McPherson Racing


30 October

October 30, 2011 Category :News

I’ve thought it best not to post for a few days since Chepstow, as I thought whatever I said would simply prolong the debate over TRADITIONAL BOB’s race. Given that Jodie and I are appealing, I’m still not going to say anything over and above what has been in the press already, other than to thank everyone who has telephoned, texted, emailed and visited us at the yard to give us their support. What you have said has made a difficult week bearable (just !).

Far, far happier things have been going on over the last 24 hours though, with HARRY HUNT winning by the shortest of noses at Wetherby on Charlie Hall day yesterday, on his first attempt over 2m 4f. Anyone that saw the race knows that the plaudits must go to Mick Finn, who had him absolutely spot on for the race, and Tom Molloy, who gave him a fantastic waiting ride at the back of the field before cruising into contention with 1/2 mile to run before chasing down WOLF MOON to get his nose in front in the very last stride of the race. I confess that I thought he hadn’t quite got up, and it was only when I saw the photograph on the big screen and heard the commentator call the result that I actually realised he’d won it. He really is a little superstar, never doing more than what he absolutely has to in order to get his head in front, but still with a real determination to run his best.

The third and fourth were a fair way back, so we’ll have to see what the handicapper does to him this week before deciding what to do next, but to have such a progressive 4 year old as him in the yard, who can win first time out off 123, is something that makes me very excited indeed.

Kempton tomorrow with PORTA VOGIE. I think he should enjoy himself – a small field, good ground and a flat track will play to his strengths. We’ve taken a pull with HURRICANE ELECTRIC though – the ground has still got some good to firm in it on the south coast, so we’ll just hang on a bit longer with him.

Last word – spare some sympathy for Tom Molloy this week. Two fantastic rides to win on 2 difficult horses for us in the last 10 days to kick start his season, and he now starts a 7 day whip ban.

25 October

October 25, 2011 Category :News

Off to Chepstow with THE GOOD GUY and TRADITIONAL BOB this afternoon.
I see that the Racing Post has finally picked up on what we’ve been saying about Guy for the last few runs – he’s weighted to the hilt where he is at the moment ! When oh when is the handicapper going to give him a chance ? This season is fast drawing to a close for him, and I’d love to end with a win for him and his owner Sidney Barling as we did last year.
Bob’s season is just beginning, and its his debut over hurdles this afternoon. He’s schooled well at home, and I think we might just see the levels of ability that he showed in his first bumper returning this season. He lost his confidence completely last year after being brought down at Wincanton, but this year he seems to have got his mojo back.

24 October

October 24, 2011 Category :News

An ordinary Monday, but delighted to welcome Ollie Garner to the team here at McPherson Racing. Ollie holds a Category B amateur licence, and has just returned from a summer racing in the Fegentri amateur series around Europe and a time in America as part of his award for winning last season’s Tom Halliday scholarship. He’s ridden winners between the Flags and and under Rules, and is a great addition to the team. No sooner has he arrived though than he’s off to Leicester to ride one on the flat …

22 October

October 24, 2011 Category :News

A busy weekend, but no racing. Chris Bates and his family had kindly bought a morning on the gallops at a Wooden Spoon charity auction, and they came to see the horses on Saturday morning. The weather stayed fine and a good time was had by all. They had plenty of company on the gallops, as Howard & Louisa Burdett came to see PRESENTED, John Tibbetts came to see TICKATACK and David & Sandra Rodney came to see COCACOBANA and their unnamed 5 yeard old Great Palm, before Nick Newbold and most of the new MISS BROWNES FANCY syndicate dropped in to see their new filly !

PRESENTED is about ready for his debut. We’ll start him in a bumper, as he’s been a bit quirky at home and I’d like to see him have a run without having to worry about hurdling anything. He’s going to be better when we can step him up in trip a bit though, and get him jumping. For a little horse he’s plenty of agility.

There’s another half-dozen or so just waiting for the weather to come now. Rain is forecast next week, so the plan is to take a few to Lambourn in the middle of the week to get a good blow into them and (hopefully) have them spot on for their debuts the following week.

19 October

October 20, 2011 Category :News

A busy afternoon at Worcester yesterday, with 4 having their first run of the winter.

FAIRVIEW SUE ran a good race in the opening Mares Novice Hurdle. Jumping two out she looked the winner, but couldn’t go with them as a couple went past her. 2 miles might just have been a bit sharp for her on the ground there. THere’s no doubt that that was a step in the right direction though, on only her second run over hurdles, and I think she’ll improve again with experience.

TICKATACK’s turn next, in the Maiden. He jumped well, but ran far, far too keen on his racecourse debut and he had run his race by the time they turned for home with over 1/2 mile left to run. He plugged on to finish mid division, but he’s going to have to learn to settle in order to see out his races properly. Expect to see him held up with a wall of horses in front of him next time !

VERDE GOODWOOD was the only disappointment of the afternoon. She didn’t travel well on the ground, made a couple of bad mistakes down the back and virtually pulled herself up turning for home; it looks like the racecard assessment of her as ‘temperamental’ might have been quite apt. Well done to Tom for nursing her home, but its back to the drawing board with her I think. Following that run Peter Randall, who owns both VERDE and RORY BOY, has experienced the extreme highs and lows of racing in 24 hours ….

QUEL BRUERE meant that we finished the day on a good note. As his previous form shows (his last 5 runs have been F2P2P) he’s either on a going day, or he’s not. Fortunately yesterday was a going day ! Sent out in front he jumped and travelled well, but had no answer to Restezen d’Amour, who’s now won 3 of his last 4 and is showing no sign of stopping his progress up the handicap. Another second place to add to his formm means that he’s now looking like a horse with a bad case of seconditis.

Now that the rain is coming, fingers crossed we’ll start to have more of the winter horses beginning their campaign. Its probably too much to hope that we’ll have any soft ground for a while, but some genuine good or good to soft would be very welcome indeed.

18 October

October 18, 2011 Category :News

Delighted to win with RORY BOY at Exeter this afternoon, even if it was on ground that you’d expect to find in July rather than October. He’s a little tinker of a horse, with bags of ability but a real reluctance to put it in. Still, looks like the change of scenery from NTD’s yard has worked well for him, as that’s his first win for a while now.

The only tarnish on the day was Tom Molloy picking up 7 days for his use of the stick on the horse. For what its worth, I thought that Tom gave the horse a great ride and I’m very disappointed for him than he’s fallen foul of the new Rules as he has. Bluntly, if he hadn’t used the stick as he did, there’s no way the horse would have won – he simply would have tailed himself off, and no amount of hands and heels would have got him back into the race.

Does his use of the stick merit Tom losing his riding fee today, losing his share of the prize money and having to spend 7 days on the sidelines without the opportunity of earning a riding fee ? I’ll leave you to think about that for yourself, but to put it into perspective, Tom’s driven to Exeter today for the one ride. Despite riding a winner he has come back with empty pockets – in fact its worse than that, since he has still had to pay for his diesel to get there, his agent’s fee and his valet fee. Bizarrely he would have been better off if he had simply refused the ride and stayed at home …

Let’s wait and see what the BHA says on Friday when it announces the result of its review of the recent changes.

16 October

October 16, 2011 Category :News

Tom, Jodie and Killian rode this week’s runners out this morning – or should i say, rode out those horses that we’ll have running if we get any rain …

Excellent day at Cheltenham yesterday, and many congratulations to the owners of IXORA, who won the Graeme McPherson trains for Arion Racing Hurdle. It looks like they’ve got a nice mare there, and I see that Tom Malone bought it for them. That man certainly has an eye for a nice horse.

I thought that Ascot was an interesting day. On the one hand, who couldn’t fail to be impressed by FRANKEL ? What a horse, what a training performance by Henry Cecil. On the other hand, you’ve got Christophe Soumillon’s performance after he was found in breach of the new whip rules. Not impressed at his outburst at all.

The whip has obviously been a massive talking point for the last 10 days or so, with some very high profile critics. I probably sound like I’m sitting on the fence, but while I think that the old Rules needed improving, I’m yet to be convinced that the new Rules are the appropriate way to achieve what the BHA is wanting to achieve. If the flat boys and girls are struggling, what’s it going to be like when reluctant jumpers start ploughing through the mud ?

15 October

October 15, 2011 Category :News

After everything worked well yesterday morning, we had a nice day at Cheltenham. Good racing, even if the ground was unbelievably quick, and then an evening at the sales. Looks like there might be one coming to us …

This morning we have 40 visitors from my old College, all of whom had made a good donation to the Injured Jockeys Fund for a morning on the gallops. Its always great to show off the yard, and the horses all behaved themselves immaculately. Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves, and we tipped them a few winners for the season !

No runners this weekend, because of the ground. Surely it must rain soon …

Finally, beware grumpy welshmen on the yard if you are coming to see us this weekend. Can’t quite understand the bad mood – something about 9-8, 14 men ??

12 October

October 12, 2011 Category :News

Long trip to Huntingdon yesterday with Tighe Caster, but the ground was much too quick when we got there. No point taking a risk on that sort of ground, particularly witha grand old man like TC.
Good session schooling what seemed like the whol yard this morning ! The turf schooling grounds are still too quick to be doing too much on, but we’ve dragged a couple of the all-weather French hurdles into the school for the horses to pop away over. It gives them something different to think about !

10 October

October 11, 2011 Category :News

Two nice runs at Ffos Las yesterday, with The Good Guy and Hurricane Electric both making it into the places.
Guy just doesn’t know how to run a bad race – even when a couple go past him he keeps battling on. I just wish the handicapper would give him a chance to get his head in front once this season. Every time he’s got within a whisker of winning, he’s been put back up to a mark that he just can’t win off.
Hurricane Electric made a pleasing debut. Off for over 6 months since a disappointing end to last season at Stratford, he was trying a 3m trip for the first time. Fair to say that he wouldn’t have reached the winner, but a mistake at the last stopped him from earning a little more prize money. We’ll look for something similar for him in a couple of weeks.
One of our owners told me yesterday that, since the start of the new season in the spring, we’ve been achieving a 64% win and place NH strike rate, and a 67% win and place strike rate on the flat (although I concede that the flat strike rate is based on very few runners – don’t want to get too much of a reputation for training flat horses !). If we can keep those figures up as the season progresses, I’ll stay a happy man.

7 October

October 7, 2011 Category :News

Work morning this morning, so Jodie, Tom & Killian all very busy. We’re lucky enough to have a new girl, Kerry, riding out for us for a few days, so that made getting everything done a bit easier now that we’re full to the gills.
Very pleased with PRESENTED – the penny is starting to drop for him.

New Horses

October 6, 2011 Category :News

Delighted to welcome a new owner, Laura Day, and her 4 horses – Zanir, Laneguy, Je ne sais plus and Kilcrea Asla – to the yard. They are lovely horses, and fingers crossed we’ll having some success and some fun with them this winter.

5 October

October 5, 2011 Category :News

Jodie and Tom were at the jockeys whip seminar yesterday. Fair to say they have differing views about the new Rules. Its difficult to say how the Rules are going to work out for the first few weeks; the jockeys are well used to riding with a particular style, and it is going to be tough to change that style overnight. I suspect a fair few will fall foul of the changes until they get used to it.
John Tibbetts was in this morning to see Tickatack do his last piece of work before his first run next week. Looking forward to seeing him out on the track – while he’ll undoubtedly be best over an obstacle, I think he might well run respectably in his bumper first.
Pat McKeown was also in this morning. He’s putting together a syndicate and was ironing out the details.
Finally, a group of the Warwick members that were here on Monday are having shares in a horse that we are going to run as a McPherson Racing Partnership horse. They are going to have PORTA VOGIE, and he should give them plenty of fun. There’s a few shares left, and the Partnership is being run as a lease rather than a purchase, so anyone who is interested, get in touch !

3 October

October 3, 2011 Category :News

Glorious sunny day, and a busy morning. 35 Warwick members came to watch 3rd lot, have breakfast and then have a look round the yard. Its always lovely to have people to the yard and show off the horses. Hopefully everyone had a good time.

1 October

October 3, 2011 Category :News

Well, that was a most enjoyable trip to Wolverhampton !
HARRY HUNT ran a cracker to win the 1m 6f maiden, beating one of John Gosden’s and another of Sir Michael Stoute’s. Adam Kirby had him travelling beautifully, and when he asked him to go on off the final bend Harry got his head down to win by just over a length. We’d hoped that he’d run a nice race to put him spot on for an outing over hurdles, but that exceeded all of our expectations. He’ll now be aimed for the 2m5f handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday 15 October.
RORY BOY also ran a nice race to finish 5th over the same trip. He was unlucky to miss the break quite badly, as the blindfold was slow coming off, but Michael Stainton brought him slowly back into the race and had him doing his best work at the finish. It looks as though he might just have got his enthusiasm back, although we won’t know for sure until he’s back over fences later in the month.

30 September

September 30, 2011 Category :News

Jodie Mogford, Tom Molly & Killian Moore all riding work this morning. Everything worked well. There’s quite a few now ready for a run, so we just need a drop (more like a deluge) of rain.
Off to Wolverhampton tonight for a couple of rare runners on the flat – Rory Boy and Harry Hunt are both having a spin in the 1m6f maiden. It won’t be a regular occurrence during the season, but one or other of them might just spring a surprise tonight …

Open Day Photos

September 28, 2011 Category :News

Ralph Green has very kindly given us a disc with the photos that he took at Sunday’s Open Day. Here’s a good selection below. More available on request !

The expectant crowd

Getting prepared to watch the parade

Mrs McP welcoming the guests

Mick Finn, with our farrier Charlie Sands and owner Mary Du Croz

The team that made it all happen - Mick, Sam, Killian, Eilish, Stef, Kaylee, Dawn & Michelle

Mike Henderson, taking pride in a job well done !

Getting things underway

TIGHE CASTER, the elder statesman of the yard, kicks of the parade

TICKATACK, one of this season's exciting newcomers

FAIRVIEW SUE - quite possibly the prettiest mare in the yard

4 year old Irish point to point winner PRESENTED

COPACOBANA, led up by his owner's daughter Emily Rodney

QUIZWORK, a gorgeous stamp of a horse to go chasing with

WYCHWOODS DANCER, a winner waiting to happen

GYPSY GEORGE, owned by the yard sponsor Nailsworth Mills Estate

MISS BROWNES FANCY, a lovely filly to go juvenile hurdling

WILLIES YARD, an exciting novice chasing prospect

Looking round the yard

Sam Canning and conditional Killian Moore


Lunch ...

... and pudding ...

26 September

September 26, 2011 Category :News

Many thanks to everyone who came to our Owners Day yesterday and made it such a success. The weather stayed decent, the horses all behaved themselves and I think that a good time was had by all. Plenty of familiar faces there, and some new ones too. A number of new owners bought legs, and a couple bought whole horses, so welcome to everyone who has woken up this morning a new owner at McPherson Racing !
Lots of photos to follow very shortly indeed.

23 Sept

September 24, 2011 Category :News

The summer horses are coming to an end of their season, and the most forward winter horses are still a couple of weeks off a run, so runners have been thin on the ground this week. However, we’ve not been idle – we’ve a handful of boxes still waiting for their occupants to return from pre-training, but with every stable taken, mornings have been very full indeed recently. On top of that we’ve been preparing for this Sunday’s owners day. Fingers crossed the weather is good, as we’ve got an ice cream van coming, not to mention 200-odd people !

20 September

September 20, 2011 Category :News

A good weekend. John Tibbetts and his daughter came up to see their new horse Tickattack on Saturday morning. He won his Irish maiden in some style in the spring, and I’m delighted to have him in the yard. We’ll probably look for a bumper for him first time out, but you’ve only got to look at him to see that he is made to be a chaser.
Excellent run from The Good Guy at Plumpton on Sunday, beaten less than a length by a horse to which he was giving 22lbs. It was the same race that he finished second in last year, that time beaten a short head by Strumble Head, so its getting a bit frustrating taking him to the south coast every year ! He’s such a game horse, and tries his heart out every time he runs, but he really needs the handicapper to give him a chance. Still, all the time he’s in good heart we’ll keep running him and hopefully he can get his head in front next time.