Ending on a High

We are ending the year on a high, here at Howe Hills!

On Boxing Day we sent out 7 runners to 3 different tracks. 

TWOSHOTSOFTEQUILA was our first winner of the day. Tequila was given a Richie McLernon masterclass ride around Sedgefield to win the Hinton Memorial Maiden Hurdle. 12 lengths behind the leading pair turning in, McLernon asked the question and Tequila readily answered to storm up the hill and win by two and a half lengths. There was a great reception from owners, the Hetton boys, in the winners enclosure. 🧂 🍋

It was quickly a double on the day at our local track as ROAD WARRIOR came to victory with yard Conditional, Peter Coleman. Warrior is owned by Neil Taylor and his daughter Holly rides him out at home every day. ROAD WARRIOR’s win was his 4th of the year, providing Coleman with his first winner for Menzies and his first winner over fences. 👏🏼

The third leg of the Boxing Day treble was secured in the last race of the day at Market Rasen. Fergus Gregory did the steering on the novice hurdler FEVER ROQUE. He stalked the leaders and accelerated away from the field before 2 out, winning, just a touch cosily. 

BRAVANTINA also ran in this 2m4 contest and put in a solid effort before tiring. 

At Wetherby FONZERELLI put in a tremendous effort on her hurdling debut under Nathan Moscrop. She acted like a real professional and is a mare we are looking forward to. 👸🏽

HIGH MOON unfortunately took a stumble immediately after jumping the first and unseated Nathan. HIGH MOON is back out to take his chances on New Years Day at Catterick. 🌙

On the 27th we had 2 boys head to Wetherby. The loveable RITSON handled the soft ground well and stayed on for a tough 2nd under Conor O’Farrell.

YOUSOMEBOY and Nathan Moscrop provided Menzies with her final winner of the year. YOUSOMEBOY made all to land the spoils in a conditional jockeys 3m hurdle. His first attempt at this trip, we were thrilled with his gutsy performance on the run in to the line. A fine ride from our stable jockey, Moscrop. 

With a current strike rate of 25% Menzies is making her way in to some hot trainers ranks.

2021:

200 winner mark ✅ 

Most flat winners in a year- 21 ✅

££££ raised through the Rainbow Applause charity ✅ 

Not bad company!
Thanks to the below photographers for sharing these images. Fonzerelli- Yousomeboy- Fever Roque

Hexham- 9th October

National Hunt Saturdays are here and Hexham’s Campbell & Rowley raceday was a sell-out. On an unusually mild day at the Northumberland course, it was the perfect day for racegoers to appreciate the views and atmosphere of the quaint track. Hexham welcomed some first-time visitors including everybody’s favourite honorary assistant trainer, Kian Burley! Kian was full of praise for racecourse manager, Robert Whitelock and reported that has grandad had the best birthday despite “too many pints”…

Jardine’s game mare, Animore, kicked off the day with a gallant win in the novice’s chase. A week after her full sister, Tokaramore, won over the same trip here at Hexham, both piloted to success by Conor O’Farrell. Connections also win the £10,00 Great British Bonus- a month to remember for proud owner and breeder, Mrs Ailie Tullie.

The second race on the card was claimed in style by the duo of the day; Jennie Candlish and Sean Quinlan. Its Good To Laugh coasted easily to the line, ten lengths clear of his nearest rival. The 4-year-old was switched to hurdling after a win over a mile and a half at Chester in September and has now racked up three wins on the bounce for Candlish.

It was a quick-fire double for Candlish and Quinlan as For Jim claimed the “Happy 60th Birthday Dave Burley Handicap Chase”. He looked an unlikely winner with a circuit to go; For Jim was tailed off and being bustled along by Quinlan. For Jim never travelled for the best part of the race, reaching odds of 80-1 in running. He only looked a threat after jumping the 2nd last when he ran on under a drive. A true ‘never say die’ ride from Quinlan who wasn’t being outwitted by the progressive For Jim. I dare say we will see that replay again!

Justatenner is a yard stalwart for Cumbria trainer Tristan Davidson. Having dropped to his lowest mark in three years, the ten-year-old got his head in front after some good efforts over the summer with his usual partner, Harry Reed. Reed declined Quinlan and Candlish of the treble as Happy Hollow finished 2nd in the 3m hurdle.

The maiden hurdle was won by 5 yo Flemensfirth gelding, Mr Jackman. Ruth Jefferson’s Sounds Russian was an obvious pick for me in this race but Mr Jackman accelerated up the Hexham hill to land the spoils comfortably, for Irish raider John McConnell. It is likely Jefferson’s will be up in trip next time out.

The URSA major racing syndicate enjoyed a change of luck when Stuart and Sam Coltherd secured a win with Graystown in the competitive 2-mile handicap chase, for the second consecutive year. Graystown is a real lover of Hexham with 4 out of his 5 career wins acquired at the track.

The last race of the day was the bumper and Chris Grants mare Fiadh came up triumphant with Oakley Brown claiming an extra 5lb for the filly. Melvich bay was ¾ of a length down on his racecourse debut and looks an exciting prospect for the Brookes. Not many horses that run round Hexham are trained on the Newmarket gallops, but John Berry loves the trip up North, and his consistent Dear Alix ran another sound race in third.

Lucinda Russell has a yard in form and was unlucky not to secure a winner, with all 8 runners at the meeting finishing in the top 4. However, the yard had a winner this week in the form of assistant trainer and travelling head lass, Jaimie Duff. The Stable Staff member of the year award was presented to Jaimie at the Mccoys, from Jockey Club Racecourses. Jaimie is a familiar face for all in Northern Racing; she always has a beaming smile and is a wealth of knowledge. It is so important that we recognise and cherish people who are so dedicated to the sport. Congratulations Jaimie- thoroughly deserved!

A short and sweet beginning..

This past week over one hundred yards opened their doors to promote our industry and showcase our talent; trainers, horses, and staff. With recent bad press and misleading articles, this fuelled us with determination to show the greater public how well cared for these animals are. How much time, effort, attention to detail, each member of the team contributes, will perhaps never be understood by anyone who has never worked in racing. However, we did our upmost to exhibit this. There has been a wave of positivity across social media and it’s safe to say this initiative has been a success. Many yards also used the opportunity to raise funds for pertinent charities like the Injured Jockeys Fund, Racing Welfare and the Air Ambulance.

Here at Rebecca Menzies Racing we invited a handful of retired racehorses who had been trained by Rebecca and latterly rehomed and retrained by their new owners. Rebecca felt it was important that we could show our visitors that there IS life after the track. This was a refreshing insight for people who had only ever experienced the racecourse side of the operation.

Last week also saw the season opener at Kelso Racecourse. The evening wasn’t without drama and the most eye-catching performance was that of Stuart Coltherds Midnight Shuffle in the mare’s bumper. I look forward to seeing her up in trip and over a hurdle! Ex jockey Paul Robson trained his first winner at his local track with 6-year-old, Flamboyant Joyaux under a good ride from Ryan Mania.

Another borders trainer who has had a fruitful week, Katie Scott has trained 3 winners from her last 4 runners giving her an impressive 75% strike rate. One of her entries this week, Gweedore, will be set to rack up a hattrick of wins at Haydock after success at Musselburgh and Ayr.