McPherson Racing


23 January

January 23, 2012 Category :News

Spent a very enjoyable day serving drinks behind the bar at the Heythrop point to point yesterday. This season’s meeting is apparently going to be the last at Dunthrop, so it was fitting that it was a day to finish on – good fields, big crowds and some cracking finishes

22 January

January 22, 2012 Category :News

I can’t believe how windy it was at Wincanton yesterday. There were reports of 70mph winds at the top of the TV towers, and I certainly didn’t envy the cameramen thir jobs !

Delighted with HARRY HUNT. His finishing position – fourth – probably doesn’t do his run justice. We were dropping him back in trip to 2miles, and with the omission of 2 hurdles it rather turned into an extended flat race. Not ideal if you are carrying top weight ! In the end the weight counted – we were giving the winner a stone and the second 30lbs – but he battled all the way to the line. Having moaned when the handicapper put him up 7lbs earlier in the season to 130, and complained that I didn’t think he could win off that mark over hurdles, although it pains me to say it I think the handicapper was probably right, and he can be competitive still off that mark.

Less delighted with KILCREA ASLA’s run. The horse was spot on, but was just never put in the race. Its frustrating when you think you’ve got everything just right at home, and go racing with what you think is a live chance, but the horse isn’t given a chance to show what he can do. The good news is that he is absolutely fine this morning – licked his bowl clean, and is bucking and squealing out in the paddock. I suspect he’ll be out again quickly.

18 January

January 19, 2012 Category :News

After surviving two insepctions, Southwell went ahead today. The ground was probably some of the best ground we’ve had for a while – lovely good to soft jumping ground – although the frost that had been it over the last few days meant that it rode a little dead.

Very nice to see TICKATACK break his duck at the fourth attempt. It was fair to say that he’d been a disappointment over hurdles to date – he got very lit up in his first run at Worcester, and its taken a couple of runs for him to learn that he’s got to settle and pass other horses if he wants to win his race ! However, yesterday the penny dropped. Helped by a really good pace, he was able to settle towards the rear and then make his way through the field on the final circuit. He was very green when he hit the front, but stayed on well to win. Whether he can win in the next grade remains to be seen, but although he’s now 7, he remains very inexperienced and hopefully there might still be some improvement there.

TRADITIONAL BOB also ran a nice race to finish 5th in the 2 mile novice hurde. For the first time this season he settled early in the race, and that allowed Jodie to make some progress on the final circuit and pass horses. I’ve been reluctant to run him over further than 2 miles so far this year, as the slower pace in longer races has resulted in him being far too keen, but hopefully he will get more of a trip in time. He’s certainly bred for further. I was also delighted at the way he took to the brush hurdles at Southwell – I’ve always hoped he’ll jump a fence, and on what we saw yesterday, you’d expect him to enjoy that.

Finally, WYCHWOODS DANCER. Although her younger half-sister, A BIT OF A MADAM, went off favourite, of the three that we took to Southwell yesterday WYCHWOODS DANCER was the one that I thought had the best chance of getting her head in front. In her 2 bumpers to date she’d shown everything you would hope to see in a bumper horse – stays the trip, has a turn of foot, and has real battling qualities. However, the best laid plans of mice and men …
Without any pace in the race, Jodie chose to jump off to make it, and out in front the mare pulled and hung. Even then she might well have been in the shake up had she not run very wide on the final bend, losing her momentum and allowing 2 to slip up the inside rail and pass her. Although form of 244 in bumpers isn’t bad, I know that there is a win in her before she goes hurdling, and I know that all her connections are disappointed that we haven’t achieved it yet. One more opportunity, and we’d better get it right next time.

17 January

January 19, 2012 Category :News

Where has all this frost come from the last few days ? Makes life very cold in the mornings, although it is a pretty stunning sight out on the gallops when everything is crisp and white, and the steam is rising from the horses as they walk off after exercise

15 January

January 19, 2012 Category :News

An OK run from Zanir yesterday in the Lanzarote at Kempton, but I’ve got to hold my hands up and say that I was wrong when I said I thought he’d now get 2 1/2 miles on good ground. Tom rode him exactly as we’d planned – dropped him out on the first circuit, crept him into it on the second circuit, and then presented him off the final bend to go and win his race – but before the last he’d run out of petrol and faded back into mid-div. He’ll drop back in trip from now on.

9 January

January 19, 2012 Category :News

Very disappointed with YOUNG JIM’s run at Hereford yesterday. In his own class for the first time, I thought he would run well, but he was simply never at the races today. Immediately after the race the only explanation appeared to be that he hadn’t gone on the ground – which I was surprised at, as he’d given every impression of handling softer ground – but as the adrenalin wore off he went stiff behind, and by this morning he was very sore on his off hind. No sign of a fracture, just very bad bruising, and it looks as though when he made a mistake at the last on the first circuit, he dropped his back leg into the hurdle and banged it hard. Not the toughest of horses at the best of times, I suspect that that knock explains the run.

7 January

January 7, 2012 Category :News

No runners today, but CHORIZO is off hunting in order to gain his Point to Point Certificate. Ollie Garner will ride him in his races this season, and he’s got the task of getting him qualified. The with him will be to run him in point to points and hunter chases in the spring and early summer – and if all goes well, go to Cheltenham for the May Hunter Chase evening – and then keeping him going through the summer under Rules.

4 January

January 7, 2012 Category :News

A quieter week this week, after a frantic one last week, with just MISS BROWNES FANCY as a runner. After her debut at Warwick we thought she’d prefer softer ground, but it proved not to be so. She struggled to jump out of the soft at Huntingdon, and although still in the mix as they turned for home, faded out of it as the leaders pulled clear. Back to a sounder surface for her I think.

Very pleased that Football & Racing Outlook did an excellent Stable Tour feature on is this week, and I hope all of the owners whose horses were mentioned felt that the piece did them justice. I particularly liked the observation that the yard has become one that you ‘ignore at your peril’ !

31 December 2011

December 31, 2011 Category :News

A nice run to end the year, with SOCIETY SHARES finishing third in the Maiden Hurdle at Uttoxeter behind ELTON FOX and AVENGING ACE. They went off a million miles per hour, and Tom Molloy sensibly let them go, although I confess I did become a little worried when the gap between SOCIETY SHARES and the pack grew and grew … Still, Tom was spot on in his judgment of pace, and one by one they came back to him, and he was the only one really still going forward at the line. On better ground he should get more of a trip.

Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks for all your support in 2011. Here’s looking forward to a successful 2012 !

31 December

December 31, 2011 Category :News

Quite the worst weather yesterday at Haydock – how they managed to stage racing I’ve no idea, but race they did, and managed to produce a cracking finish in virtually every race.

All three of ours ran nice races too. KILCREA ASLA finished second in the valuable Veterans Chase over 2m 5f. He relished being back over fences – his jumping was virtually foot perfect – and Sam T-D gave him a lovely ride to produce him into the lead just before the last. For the best part of a furlong it looked like he’d hang on, but Timmy Murphy rode a first-class waiting race on TAMARIN BLEU, and got his nose in front in the last 100 yards or so to relegate KILCREA back to second spot. Agonising, but I was delighted with his run, which is his first time back over fences for almost 2 years after a leg injury, and its certainly no disgrace to be touched off by a horse that was rated 167 only a couple of seasons ago. There was a lovely picture of KILCREA in this morning’s Racing Post as well, although it’s not easy to make out Laura Day’s colours under all the mud !

COCACOBANA also found himself in the winner’s enclosure, after finishing third under Killian Moore. He didn’t really travel for Killian in the ground, but he galloped all the way to the line, and followed up his recent Uttoxeter win with another nice run. He enjoyed jumping the fixed brush hurdles, and that race might well be a nice stepping stone towards a career over fences in the future.

PRESENTED didn’t make the first three, but I was still pleased with his run. Only 4, I was a little worried how he’d handle the ground, but he coped admirably. loved the fixed brush hurdles and ran all the way to the line, staying on well. He’s still green as grass, and has a lot to learn, but everything that he is showing us suggests that he is going to make up into a nice staying chaser in time.

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.