We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas; while we haven't posted for a while we have been working hard here at Paul Henderson Racing. Christmas or not the horses still need mucking out, feeding and training, and the lads have all been working hard to make sure they are all in fine form. Of course, the festive season brings with it a packed schedule of racing, and we were at a jam-packed Fontwell yesterday, with Thepartysover and Easter In Paris.
It was Thepartysover who was up first in the 12:05. Held up at the back, hopes were high for the 11-year-old grey, who had won at Fontwell in December last year. Unfortunately, 3 fences in the party was literally over when an awkward landing unseated Liam Mckenna and left everyone with the post-Christmas blues. Happily, the horse was caught quickly, uninjured and apparently unfazed. His short effort didn't take too much out of him either and he'll back at the races again in the next couple of weeks.
So it was left to Easter In Paris to bring back a little Christmas cheer. The 7-year-old who had come over from Ireland in October and who had fallen at Fakenham last time out, in her first outing for the yard, didn't seem to feel the pressure. she'd clearly come on a long way since starting her training under Paul and stayed on well to finish 2nd against, what looked like, a well-handicapped winner. We are all really pleased for the Runthatbymeagain partnership, who have been well deserving of a result. Let's hope it's the first of many, and we see Easter go on from this run.
Today we head to Lingfield with Mount Vesuvius, who makes his flat debut on the all-weather over 1 mile. This horse is a real trier and never lets us down, so while it might be too much of an ask for a win first time out, he'll give it everything he's got!
They say success breeds success, and that seems to be the case this last couple of weeks at Paul Henderson Racing. After an astonishing few days racing, which saw Paul and the team deliver 2 wins and 3 places from 6 starts, we've now had the news that our hard grafting work rider and groom, Jamie Bunsell, has been shortlisted to the final 10 for the Godolphin Rider/Groom Awards 2016.
Jamie (pictured above with Miss Oscarose, after her win at Plumpton on Monday) was nominated for the award; given for showing a talent for horsemanship, consistency and reliability in and out of the saddle, and has achieved something outstanding in the 2016 season; after his work with Un Beau Roman, leading the horse to a win and now, just last week, a 2nd place in another prestigious race at Cheltenham.
Fresh from his storming win at Lingfield last Saturday, Doitforthevillage was out up the gallops this morning. The 7-year-old stayed on strongly under James Best to claim his second win under rules. And Doit, ridden by Gordie, looked relaxed as he came back from his morning's work.
Among those accompanying Doit on the gallops today was Minella Gathering. The gelding put in a fantastic performance to finish second at Wincanton on Tuesday; his first time out since March 2014, nearly 1000 days ago! The rest has clearly done him well, and we are looking forward to seeing him run again soon.
There is more to come this week as the colours of the Runthatbymeagain Partnerships get their first run out with on of our newcomers, Easter in Paris on Sunday. Easter will go to Fakenham on Sunday. Easter will be joined by fellow yard debutant, Raising Hope, who will go in the 3:20 Maiden Hurdle. Both horses have been working well since joining Paul Henderson Racing a couple of months ago, but after long layoffs should just need the run, first time out. Finally Miriam Violet will complete a hattrick of debutants this week. Miriam has run three times for Paul Henderson Racing, but it will be the young horse's handicap debut, when the 2-year-old goes to Kempton on Tuesday.
Good luck to Jamie and all our runners this week. We will keep you updated on all the latest news and action as it progresses!
Don't forget you can now follow Paul Henderson Racing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, by clicking on the links below. Or get in contact if you are interested in becoming an owner. The are several shares currently available in horses ready to run!
What a few days at Paul Henderson Racing! Over the last week, Paul has demonstrated his ability to bring on his horses and get them fit and ready for when it matters, with a string of great results.
Talk of the South kicked off an unbelievable 5 days with a gallant second when coming up against a Tom Lacey "hotpot" in a 3-mile handicap chase at Warwick on Thursday. The horse added to an impressive year and has now notched up a win and 5 seconds during 2016. We are hopeful he will improve again next time out.
Paul had a packed schedule on Saturday; Doitforthevillage kicked things off as he ran away with good looking 2-mile chase at Lingfield, under a well-timed ride by James Best. A couple of weeks previous at Uttoxeter,a sluggish start saw Doit leave himself too much to do, but at Lingfield on Saturday James rode with precision and confidence, producing perfectly at the last to win in a very quick time. He came out of the race in good health and spirits and will probably come out again shortly.
Half an hour later a large crowd of owners, who had just cheered home Doitforthevillage from the Marquee at Cheltenham, were again up on their feet, roaring their approval as Nick Schofield gave Un Beau Roman a scintillating ride. Un Beau, who had won the BetVictor Handicap Chase here a month earlier, was creeping up alongside Eastlake as they approached the Karst. In a thrilling Cheltenham finish, it was, unfortunately, Eastlake, who found more on the run in and prevailed by one and a half lengths. Another strong performance from Un Beau Roman, who look every bit a horse who can continue to rise up the ratings.
Then it was on to Turban, Sadly, in a very hot Caspian Caviar 16-runner handicap, and not helped by a standing start, the horse was pulled up with 3 to jump. Nick Scofield, however, was positive in his assessment afterwards, and we are in no doubt that with some further preparation it won't be long until Turban shows his unquestionable ability on the big stage.
Finally, on a wet Monday at Plumpton, Miss Oscarose looked to complete a great few days for Paul under the stewardship of Paddy Brennan. After coming in odds just shy of 3/1 from 11's, The well-fancied mare tracked the leaders and was going well in second heading to the 4th from home. She was looking strong when the leader Tikkapick fell. Picking up the lead, the result was never in doubt at Paddy expertly guided her home to an impressive and well-deserved win. Big congratulations to Ed and Sarah, who've shown great patience with the horse. We are all over the moon for them!
So across an exciting 5 days, we've seen 5 horses competing at 4 meetings, and have come away with 2 wins, 2 second places, and around £16,000 in prize money! What a few days! But there's no time to relax; the season is in full swing and there is plenty more racing to come over the next couple of weeks and, of course, across a busy festive period. We can't wait!
Any prospective owners wishing to get involved in an unbelievable friendly yard, in a hot vein of form, should get in contact with Paul (who has shares available in horses ready to run), or risk missing out on many great racing days to come!
Fresh from his win in the BetVictor Handicap Chase, Un Beau Roman looked relaxed today as he led his stablemates up for a morning run out on the all-weather gallops.
Un Beau secured Paul Henderson Racing's biggest ever race win last month, pipping the favourite in a thrilling finish at Cheltenham, live on Channel 4 Racing.
Un Beau faces a stiff test when he returns to action, again at Cheltenham, for the International meeting on 10th December. With his recent form in mind, we are looking forward to seeing him run and hope he can stand up to expectations.
Paul Henderson Racing has a second runner at Cheltenham on Saturday; Turban is in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase. Turban, who was brought over from Ireland earlier this year, is starting for the second time since joining the Whitsbury yard. The 9-year-old was pulled up first time out at Uttoxeter in November.
Whatever the outcome, race days at Cheltenham remind us why we got into racing in the first place and we can't wait for what is sure to be a fantastic day's racing!
Sizing Sahara makes a long awaited return for Paul Henderson Racing in the 3:10 at Fontwell tomorrow. Sizing has been out since injuring his cannon bone back at Fakenham in may. Things initially looked bad for the 8-year-old, who needed an operation to fix the damaged leg, but Paul has stuck by the plucky grey and he now makes his first start in 7 months tomorrow. Sizing has been working well at home, but after a long layoff, he should need the run. We are all excited to see him back in action and will just be happy to see him get around safely, first time out!
Nick Scholfield was down at the Whitsbury gallops today, riding out for trainer Paul Henderson, 3 weeks after Un Beau Roman gave them their first Cheltenham Open winner.
Paul Henderson & Jane Patten