While Storm Ciaran batters large parts of the country and has claimed a number of meetings this week already and the prospect of more to follow suit - Wetherby are inspecting at 7.00am on Friday morning to see if their big profile two day fixture can go ahead - it is time to pass on news of Value Racing Club's new recruits. Racing manager James Couldwell has worked tirelessly in recent weeks delving through and sales and form books and has added four horses to the burgeoning string.
Coltor is a six year old by Free Eagle who was previously trained by Dermot Weld in Ireland before joining Roger Fell in the UK. Successful in 4 of his 24 career starts, he is rated 138 over hurdles and 83 on the Flat. Fifth in the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021, he is a previously winner at the Galway Festival and is battled hardened. He will join David Pipe and is just the sort the Pond House team excel with.
Bona Fortuna raced twice as a juvenile for Karl Burke during 2023 showing an abundance of promise on his debut at Ayr in early October. Beaten less than two lengths in third behind the highly regarded Golden Strike and Firedbird (sold to Paddy Twomey for 260,000gns), he almost certainly found his next race coming too soon ten days later at York. A colt by Mehmas who cost 180,000gns as a yearling, he was bought for 30,000gns at the Newmarket Autumn Horses in Training Sale and is now with Mick Appleby. He is a smashing three year old prospect for the team.
I am delighted to say Value Racing Club will have their first horse in training with Tim Easterby after paying 42,000gns for the lightly raced Elegant Call. Officially rated 74, she is a two year old filly by Soldier's Call who has improved with each start this term. A length and a half runner-up over six furlongs at York in October - in the same race in which the aforementioned Bona Fortuna finished fifth - she showed a lot of speed on the Knavesmire until finding the 83 rated Pilgrim too strong in the closing stages. The third has already franked the form and she will be very much one to follow in three year old sprint handicaps in 2024.
Jamie Snowden is the new trainer of Hands Off following a 36,000gns transaction at the Goffs UK October Sale. A five year old by Getaway, he is a half-brother to four times winner Scorpion Sid, who was also handled by the Lambourn handler. Previously owned by Ronnie Bartlett, he has only raced four times over hurdles and is rated 117. Runner-up behind the subsequent EBF Final winner Crambo in a maiden hurdle at Ascot last season, he was only beaten a couple of lengths at Warwick in September. Good ground is ideal and he possesses the scope to jump fences.
If you wish to get involved in any of the above, please head to the Valueracingclub.co.uk website and get in touch with James. There is a lot to look forward to with this quartet.
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