McPherson Racing


29 December

December 29, 2011 Category :News

Frustrating day at Leicester yesterday. Neither RORY BOY nor QUEL BRUERE ran their true races. QUEL BRUERE found everything happening a bit too quickly for him over 2m 4f on good to firm ground, so we’ll look for something over a little further, although he needs a sound surface to show his ability. RORY BOY jumped beautifully, but wasn’t helped by 3 fences being omitted due to low sun, and when it turned into a long distance flat race, that really wasn’t for him ! He’ll have a little break to freshen him up now, and will come back for a spring campaign which will hopefully see him add to his tally for his owner Peter Randall.

28 December

December 28, 2011 Category :News

Good run from TRADITIONAL BOB at Chepstow yesterday, staying on in the mud to finish mid-division. He’s a funny horse – he travels beautifully, but flatters to deceive, not finding much of the bridle when push comes to shove. He’s also one that I think that might be best at a shorter trip, particularly in soft ground, as although he’s bred to stay forever, what he’s shown on the track so far suggests that a stiff 2 miles or an easier 2 1/2 miles might be what suits him.

HARRY HUNT did what was expected of him at Kempton, finishing third in the Class 1 Wayward Lad Novices Chase and giving his owners, Arion Racing, a cracking day out. I was pleased with the way that he jumped, and aside from a couple of sticky ones at the ditches, it was a pleasing enough debut. I’ve been surprised at the different reactions that running him in that race against Peddlers Cross and Sprinter Sacre has generated. Some have said it was a mistake to give him his debut over fences in a race like that where he had little chance, others have said it was a good bit of placing to pick up more prize money for finishing third than he would have done had he won a minor novice chase somewhere. All I know is that a small field, lovely ground and good fences for a novice to jump were the boxes that I was looking to tick for his first run over fences, and that race ticked all three. He can build on that, and while his sights will be set a little lower next time out (!), it shouldn’t be too long before he’s winning over fences.

To Leicester today, with RORY BOY and QUEL BRUERE in the handicap chase. I never like running horses against each other, but they are both good ground horses and that is in rather short supply at the moment. They both had 2 good runs at the start of this season’s campaign, followed by a disappointing one last time out for different reasons. Which of them will come out on top today ? Difficult to say – I’d be happy if the Judge has to try to split them in a photo finish !

27 December

December 27, 2011 Category :News

A disappointing Boxing Day Yesterday. We went to Huntingdon thinking thta LANEGUY was a near-certainty, but he just didn’t jump in the ground, made a couple of bad mistakes at his fences, and was beaten with over 1/2 mile to go. To be fair to him, his best form has been on better ground, but he coped well enough last time out at Bangor, and I thought he’d handle going at Huntingdon that was only a little softer. I was wrong.

TICKATACK continues to make progress. I was very pleased with the way that he settled at Towcester, and then stayed on up the hill. That run qualifies him for a handicap mark now, and I think we’ll see him run much better against horses in his own class. I’m also coming round to thinking that we might go over fences with him sooner rather than later, as he jumps a fence well, and I think he’ll enjoy his chasing.

To Kempton today, with HARRY HUNT. When I entered him for the Wayward Lad Novice Chase it was because in recent years it has cut up as a race, leaving small fields with horses generally rated between 120 & 140 – ideal, I thought, for a first time out novice over fences who is rated 130 over hurdles. Unfortunately I hadn’t counted on this year being the strongest renewal in living memory – although only 2 other runners, they just happen to be the favourites and second favourite for the Arkle ! Still, he can only go there and do his best, and while I doubt he’ll trouble the principals, I’m looking for an encouraging debut from him.

25 December

December 27, 2011 Category :News

Happy Christmas from all at McPherson Racing ! Think of us doing 2 lots while you have your Christmas breakfast !

18 December

December 19, 2011 Category :News

The long awaited (by me at least !) debut for the yard for ZANIR yesterday, in the 2m4f limited handicap at Haydock. The best way that I can describe his performance is a great run, which justified a better position than the 6th place in which he finished. Turning for home, and even jumping the last hurdle, he looked as though he’d be challenging for the win. However, although he loved the heavy ground, he just didn’t get 2m 4f in ground that testing. I’ve no doubt he’d get 2m 4f in better ground, or run well over 2m in heavy ground, but just not the extreme test of both.
Where next with him ? He’ll certainly win over hurdles off his present mark of 134, even if its as high as he’s ever been, but I think that we might just look to go chasing with him next. He jumps well, and he’s got the speed to be competitive over 2 miles, so don’t be surprised if you next see him out over fences in the New Year. We can always come back to hurdles …

15 December

December 19, 2011 Category :News

We’ve just taken a pull with a couple in the last few days, as one or two haven’t been running to form in the last 10 days or so, and a couple have been coughing on the yard and scoping a little bit dirty. However, they all seem to be back well again now – clean scopes and good blood tests across the board – and WYCHWOODS DANCER showed that there was certainly nothing wrong with her when running a cracking race to grab a place in what was a well above average mares bumper at Towcester today. Turning for home it looked between her and Tim Vaughan’s nice mare TOT CORDE MIO – rumoured to have been bought recently by a well known former owner for a very substantial sum – and in the end Tim’s mare just prevailed. Kevin & Anne Glastonbury were however justifiably dfelighted with their filly’s run – two starts, and in the winner’s enclosure both times. It would be lovely to get a ’1′ in front of her name before we go hurdling, and so we’ll look for another bumper for her in the New Year.

11 December

December 19, 2011 Category :News

Not a successful day. Three at Hereford, and with the exception of PRESENTED, who ran a really nice race on his debut over hurdles, they were disappointing.
Paddy Brennan got off JE NE SAIS PLUS and announced that she just didn’t seem interested in racing any more, a trait that she’d apparently shown last year at her previous yard. Although she arrived at the yard in October as a mare who had been difficult to train and run in the past, she’s been beautifully settled and willing at home, doing everything that we have been asking of her. It looks as though as she’s been fooling us all along though, as the moment the flag dropped she simply refused to put it in for Paddy at all. We’ll obviously have to have a think where to go with her from here, although she is a beuatifully bred mare, and she’ll have a future in the paddocks at the end of her racing days.
CONSTANT CUPID is another that continues to frustrate. We thought that the ground at Hereford would be more to his liking – he won on very heavy ground earlier this year – but he was another who just wouldn’t put his best foot forward. The run topped a bad weekend for his owners, as Mary Du Croz fell and broke her wrist at Cheltenham the previous day – we all wish her a very speedy recovery.

10 December

December 19, 2011 Category :News

Three runners yesterday, YOUNG JIM, FAIRVIEW SUE and RORY BOY.
RORY BOY chose centre stage at Cheltenham to show the signs of temperament that he can. After winning or being placed in each of his starts for his this season, it was disappointing that he chose not to put it in yesterday, but he’s shown in the past that he has his own mind on occasion, and we’ll just have to put it down to that.
YOUNG JIM has now run three times in novice hurdles, and qualifies for a handicap mark. He settled much better at Doncaster yesterday than on his last run at Chepstow, so hopefully he is learning as he grows up. I also think he’ll benefit from handicap company, so fingers crossed the handicapper is fair to him and gives him a chance.
FAIRVIEW SUE remains frustrating. One of our best work horses at home, she just isn’t showing on the track what we know she is capable of. She travelled really well for about 2m, before going out like a light. She’s not showing any obvious physical problems, and she’s not being at all mareish at home, so I think she’ll have to have a full MOT before she next runs to see if we can get to the bottom of what is stopping her

8 December

December 8, 2011 Category :News

The long-awaited return of TICKATACK today, in what I’m afraid was a really decent 2m 4f Novice hurdle. You know that the opposition could take a bit of beating when the Racing Post tells you that one of them was bought for £240,000 after winning his maiden point to point earlier in the year …

After pulling so hard last time when we tried to hold him up, the plan this time was to bounce him out and see whether he’d settle in front. A bit keen at first, he did drop his head though and settle well enough. Although he was tapped for toe when those around started to pick up the pace turning for home, he stayed on well, and I can’t be disappointed with his run. He’s certainly improving all the time for his racing, and I’d hope to see another step in the right direction next time out.

7 December

December 8, 2011 Category :News

Three cheers for VERDE GOODWOOD – a really nice win at Leicester today over 2 miles, and given a really inspired ride by Tom, going wide all the way to find the better ground. After her debut performance at Worcester we were left scratching our heads a bit, but her subsequent third in a mares hurdle and today’s win show her abilities to far better effect. She’s going to the sales at the end of the month, and I suspect that whoever buys her will readily find a race or two for her off her current mark, particularly if they wait until the better ground starts to come after the winter.

4 December

December 8, 2011 Category :News

Just the one today, MISS BROWNES FANCY on her debut over hurdles in the juvenile at Warwick for her new owners, the Martins Hill Racing Partnership III. After doing everything she could to unship Jodie at the first, she then settled and jumped very nicely, moving through the field well to finish 5th beaten a total of 8 lengths. Its too much to say that her bad mistake at the first cost her the race, but I think she would have finished closer had she not made it, and she should be exciting next time out.

Fantastic day as well for the owners, who helped sponsor the day to raise money for the Acorns charity. They laid on a fantastic marquee and fingers crossed it raised a small fortune for the charity. Anyone who is interested in donating, go to their website

3 December 2011

December 8, 2011 Category :News

A change of plans this morning. The early morning inspection and reportedly heavy ground at Chepstow meant heading west rather than north to Wetherby as planned, to check that the ground was safe enough to run YOUNG JIM and KILCREA ASLA. A scoot round the track before racing left me happy enough – it was a bit dead, but (particularly on the fresh ground that they had made available by moving the rail) basically soft, safe jumping ground.

That was pretty much where the happiness ended for a while ! YOUNG JIM gave poor Tom no chance whatsoever in the Novice hurdle. Lit up like a Christmas tree at the start, he pulled his way to the front with over a circuit to go and kept pulling and pulling until, as was inevitably going to happen after that, he ran out of steam. Fair play to Tom for getting him round at all – many would have given up and pulled up. KILCREA ASLA was a much better run. Off for almost 700 days, he blew up turning for home but then stayed on well in the straight to finish mid-division. Although that means he remains a long-standing maiden over hurdles, it should get him spot on for a return to chasing later in the year.

Lastly, QUIZWORK. I am so sad that things are just not working out for him at the moment. He looked like the switch to fences was just the tonic he needed on the first circuit, bowling along and taking lengths out of his rivals in the air. Then on the second circuit he simply stopped to nothing, and his jumping went to pot. Its back to the drawing board with him, but I do fear that we are rather running out of options. For a horse that had such a fantastic novice hurdle season 2 years ago he has been a massive disappointment

30 November

December 8, 2011 Category :News

TRADITIONAL BOB brought November to an end for us today, and with much happier consequences than his last run at Chepstow. He probably just failed to see out the trip in the softer ground, but I was pleased with his run. He’s slowly learning to settle – he was still keen today, but much less so than last time out – and when he does so, he should stay better and be much more competitive at the business end of affairs.

28 November

November 28, 2011 Category :News

A busy weekend, and a successful one, with everything that went out running a pretty decent race.
Unluckiest of the weekend must be LANEGUY. Having putting in a first class round of jumping at the head of affairs at Bangor, he was collared in the dying strides to be beaten a neck into second. There was nothing that Tom could have done – he gave the horse a lovely ride. Someone suggested afterwards that LANEGUY didn’t quite get the trip. They were right – he stays 2m 1 f 105 yards, but not 2m 1f 110 yards ! The third horse was well back, so we’ll just have to hope that the handicapper doesn’t punish him too harshly for his second.
From an afternoon at Bangor to an evening at Wolverhampton – something to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. LITTLE PERISHER was stepping up in trip to 7f, but we thought he’d enjoy the extra furlong. He ran a decent enough race, only beaten 2 lengths in the end, and he certainly did stay the trip. However Michael Stainton said afterwards that he’d felt a bit flat, and I wonder whether, with the amount of racing he’s had despite his young age, he needs a bit more than 7 days between his races these days to get his spark back. Still, he’s been knocking on the door in each of his two starts for us, and I’d hope that he gets his head in front before too long.
Finally, Leicester yesterday for Verde Goodwood in the 2m mares race. After looking like she was going to be tailed off after a mile, she responded well up the home straight to finish like a train and snatch third. I think that a combination of a slightly longer trip, and the confidence that will come with that run after her poor showing at Worcester on the previous occasion, should give her a real chance next time out.

25 November

November 25, 2011 Category :News

A great start to his season for COCACOBANA yesterday, winning first time out. A fantastic ride from Killian too – held up last of 17 for the best part of 2 miles, he brought COCO through the entire field in the home straight to get his head in front 30 yards from the line and win by a head. A really cool, mature ride for one so young. It is rides like that that will bring him to the attention of other trainers and start to get him the number of rides that he deserves.

Very pleased with THE GOOD GUY too, running his race from the front as always. That will be it for the season for him though now – he’s been on the ongoing since early in the year, and deserves a good break. He’ll go home to his owner, Sidney Barling.

24 November

November 24, 2011 Category :News

Schooled half the yard yesterday – we’ve got to take full advantage of the ground no longer being baked hard, but not yet frozen solid with frost ! Something tells me that the all weather schooling strip is going to get plenty of use this winter … Happy with them all, particularly a couple of the youngsters that are turning their attention this year from hurdling to chasing. One that might be worth looking out for is HURRICANE ELECTRIC – he’ll have one more run over hurdles and then go over the larger obstacles. Very pleased also with PRESENTED – he’ll definitely go hurdling now rather than have another run in a bumper.

Disappointing run from QUEL BRUERE at Wetherby in the afternoon. He’s a horse that likes to bowl along in front, and he simply never got the chance to get into the race. Next time …

22 November

November 22, 2011 Category :News

Apologies for a couple of days without posting – technical problems with the website ! Still, gives me the opportunity to relive the last few days …

No racing on Friday, although Paddy Brennan came in to school a few with Jodie, Tom, Killian & Ollie. Laura Day’s horses are all on the verge of a run, and fingers crossed Paddy will be able to ride them. Rather irritatingly though Zanir has just a touch of heat in a foot, and that is going to set him back a couple of days.

Saturday saw us at Haydock with Harry Hunt and a step up in class for him to a £35,000 race. I’ve said before that he’s the sort of horse that you just don’t know how good he is, or how far he can go, as he doesn’t do much at home, and can race a little lazily, meaning that you are never quite sure how much more he has to give. Unfortunately, although he ran a decent race to finish mid-division, Tom reported that he ran a little flat, and certainly I don’t think he quite ran as well as he can. That said, things were probably cursed from the start as he was Alastair Down’s Racing Post pick that morning ! The plan will be to give him a little break, freshen him up, and then look for a similar race in the New Year.

From ‘up north’ to ‘down south’ on Sunday, with CONSTANT CUPID and HURRICANE ELECTRIC at Exeter. CONSTANT CUPID was only there because the course was saying it had genuine soft ground (and even a few heavy patches at decs), but when we walked the course it was the same story as we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks – good to soft at best. It was safe enough, but he just won’t run as he can on anything other than really soft ground, and as a result he ran a disappointing race. More encouraging was HURRICANE ELECTRIC’s run. He’s another that likes cut in the ground, and we’ve been waiting for the ground to build on his seasonal debut at Ffos Las last month. Even he though found things a bit too sharp, staying on into third place but not having the pace to match the winner and the second on the ground.

Finally, we were very pleased to welcome Mark Pitman Karen Bourdon to the yard this morning. They have a cracking pre-training yard, and run the Jenny & Mark Pitman Racing Club, and it was lovely to show offf what we have here to them.

17 November

November 17, 2011 Category :News

Many thanks to everyone who has been in contact over the BHA’s decision today. Hopefully we can now put the whole thing behind us and get back to banging out a few more winners !

17 November

November 17, 2011 Category :News

Took 3 to Peter Cundall’s beautiful grass gallop yesterday for a 12f piece of work on turf. How I wish we had something like that at home !
All three – ZANIR, KILCREA ASLA and WILLIES YARD – worked very well indeed. They will all have their first run of the season in the near future, so fingers crossed they keep up the good start to the season that we are enjoying.

Jodie and I have our appeal against the Chepstow stewards’ decision about TRADITIONAL BOB this morning. Wish us luck …

14 November

November 14, 2011 Category :News

Cracking run from RORY BOY at Leicester today, and a great ride from Tom. Just as at Exeter three weeks ago, the horse tried to throw the towel in when the race quickened, and didn’t put his head down and try for Tom until the last 1/2 mile or so, but when he did knuckle down he loved passing horses again. He was travelling best of all at the finish, and got up in the dying strides to snatch second ahead of KATIES TUITOR. It was only 18 months ago that that horse was winning valuable handicaps off 145, so I’m delighted that RORY is showing his true ability again. The winner, FIRST FANDANGO, is a smart horse, so there was no shame in going down by 3 lenghts to him.
He’s now run on the flat, over fences and over hurdles in his last three runs, and I think that doing different things with him has really helped sweeten him up. After today I think we’ll stick with hurdling for his next run, but perhaps look to step him up in trip a fraction.