From modest beginnings, at his base less than 10 miles from Dumfries in Scotland, Iain Jardine continues to build an exciting and promising team.
With initially little more than a dozen horses at his disposal, he now counts around four times that figure, and makes regular visits to the winners’ enclosure. The ex-conditional jockey rode for Len Lungo back in the day, and took over at his old boss’s yard in 2015. With grass and all-weather gallops, along with an abundance of hilly countryside on the doorstep, facilities are perfect for this expanding enterprise.
The dual-purpose trainer started out at Hawick in 2009, initially over the Jumps, but gradually drifted toward producing successful Flat performers.
He is probably best known for the gritty stayer Nakeeta. The five-year-old has had a terrific couple of campaigns, winning the Old Borough Cup in 2015, and then getting within a short-head of lifting the Chester Cup in May. He continued in a rich vein of form throughout the summer, finishing runner-up in valuable handicaps at Ascot and York. He again came within a whisker of success at the end of October, when touched-off in a valuable handicap at Leopardstown.
Shrewd is another talented stayer on the flat, and like Nakeeta, also had a successful summer. He won a handicap at York back in June, then finished third in the Cesarewitch trial, before running respectably in the big race itself in October. A talented dual-purpose horse, he had three wins over hurdles last winter, and when reverting to the flat, went from a mark of 84 to 102 by the end of the season.
Jardine will continue with all-weather action throughout the winter, and indeed was successful on Monday, when Wahaab finished in a dead-heat for first at Newcastle. He is also set to prolong the campaign of the well-bred juvenile, Tael O’Gold. The filly is a daughter of Zoffany, out of an Oasis Dream mare, and looks sure to get off the mark before too long. Third last time at Newcastle, she’s entered at Wolverhampton at the end of the week.
As attention turns to a winter over the jumps, Jardine looks to have a few promising types in the yard. He’s especially successful with his bumper runners, currently standing at a 33% strike rate. Much of that success is down to the promising Dalakhani gelding, Loud And Clear. He proved a gutsy winner last time at Ayr, fending off the challenge of Donna’s Delight, with the front two well clear of the remainder. That was his second victory from four starts, and he now has an entry at Cheltenham over the weekend. He has the potential of becoming a talented hurdler.
Jardine also has an exciting, unbeaten, filly in the yard. Tokaramore has two victories at Kelso to her name, and was particularly impressive last time. Ridden by the young claimer Ross Chapman, she stayed on powerfully, and could be called the winner some way out. The young jockey has a stunning 67% strike-rate this term in bumpers. He has an eye-catching six wins from just 14 rides so far this season.
Jardine can also call upon the talented Irishman Shane Shortall. Another young jockey with huge potential, he arrived in Scotland at the start of this campaign. He’d had plenty of success in his native Ireland, including victory aboard Road To Riches in the Galway Plate of 2014. His ride on Kalaharry at Hexham in October, when losing his irons after being impeded three out, was quite outstanding, and drew much praise on social media. He’s a huge asset for the yard, and a sign that Jardine is intent on building a strong team at Hetland Hill Farm.