘seconditus’ has us firmly in her grip, collecting two more seconds at Southwell and Bath. After the excitement of Doncaster sales last week, we have gelded the colt, though are cracking on swiftly with Chiavari and Somewhere To Be has gone on to the Welch’s back in Devon. Not resting upon our laurels, work is about to commence on a new car park and schooling facility that we hope to have finished within the next few weeks.

Round Up of runners

Only seven runners were sent out across both codes this week, with the as mentioned ‘seconditus’ continuing and two further places also being retrieved.

Emneshing opened the account at Chepstow, but for reasons unknown could not build upon his second at Wolverhampton prior to this.

Friday was a much more pleasing day with two places and a close seventh. Waqt and Ramblow raced against each other in a one mile affair at Bath, with Waqt jumping off favourite. Waqt wasn’t the quickest away and it came back to haunt him at the end, as he was matching the pace of the winner, but wasn’t able to close up that all important critical one length as he was giving the winner eight pounds. Ramblow too ran with a lot of promise and took a huge step forward, running on from the rear to finish five lengths off the winner. Hopefully she won’t get dropped too much and can run in an upcoming amateur race at Lingfield. Tactical Manoeuvre ran later in the day at Worcester and ran with zest. He ran hard on the bridal for much of the way round and turning in looked very dangerous, ultimately making a small mistake three out and eased down on the flat to finish fourth. He is improving every day and has really come on since the winter and hopefully a bit of rain will allow for another run.

The British Lion and Thahab Ifraj both ran on Tuesday, though there were two very different results. The British Lion just had a bad day, losing his tongue strap going to the start and then making a meal of leaving the stalls which ultimately finished his race before it began. However, Thahab Ifraj reverted to the flat with great success at Southwell, running a very similar race to his previous win yet this time the winner was strong enough to stay the trip unlike before. This was his third run at Southwell and he has never been out of the first three here.

Broke Away completed the week at Newton Abbot in a handicap hurdle and did very well to stay on her feet. An incident in the middle of the race saw one horse fall and bring down another, severely hampering Broke Away. Despite this she found a leg and recovered to finish third. I do not believe this cost her a position in the end, but definitely cost her lengths none the less.

Ascot Sales

With Ascot sales upon us next week I thought I’d take a chance to go through the horses we brought here 12 months ago. From the three horses we brought they have won a combined total of seven races and a further 15 places.

Blackwater Bramble:  A son of Kings Theatre, costing £3,800. He was brought for pointing and won three of his four starts. His first two wins were both the fastest times of the day, whilst his third was just as easy. He was tucked away for the 2019/20 season after his last run and is an exciting prospect for the future.

Cry Wolf:                    A son of Street City brought for a much higher £16,000. He has possibly been one of our best ever purchases. Starting no less than 16 times and only finishing outside the places once, he has been no less than a legend. His four wins have been a boost to the yard and we had such fun last year at Bath coming second in a class two, which was the summer staying series final.

Compton Abbey:        A son of Compton Place was brought for £600 12 months ago and has run well. Despite just falling short of winning, he has collected just shy of £3,500 in prizemoney and four places from 12 runs. He was unlucky not to win on his second start for us getting beaten a neck a neck, but for his price tag his pound for punch has been exceptional.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 19/20

Earnings - £9,291

Wins - 1

Top 4 finishes – 7/13 (53.85%)

Flat 19

Earnings - £101,234

Wins – 13

Top 4 finishes –56/135 (41.48%)

Year 2019

            Earnings - £134,138

            Wins - 15

            Top 4 finishes – 80/204 (39.21%)

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Waqt at Bath

ALEX DUNN RACING WEEKLY REPORT (9th– 15th May)

 

Introduction

The last three weeks has been awesome. From our last 22 flat runners we have had four winners and a further ten place, meaning 63.64% of our runners have come home in the first four on the flat. Over Jumps we have had a winner and a further 2 places, scoring a 50% first four rate. These successes have not gone unnoticed and no we are one of the hottest yards in the country. The team at home has been amazing, the horses performing accompanied by some good jockey and loyal owners. Long may the dream continue!

Round Up of runners

Ten runners on the flat and a further four over jumps has meant it’s been a busy week.

Diligent and Tulsa Jack kicked off the week at Worcester. Diligent looked a certain winner turning in, but just petered out coming to the last and taking a rather rough impact over the last. He hasn’t been with us long and I didn’t expect him to run so well, so I am excited for his future and he is currently open for purchase. Tulsa Jack was switched back to hurdles after all but being brought down at Fakenham. He ran well, but does need the softer ground and so we may possibly give him a short break and wait for the rain to return.

It was a great day for the connections of Truckers Tangle and Minella Voucher at Market Rasen on Friday. In the space of half an hour a third and winner were collected respectively a long with all the goodies. Trucker came up just short again finishing third, though this was his sixth top four finish in seven runs and so proves if anything that he is at least consistent. Minella Voucher on the other hand had no interest in being placed, cantering up by an easier than easy 8 lengths. He has relished the step up in trip to 2 mile 5, and so would appear to now want a little longer.

Gang Warfare ran at the prestigious Ascot but wasn’t able to feature, as was the case for Beau Knight too at Wolverhampton. Azari ran at two of the leading courses on back to back days. Carrying a high weight it was always going to be a challenge at Chester, though he still finished in the top half of the field though wasn’t able to mount a challenge on the winner. He ran the next day at Haydock and it was a great day to have a runner, but ultimately racing back to back days he was always going to be tired.

Three runners went to Wolverhampton and Guaracha really impressed at the venue. At 100/1 he obviously forgot his SP, and if not for the wide draw could have gone a lot better. A lot of work has gone into him and to finish only 7 lengths of the leader is pleasing to see. Punkawallah and Emneshing both ran in the same race, with Punk seventh and Emneshing second. Six lengths separated the first eight home, and there was little to choose from in the closing stages.

Two more places were collected at Chepstow courtesy of Panatos and Waqt. Panatos had the field beat comfortably by 5 lengths, though the one in front was just too good finishing a further 6 lengths clear.  Waqt however was only a 2 ¼ beaten earlier in the day to finish third and was a much more tightly contested affair. A quicker start would definitely have helped and the three pound rise didn’t help, ultimately he ran another good race and so we can’t grumble too loudly.

Now the last runner of the week wasn’t one I was expecting to get beaten, but looking back Gendarme was running off a five pound penalty and carrying top weight. He was only beaten 1 ¾ lengths by a horse carrying 11 pounds less and so maybe we should have waited in hindsight.

News in Racing

After the shock of Ruby Walsh retiring last week you would be forgiven for thinking that there couldn’t be anything more shocking in the news this week, but somebody didn’t tell Gigginstown that. After 18 season, three Grand National Wins and countless festival winners Michael O’Leary has announced his decision to exit the sport within the next few years.

In the season just gone 225 runners were sent out, running just shy of a thousand times in Ireland alone. The bloodstock industry is obviously worried, but you have to remember for every successful bidder there is an under bidder and so the market will by no means completely collapse.

Statistical Summary

Jumps 19/20

Earnings - £6,234

Wins - 1

Top 4 finishes – 3/6 (50%)

Flat 19

Earnings - £97,744

Wins – 13

Top 4 finishes –51/124 (41.13%)

Year 2019

            Earnings - £127,591

            Wins - 15

            Top 4 finishes – 71/186 (38.17%)

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Maddie and Minella Voucher  

 

 

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Diligent