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Mark's Review of 2009

Friday, 01 January 2010

The Guv'nor and Mrs T

"As you all know, I don't like finishing second and we had a lot of those this year, but having said that we reached a good total of winners and the horses remained healthy, ran consistently well and gave us plenty to shout about! We managed to maintain our strike rate of nearly half of our runners finishing in the first four home. And I think we almost covered the full spectrum of jockeys and apprentices on our Winners Board – Ted Durcan, Darryll Holland, Neil Callan, Ryan Moore, Seb Sanders, Tom Queally, Nicky Mackay, Adrian McCarthy, Jimmy Quinn, George Baker, Liam Jones, Saleem Golam and Simon Pearce, as well as our stable apprentice Ashley Morgan (who rode a total of nine of the winners).

The main yard

"Some specific winners to note, as not all of them can be mentioned, were No Rules and Marvo, both winners of three races. Mystery Star won the opening race of the season at Goodwood and was second a further four times in some top-class handicaps. He favoured the good ground at Chester, Ascot and Epsom and I am pleased that the patience of his owners was rewarded.

"Dazinski, Theola, Imjin River, Drum Dragon all won twice. Inchpast also won twice before being retired at the age of eight. Two winning fillies, Azure Mist and Nice Time, were both retired to stud to become broodmares at Dullingham Park.

Scene at Dullingham Park this summer

"Angie and I were delighted to have many winners bred out of mares based at Dullingham Park over the season including Dulcie, Astrolibra, Astrodonna, Brushing, Astroleo, as well as Drum Dragon and Marvo. And Ted Spread's win at Goodwood proved all that he had shown at home. The way in which he finished in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket, on his final appearance, has given all involved plenty to look forward to in the coming year. He is a very exciting prospect.

"Trying to pick one winner that gave me great satisfaction is hard, but when Dulcie won at York in September, that was quite special. She is only small but won a maiden at Goodwood aged two and then displayed great tenacity to win at York at three, showing what a genuine filly she is.

"There are more horses that deserve to be back in the Winner's Enclosure again next year. Omokoroa won once but was also second four times, Locum won once and finished second once and fourth six times, Astrodiva finished second four times, third three times and fourth once and Force Group finished second twice, third once and fourth twice. Amno Dancer, Edward Whymper, Call It On and Moon Lightning have all been gelded. All four finished in the frame last season but I am hoping that they will show their true ability in the season ahead. Four Miracles and Blimey O'Riley are older horses with bags of proven talent and I cannot wait to get them both back on the track. Others to keep an eye on in the coming season have to be Forgotten Army (Newmarket winner), Number One Guy (winner), Cornish Beau (finished in the frame twice), Akula (finished third first time out), Zenarinda (finished fourth in both of her outings) and Kathleen Frances (a big, strong filly that only ran the once but has been wintering at Garrowby Stud and, like her mother, will improve no end at three).

Scene from Garrowby Stud this autumn

"Garrowby Stud continues to be a great asset to the training and breeding operations. The last of the yearlings have now come in from there to join those purchased at the sales, so all of the youngsters are now in training. The staff, from the riders to the yardies, have worked hard to get to know each individual and give the horses the confidence to enjoy their training routine. Everybody has worked very hard this season and those of you who are owners will have met many of them at the racetrack, but there is also a team of hardworkers behind the scenes at all locations and I thank them for their dedication.

"And, last but by no means least, I must thank our yard sponsor Russell Trew Ltd. Without his continued support, we would not have the red uniform, rugs and horseboxes that have given the stables such a strong identity both on the racetrack and Newmarket heath.

The Guv'nor watching work this summer

"So, we enter in to 2010 with a true sense of optimism. We have a force of proven horses and excitingly well-bred youngsters. I have high expectations and hopes for the year ahead, and look forward to sharing many winners and great days with my owners!"