Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Newmarket trip

16-February-2022 19:25
in General
by Admin

I spent a couple of very enjoyable and productive days in Newmarket on Monday and Tuesday even though the lousy weather followed me south. I was fortunate enough to visit the yards of William Haggas, George Boughey, Roger Varian and James Ferguson and got the lowdown on each yard with their hopes and aspirations for their strings this summer. Not surprisingly, both William and Roger have formidable teams for the season, while George Boughey is a trainer rising through the ranks having sent out a personal best 85 winners in 2021. This time last year, the yard was hosting 50 horses but has over 130 for the new campaign, which is a huge increase. 39 of those 85 winners were two year olds and George has nominated a dozen of his latest batch of juveniles, including a colt he describes as 'a rocket.' James Ferguson trained his first Group 1 winner last Autumn and is another young handler who is making giant strides.

I was also lucky enough to be taken around Stuart Williams' stable on the Hamilton Road. Diomed Stables is currently housing the progressive sprinter Existent who was bought for 62,000gns in September. The son of Kingman, who was previously handled by John Gosden, was gelded soon after joining his new connections and dropped in trip. Since then, he has won 2 of his 3 starts with his official rating rising from 83 and 101. Stuart kindly passed on news of the four year old regarding his future plans, which I will include in Ahead On The Flat.

On Wednesday, I interviewed Ralph Beckett who was responsible for three Group 1 winners in France last Autumn. The stable has plenty of strength in depth both amongst the three year olds and older horses. I will be arranging more interviews later this week and early next and will keep readers informed on here.

As a bonus for those clients who purchase a copy of the Cheltenham Festival, I will be including some of the information I have obtained during my Flat trainer interviews regarding some horses which will be running before Ahead On The Flat is published in early April. This will include Doncaster's Lincoln meeting because I have received news of a likely Brocklesby candidate, plus the Lincoln itself.

I mentioned last weekend that the Value Racing Club Cheltenham Festival preview will be staged on Friday 9th March via zoom. The evening will be hosted by Richard Hoiles (ITV and Racing TV) and alongside yours truly will be the voice of Ireland Gary O'Brien (Racing TV), Betfair Hurdle winning trainer Tom Lacey and Johnny Burke who partnered a personal best 51 winners this winter. It promises to be another tremendous evening. Please head to the VRC website for full details. 


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