Thursday, September 30, 2010

The eaglet has landed

Word has reached us from Melbourne that 'Little Ben' Morris and his girl-friend Emily have touched down. I'd like to hope that Ben is in for a great year (or however long he plans to spend out there) because Ben's an excellent lad. I can't say that I've known him all his life, but I've known his parents, Dave and Linda, longer than he's been alive, and I've got to know him well since I moved in here 13 years ago. Dave, of course, was training across the road in Hackness Villa then, and subsequently moved into the other side of this property three or four years ago. Ben formerly worked for his dad (for whom he has ridden a few winners in amateur races) but has spent the last year or so working for Sir Mark Prescott (on one of whose horses he is pictured here). I'd guess that he's now around 19 so it's a good time for him to broaden his experience, and I hope that he will enjoy doing so in David Hayes' stable. Good on 'im.

Ben, of course, isn't the only creature being exported from Newmarket to David Hayes' stable this autumn. At least two nice European horses have headed down that way after spending some time in Newmarket. The flashy chestnut colt Rebel Soldier, winner of the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on his last British start, has been here the longer, having been with Jeremy Noseda last year and this before spending his final weeks in town in the stable of Jane Chapple-Hyam (in whose string he is pictured exercising here). While waiting there to go into quarantine, he was joined by the grey Aga Khan-bred Sinndar colt Laristan, last-start winner of the Derby du Languedoc (over 2400m, which ought to go without saying, but sadly doesn't, as one can't take such things for granted, as umpteen shorter - but probably no longer - Derbys around the world suggest) at Toulouse, when he was trained by Jean-Claude Rouget. How much either of these horses will do during the current Spring Carnival I don't know -in Rebel Soldier's case at least, I'd suspect not very much - but they're both exciting horses and it'll be interesting to see how they fare down under. Which reminds me: the TAB's Star Stable competition begins for the Spring Carnival this weekend so I better get my 'stable' selected in the next 24 hours. With At The Races kindly showing us all this good racing, the least we can do is do the homework to make sure that we can appreciate and enjoy it.

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