6 Reasons why we're excited about Ascot

Royal Ascot 2017
Royal Ascot. Where top class equine talent intermingles with high-end fashion and provides five scintillating days of thrills, spills and silly hats. Stars will emerge and champions will falter, but what are the six key ingredients that could make Royal Ascot 2017 one to really remember? 1) Scorching sunshine!# The weather is set fair for the duration of the meeting with wall to wall sunshine, meaning more drinking and less clothing for the crowd, and seriously fast ground for the horses. Even with the regular watering that will take place between now and then the Ascot track is known for producing some of the quickest ground in the country. It looks like it will be the horses who prefer running on a surface akin to a road who come to the fore this time.

2) Churchill v Barney Roy – The rematch

Fresh from wins in both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas, Churchill is this year’s superstar Ballydoyle colt and next stop for him looks set to be the St James’ Palace Stakes and a rematch with Newmarket runner-up Barney Roy. Aidan O’Brien’s runner is understandably a clear favourite but this track may suit Richard Hannon’s challenger better than Newmarket and he is a clear second best in the betting as he bids to turn the tables.

3) Short priced favourites! The bookies are already bleating on about the damage it will do them should the most popular short priced favourites all win and there are certainly a few to capture the imagination, beginning on Day 1 with recent impressive Lockinge winner, Ribchester, in the Queen Anne Stakes and Churchill in the St James’ Palace. Order of St George is sure to be popular at around even money to win his second Gold Cup on Thursday, whilst 1000 Guineas winner, Winter, will be banker material for plenty of folk in Friday’s Coronation Stakes. Another sprinter with the world at his feet is the unbeaten Caravaggio and he completes a quartet of Ballydoyle horses with races seemingly at their mercy. 

4) US Speedballs

What makes American 2-year-old fillies that much quicker than ours? That’s seemed to be the case for the past few years anyway with, first, Acapulco in 2015, and then Lady Aurelia last year, blitzing our 2-year-old fillies out of their comfort zone with astounding early pace. Maybe it’s the fact they have 4f furlong races in The States or because they run on rock hard ground so often but either way both those two are back this year to do battle in the King’s Stand Stakes over 5f. Acapulco, now with Ballydoyle and currently in foal to Galileo, might have to play second fiddle this time.

5) Another Gold Cup for Ballydoyle?

With seven wins in the last eleven years, it’s wise to take Aidan O’Brien very seriously when talking about the Ascot Gold Cup. Last year’s winner Order of St George is back to defend his crown this year and he’s a short price to get the job done again. What both he and previous Ballydoyle winners, Leading Light, Fame and Glory and the mighty four-time winner Yeats, all have in common is that absolute beast of a sire, Sadler’s Wells. Research has shown that with the perfect blend of speed and stamina to be effective at this 2m 4f trip, Ballydoyle has a bloodline that can continue dominate this race for many years to come.

6) Returning Champions

It’s never easy to go back and regain what was once yours when your legs are getting older and your mind is getting wiser and memorable moments like Kauto Star regaining the Cheltenham Gold Cup or Sprinter Sacre last year in the Queen Mother Chase don’t happen too often. When they do they deserve to be celebrated and this year there are a few trying to do just that. In the King’s Stand Stakes Goldream is back in good form two years on from his 2015 win in the race and will enjoy the ground, but unfortunately for connections of last year’s winner Profitable, he’s likely to rule out, or at the very least, highly inconvenienced by such quick ground conditions.

Royal Ascot 2017: Lady Aurelia to win the King's Stand Stakes

Lady Aurelia, Wesley Ward
Royal Ascot is a time to bet on top quality horse racing and we are pleased to say the Ascot betting offers have started to come out

Wesley Ward is a trainer who you can pretty much guarantee will hit the winner's enclosure at this prestigious meeting. The ex-champion jockey, better known in the UK for his training exploits, first captured the attention of race fans back in 2009 when 33-1 shot Strike The Tiger won the Windsor Castle Stakes. 

If that wasn't startling enough, the next day Ward sent out another two-year-old winner named Jealous Again taking the Queen Mary Stakes Group 2 by five lengths. From that day, this North American trainer held the respect of punters and pundits alike. 

Fast forward to Royal Ascot 2017. 

What can we expect this year? Especially his star filly Lady Aurelia who won last year's Queen Mary Stakes Group 2 before heading to France to win the Prix Morny. 

Lady Aurelia delighted Wesley Ward after galloping at Keeneland Racecourse on Tuesday morning in preparation for Royal Ascot. After storming to victory in last year's Queen Mary Stakes, this class filly raced over 5f with stablemate Bound For Nowhere. Lady Aurelia is earmarked for the King's Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting, while Bound For Nowhere is likely to head for the Commonwealth Cup.

"She had a great work," Ward said of Lady Aurelia. "We put her in front like she usually does in her races, and she just kind of cruised around there." 

Ward said Lady Aurelia will have an "easy breeze" at Keeneland next Monday before she departs for England a day later. 

Undrafted also worked at Keeneland on Tuesday morning and is set to make a third appearance at Royal Ascot. The seven-year-old chestnut won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes two years ago and finished sixth in the same race last season. He is under consideration for the Wokingham Stakes at the big meeting in June. 

Ward is sending a number of smart two-year-olds to the Royal meeting including Fairyland, who won easily when making her debut at Keeneland in April, and McErin, who won impressively on debut at Keeneland over four and a half furlongs then a narrow loser when third at Churchill Downs. 

Both worked in together at Keeneland, with Fairyland pencilled in for the Albany Stakes. McErin is set to take his chance in the Norfolk Stakes. 

The unraced daughter of Distorted Humour, Happy Like A Fool, is entered for the Queen Mary Stakes Group 2 while yet to be race Nootka Sound, a bay daughter of Lonhro is set for the Windsor Castle Stakes. Both enjoyed a four-furlong workout.

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Don’t waste time searching the Internet high & low when the Horse Trainer Directory is the easiest way to keep you in the know. With regular updates, you won’t miss a stride because we’ve gone the extra furlong. 


Visit Robert Cowell's Website At HTD

Robert Coweel, Hirse Trainer, Newmarket, Robert Cowell Website, Robert Cowell Twitter, Horse Trainer Directory,
Welcome To Horse Trainer Directory

Robert, upon completion of his A levels at school in Norfolk, immediately began work in Newmarket for trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon. Whilst working there he was keen to ride in races so took out a licence and promptly rode a winner at Brighton on his second attempt. Two seasons with David ‘the Duke’ Nicholson was invaluable experience and at a time when the great Charter Party and Waterloo Boy were victorious at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Robert then set sail across the channel to work as an assistant to John Hammond in France for 2 years at the time when Suave Dancer, Dear Doctor and Polar Falcon were among the stable stars. It was in France that he was able to live the dream which was to work in a highly respected yard with very good horses and also ride as an amateur. John gave him numerous opportunities but managed to get most beat! Robert recalls with a smile ‘yes, I finished 2nd most of the time beaten only the shortest of margins but Johns’ instructions were quite difficult for a novice, “don’t win too far!!”.’ The best story was a ride Robert was offered in the provences for owners Cheveley Park Stud. 

Click here to read the story – An extract from Marcus Armytage’s ‘Hot Cherry’. In 1992 he then moved further afield to become an assistant to Neil Drysdale in America. It was here that he was proud to be part of the team when A.P.Indy and Hollywood Wildcat both won Breeders Cup races. After a brief spell as a trainer and considerable success in California, Robert decided to return to England as he had a larger group of owners willing to support him. He is training at Bottisham Heath Stud, which provides an excellent privately owned base for Robert and his wife, Ghislaine, along with their son, Alex and daughter, Kara.

The yard is sponsored by Mr Malih Al Basti’s ‘AL BASTI EQUIWORLD’.

We have had some fantastic seasons over the last few years with plenty of highlights to talk about. However horses most notably to mention, PROHIBIT gaining us our first Group 1 winner in the 2011 Royal Ascot, Kings Stand Stakes. JWALA winning in great style in the Group 1, Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2013. Having seen her through her entire career from a yearling this was particularly special. KINGSGATE NATIVE has been a great success since joining us, producing some consistent performances in Group company, including landing the Group 2, Temple Stakes at Haydock Park and most recently the Achilles Stakes at Haydock Park in 2015 at the grand old age of ten! INTRINSIC won the always highly competitive Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood in August 2014 for us. He has since retired to stallion duties under the guidance of Hedgeholme Stud. 

GOLDREAM was a sensation in 2015, winning the Group3, Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May. He then went on to win the Group 1, King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and another Group 1 at Longchamp at the October Arc meeting, the Prix de L’Abbaye. It is exciting news that he returns to training with us for the 2016 season. He is another very special horse for us, not just for his Group successes but also having unearthed him at the horses in training sales a few seasons prior. It certainly appears that we have an affinity with OASIS DREAM progeny – PROHIBIT, JWALA, INTRINSIC and GOLDREAM – With any luck in 2016 we will add further names to this list! Other exciting horses that we have enjoyed training and have had success over the last few seasons domestically in the UK and abroad at the highest levels have been, SPIRIT QUARTZ (Gr2), MONSIEUR JOE (Gr3), IFFRANESIA, LUI REI, FOREVER PHOENIX, BINIOU, CANADIAN DANEHILL and HIGH SPICE.

For the 2016 season, Robert Cowell will train around 70 horses. He is a great believer in communicating regularly with his owners to discuss daily training and future plans. Frequent written reports about the horses, and many telephone calls are the order of the day here.

Bottisham Heath Stud is completely self-contained, peaceful, and provides a welcoming atmosphere for all owners, potential owners and their horses. It is ideally suited to keeping the horses happy and helping them to achieve their full potential, with Robert’s expertise of course!

Visit Robert Cowell Website Here. 

Contact details: Bottisham Heath Stud, Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 0TT

Tel: 01638 570330

Email: robert@robertcowellracing.co.uk 


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The British Horseracing Authority & National Trainers Federation issued a notice to licensed trainers that a case of Equine Herpes has been confirmed by Rossdale's Laboratories.
Kevin Ryan's yard is affected. Details indicate that one horse is currently known to have been affected. 

The BHA said:  ''We are working with Mr Ryan, his staff and veterinary surgeon to ensure that the correct disease control measures are in place. These measures include increased biosecurity, further testing and a quarantine stop on the premises. As a result, the BHA has placed a temporary stop on Mr Ryan’s yard which prevents him from making declarations for races in Britain until further notice.''
In addition, Bryan Smart and Michael Herrington stables have been quarantined as a precaution due to the close proximity of the yards and the sharing of horseboxes. However, no diagnosed cases have been identified at either yard.
David Sykes, Director of Equine Health and Welfare for the BHA, said:
“Cases of the neurological form of EHV-1 are occasional and, while the disease can be extremely serious for the affected horses, with proper surveillance and disease control the virus can usually be effectively contained.
“While the risk of the virus being transmitted in a controlled race day environment is relatively small, it is, in theory, possible that horses from the yard in question may have been infectious sometime before the disease was diagnosed. For this reason, we have taken measures to alert trainers, as well as racecourses and veterinary surgeons, to be vigilant to the clinical signs.
“The decision to close the further yards is based on the identification of risk factors, namely the proximity of yards and the sharing of horse boxes. These measures have been taken as a precaution, with the safety of the horse population very much in mind.”

Visit Tom Dascombe Website at HTD

Tom Dascombe, Manor House Stables, Horse trainer,
Horse Trainer Directory 

“I’m Tom Dascombe and my mission is to make Manor House Stables the most successful flat training yard in the country. I believe that our fresh and innovative approach, the abilities and experience of our staff and jockeys, together with the investment from my partners, Michael Owen and Andrew Black, will enable this vision to be realised. 

I seek to provide a really top-class service to my owners but also believe that ownership should be as enjoyable and memorable as possible That’s why it really pleases me that there has been such a great atmosphere around the Yard again this year. It is fantastic that we have had so many visits from owners, their friends and families and we really enjoy showing off the excellent facilities Manor House Stables has to offer. I know from all the comments that owners appreciate the hard work of the team here and that owners value discussing their horses with the work riders. We work hard to ensure that owners are kept fully up to date with all the latest news and I am very proud of our excellent website and whilst I am pleased to celebrate the successes of this year I am working hard to ensure that next our improvement continues apace.” 

Born in 1973 in Bristol, Tom first got his passion for horse racing at an early age watching the ITV Seven with his Grandfather and Dad, (Bill). On Saturdays all three would go to the local tracks, Bath, Chepstow, Cheltenham and Salisbury and watch Steve Cauthen push home another winner, or John Francome conjure another great leap out of a Fred Winter favourite. 

Having started riding ponies at three years old, Tom's first 'job' in racing was with Henry Candy in Lambourn, just down the road from his ONEWAY base 17 years later. It was only for the summer before one more year at school. It was here that Tom realised he was not going to be a flat jockey. At 15 he was far bigger and heavier than the older lads. 

After leaving school it was off to the Champion himself, Martin Pipe. And what an introduction to racing: a professional well-managed business in an otherwise amateur industry. Martin was ten years ahead of his competitors. Tom thinks he learnt more in his first five years there than he would have done in 15 years anywhere else. Martin was quite simply a genius. When people thought things could not be done he proved them wrong time and time again. 

Tom says "The thing I learned from Martin above all else was to listen to everyone but always make up my own mind." 

10 years of race riding resulted in 96 winners, a ride in the Grand National and no broken bones, so it was time to move on. Having spent three years as assistant trainer to Ralph Beckett and time track riding at Churchill Downs, Tom got a job in Florida breaking in yearlings. Just two riders broke in 80 yearlings in two months; it was hard work but very rewarding. 

Tom says "The American way is much faster and in my opinion, just as good. You just get on them!" 

On returning to England Tom took two horses to Dubai for Ralph Beckett and that is where he met Mike De Kock, a truly brilliant trainer who again taught Tom a lot. Mike works his horses hard and feeds them well but his main skill is his ability to spot unsoundness in a horse and treat it before it becomes a long-term problem. Tom spent two years with Mike in Dubai, South Africa and England and it was two of the best years of his life.

“In the winter of 2003 at the Dubai Racing Carnival I had 16 horses of Mike's under my care, recording 8 winners and 12 places from 22 runners and winning $3.6 million in prize money."

Visit Tom Dascombe's Website Here.


Contact details: Manor House Stables LLP, Shay Lane, Hampton, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8AD

Tel: +44 (0) 1948 820 485
Email: tom@manorhousestables.com 


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