McPherson Racing


8 May

May 8, 2018 Category :News

It was an emotional day at Ludlow today, as HARRY HUNT ran his final race in a long and distinguished career. Having shown very little on the flat at 2 and 3 in Ireland, he was transformed by his journey across the Irish sea. Over the course of the following 7 years he ran 56 times. He won 8 of those races – on the flat, over hurdles and over fences – and won and was placed in well over half his races. He took his owners to the Cheltenham Festival twice, finishing in the top half each time. In the last 12 months he has also run in 3 charity races, placing each time, as well as surprising all of us (well, some of us !) by winning over fences for one last time at Ayr. He was a joy to train and have in the yard. We’ll all miss him hugely. He has got a lovely retirement to look forward to, eventing with Steph Cameron who has looked after him so well for so long. Happy retirement !

With all of that going on, I’ve almost overlooked RED ADMIRABLE ! Older than HH, facing another season in training next year – and still loving his racing ! He finished a solid fourth at Ludlow on ground that was probably just a bit too quick for him. He’ll have a summer out and then return in the autumn.

7 May

May 7, 2018 Category :News

My youngest, Paddy, summed up today at Warwick perfectly ‘Not a very good day, Dad’ ! DELIRIOUS LOVE jumped like an idiot on his debut over hurdles – far, far too keen, and gave the obstacles no respect at all before unseating Kielan at the third. For a horse that is so relaxed at home, and who jumps hurdles like he’s been doing it all of his life, he’s been a very frustrating horse to take racing this winter. ALEXANDER THE GREY then travelled really nicely for a long way in the 2m handicap hurdle before Kielan felt him take a couple of false steps, and pulled him up very quickly indeed. We couldn’t find anything obviously wrong after the race, but we’ll see how he is in the morning. Fingers crossed, it is nothing serious.

6 May

May 6, 2018 Category :News

So, here we are at the start of a new season, and where better to start than Towcester in the sunshine !
I thought we might start the season with a winner in DAYDREAM AULMES, making his debut over hurdles, but he ran flat and could only finish fourth. He’s been in a long time, and he’s one who is going to benefit huge for a good summer break, so its out in the paddocks for him now.
A very nice debut run in the bumper for BUDDING ROBIN though. He’s a lovely big half-brother to some cracking staying chasers, so the bumper run was very much for experience, but he travelled well and knuckled down to battle it out for the minor placings. I doubt he’ll have another bumper run – 3m and hurdles in the autumn is what he’ll tackle next.

28 April

April 28, 2018 Category :News

It would have been nice to finish the season at Sandown with 2 in the winners enclosure, but it wasn’t to be. The rain made the ground too soft for STYNES and, although he made a bold effort to return to winning ways after 300-odd days off, it was always going to be difficult in those conditions for a horse that likes it like tarmac ! He will press on through the summer now, and there will be plenty of handicap chases to be won with him over 2m – 2m 4f.

SKIPTHECUDDLES also made a bold bid to follow up his Ludlow win earlier in the week with another success, but he was held when falling at the last. He would have stayed on for a place, but it wasn’t to be. For a horse that has raced 5 1/2 miles in 5 days though, he was remarkably perky afterwards !!

26 April

April 26, 2018 Category :News

Much better from SAMMYLOU at Warwick today – he switched off nicely at the back, jumped well (although a bit bog at a couple) and then made good progress in the last mile to finish right in the middle of the big field. Last time in heavy ground was too bad to me true – he made it very clear what he thought about jumping out of it !!

24 April

April 24, 2018 Category :News

Another nice busy day on decent ground, with 3 at Ludlow and 2 at Huntingdon.

HEY BILL started the day off in great fashion for us at Ludlow. Second across the line, but he took a hefty bump from the ‘winner’ on the run in when coming with his run, and that caused him to check and change legs, and knocked the momentum out of him. He was coming back with every stride, but was just still a nose down at the line.  Stewards had a look and reversed the placings.

SKIPTHECUDDLES then made it a double on the day in the very next race. He’d had a good start to the season, and was running well at Cheltenham on New Years Day when he got a bad knock, but the wheels had well and truly come off at Market Rasen last time, and he just hadn’t been firing at home. The last couple of weeks had seen him come back to himself though, and with better ground and cheekpieces to ‘focus’ him, I was hopeful of a nice run. A good positive ride saw him draw right away from the field, and win easily. He’s in at Sandown on Saturday, and we’ll see how he is before we make a decision whether to run him. The alternative would be to wait until May and then look for a novice chase.

PERSHING MISSILE almost made it 3 from 3, but he just found 1 too good on the day. He’s been a lovely find from Ireland – second on each of his 2 starts for us – and is a nice horse for the future. He’s also for sale – to stay in the yard – so get in touch if you are interested !!

From Huntingdon to Ludlow. SCOOBY was back over 3m, and I thought he’d run a nice race in a big field. He was a bit disappointing though – he rather ran with the choke out, and faded in the home straight. Still, his ground is coming now and I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t win before he starts his summer break.

LONDONIA completed the day. He’s a hold up horse, and trying to win a 17 runner handicap with a horse from the back is never easy, but he came oh so close. He just hit a flat spot coming to the cross hurdle, giving the leaders the opportunity to build up a lead that he just couldn’t quite reel back. Still, an encouraging return after his winter break, and he’s another that should be winning races very soon indeed.

22 April

April 22, 2018 Category :News

A busy day today, with 5 at Stratford and 2 at Wincanton. That’s what happens when the nice ground finally comes !

PADDYS RUNNER was a bit disappointing at Wincanton, although to be fair he got no luck in running – hampered at the start of the final circuit when wanting to make some progress, and then almost brought to a standstill 3 out when a horse fell in front of him. We know he’s better than that – he’ll bounce back next time.

BOLDMERE improved the mood at Wincanton though. His owner  John Odell found him in Ireland last year, and he’s brought him along steadily. A bumper was just what he needed to educate him a little, and he didn’t disappoint, running on nicely late on to miss out on the places by a neck. He’s another that will be an even better horse over further and with a hurdle in front of him.

The 5 at Stratford were all back to back, and so it was a hectic afternoon. Nice results though, with everything finishing in the money.

KAYF BLANCO was probably the only slight disappointment. I thought today could be his day after a string of placed efforts this winter – 5 starts, 3 seconds, 2 thirds – but it wasn’t to be. Whether it was the ground (slightly quicker than ideal), the consequences of a sequence of hard races in the mud or just an off day, I’m not sure, but he just didn’t really fire in the race. We’ll see how he comes out of it before deciding what next.

BALLINA LADY was not one that I held high hopes for – form figures of OPP over hurdles wouldn’t inspire confidence in anyone – but she had a bit of P2P form in Ireland on better ground, and she loves to front run, so we thought we’d bowl along in front out of the handicap and see how she went. Fair to say that she loved it ! She jumped for fun, and was only collared close to home.  I would happily have taken a place for her at the start of the day !

SERPICO’s owners have had a frustrating winter – he’s a horse that needs decent ground, and the opportunities have just not been there for him – and so I was delighted for them that he ran so well when he finally got his going. He’s a horse that hits a flat spot in his race, and that has probably cost him the race today, as he finished like a train to be beaten only 2 lengths. There should be a race to win with him over hurdles, but he has already started schooling over fences, and as a lovely big horse, that will probably be his future.

VISAGE BLANC was having her first run wince wind surgery, and we saw the difference. She just hadn’t finished her race on her previous 2 starts, and you could see with a mile to run today that she was backing off, anticipating that she wouldn’t be able to breathe. When that didn’t happen, she relaxed and ran on again. She will carry on through the summer, and she will win races.

Last but not least, MY CHARITY. He had a few entries over the weekend and early next week, and I though Stratford was going to cut up to give him a good opportunity to win his novice. I was wrong – finding ourselves up against a 132-rated, unpenalised, PFN horse was not what I’d hoped for ! Still, we gave him a run for his money, beaten only 4 lengths into second. When I finally put him in the right race, he’ll win his maiden or his novice no problem !

21 April

April 21, 2018 Category :News

Just the one at Bangor today, but one of my favourite horses in NORMAN STANLEY. I’d got it all wrong with him at Wetherby last time – ground had gone too soft and I should have pulled him out on the day – but was hopeful that today at Bangor would be his day to win a bumper. And so it proved – lovely positive ride from Bryony Frost on him, taking it up as they turned for home and pushing him out hands and heels to win very comfortably indeed. ‘Readily’, the Racing Post described it as – I wouldn’t disagree ! He’s one that has a very exciting future ahead of him – a longer trip and obstacles beckon.

A huge mention too for HARRY HUNT, who was giving Steph Cameron her second ride in the Greatwood Charity race at Newbury today. He was well off the pace after a messy start, but made good steady progress and, as horses in front of him started to tire, finished like a train to snatch third place just before the line. Huge excitement, and very well done to Steph. Given that HH is going to be retiring though, she needs to start thinking what she’s going to ride in the race next year !!

20 April

April 20, 2018 Category :News

Absolutely delighted with POPERINGHE GINGER’s debut in the Southwell mares bumper today. She is a mare that I have always liked – she’s closely related to some really nice winners, and she has looked a decent prospect ever since she arrived here as an unbroken store – and I was looking forward to her first run. The owners have been wonderfully patient while the ground has been so poor, but they were well rewarded. After running very wide on the final bend she finished like a train to be beaten only 4 lengths. Nice mare for the future.

18 April

April 18, 2018 Category :News

The ground just about dried up enough for SYMPHONY OF ANGELS to make his seasonal debut at Cheltenham today, in the 2m Conditionals’ handicap hurdle. After being a little keen early on, he settled into his race well, jumped well and stayed on up the hill to finish seventh, although that position doesn’t really reflect how well he ran – he was only beaten 4 lengths for second. He’s going to be a very exciting horse through the summer – hurdles and then fences, all being well.

14 April

April 14, 2018 Category :News

Who would have thought that HOLLYWOOD ALL STAR would still be getting his ground in mid April ?! After a disappointing run at Southwell last time – my fault entirely, I ran him too soon after his Fakenham second – he ran a cracking race up in grade today, to finish second again behind what looked to be a very well-handicapped horse. He had a visor on for the first time, and it really sharpened him up. We’ll have to see if we can get one final run in to him before his summer break – it would be lovely to win one with him for the McPherson Winter Racing II, as they’ve filled every other place this season !

28 March

March 28, 2018 Category :News

Dreadful ground at Warwick. SAMMYLOU hated it; he’s much better than that. Enough said.

27 March

March 27, 2018 Category :News

DAHILLS HILL was running another big race when she nodded on landing and unshipped Kielan 3 out. It was too far out to say that she would have won, but she was the only runner still on the bridle at the time, and I’d like to think she would have gone very close. She’s sore after the fall, but will be fine in time.

26 March

March 26, 2018 Category :News

Unbelievably we managed to find some decent ground today – at Huntingdon. That suited HEY BILL down to the ground, although unfortunately he ran into one in CLONDAW WESTIE who just looked to be a very well handicapped horse. Hopefully the handicapper won’t be too harsh for that second. That’s a win and 2 places from Bill’s 3 completed starts over fences. I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t win again before the end of the season.

RED ADMIRABLE looked one paced when the eventual winner came to challenge him before the last, but I think he would have held on for second but for an awful mistake at the final hurdle. That stopped him completely, and then was no recovering from there. He came home safe and sound and lives to fight another day, and hopefully there is another big run in the old man before the end of this season !

21 March

March 21, 2018 Category :News

TOUCH OF VELVETT was running a really nice race at Haydock today, but unfortunately picked up an injury jumping the second last. Unfortunately she’ll be out for the rest of the season now, but fingers crossed she bounces back in the future. She’s a lovely tough mare who deserves to win races.

17 March

March 21, 2018 Category :News

Another cracking run from KAYF BLANCO at Kempton today – but once again he found one too good for him in the race. We’d hatched a plan to beat the red hot favourite, and that worked to perfection, but having got past him, we could do nothing about VOCALISER going past us. He’d looked a progressive horse beforehand, and he won with something to spare. That’s 6 consecutive places for KB now, but no win – his luck has to change sooner or later.

11 March

March 11, 2018 Category :News

The dreadful conditions meant that we’ve been able to run nothing these past 2 weeks – and after SKIPTHECUDDLES’ run at Market Rasen today, I wish we’d left it another 2 weeks. Trip and ground seemed right beforehand, but the ground was far softer than we’d believed it would be – some of the worst ground of the winter so far the jockeys reported – and Westie was just never going to go in that. Frustrating.

25 February

February 25, 2018 Category :News

We went to Southwell thinking CRANBROOK CAUSEWAY would get his ground and that it might be too quick for HOLLYWOOD ALL STAR. How wrong can I be ?! Far too soft for CC, and Hollywood All Star just never went a yard – I think with hindsight I went back too quickly after his Fakenham effort last week.


24 February

February 24, 2018 Category :News

Poor old KAYF BLANCO – the bridesmaid again today at Kempton, beaten a neck in the handicap chase. I thought jumping the last he’d get there, but the winner just held on to the line. That’s now 10 places since his last win – what has he got to do to get his nose in front ?!

MY CHARITY was far too keen early on to give him a chance at the end of the race. I wonder if we might drop him back in trip next time out to give him the chance to settle better.

22 February

February 22, 2018 Category :News

A good day at Huntingdon, with RED ADMIRABLE resuming winning ways and TOUCH OF VELVETT showing real improvement on her second start over hurdles.

I had thought that RED should win again this season after he won at Taunton first time out this season, but he had to work extremely hard for it ! He hit the front at the top of the home straight, and kept pulling out more and more to hold off the pre-race favourite by a nose at the line. He’s had a hard race, and so don’t expect to see him out again for a few weeks, but he’s still got his will to win, even if his aging body isn’t quite the horse he was a few years ago !!

Delighted with TOUCH OF VELVETT too. She got a little outpaced down the back, but then stayed on really well in the home straight. She’s still learning her trace, but she has ability and the penny is really dropping with her. She’s a nice mare who will win races.