Steady Start For Burrows

The Flat season stepped up a gear or two with Newmarket’s Craven Meeting kicking off yesterday.

John Gosden, fresh from a sensational 2015 captured the fillies’ showpiece, the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes. Soft conditions resulted in several high profile omissions, but it was Nathra that underlined the strength of her two-year-old form when she had chased home the 1000 Guineas favourite Minding in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile. Yesterday she proved too strong in horrid conditions, staying on powerfully for a comfortable victory. She’s now a 12/1 shot for the Newmarket Classic, though a trip to France would appear more likely, having confirmed her liking for more testing conditions.

Her victory proved the highlight on day one of the meeting, though the day was also notable for the turf debut of Owen Burrows’ yard. The 41-year-old took over the running of Kingwood House Stables from Barry Hills at the end of last season, and has inherited a powerful team. With one winner at Chelmsford to his name, he had his first runners on the turf, unleashing two useful, and well fancied types.

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A small yet select field assembled for the Fielden Stakes with Burrows saddling Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Mustajeer. He performed with credit, chasing home the favourite Ventura Storm and ought to have a fruitful campaign ahead of him. He’s bred to appreciate further, and though he probably lacks the natural ability to reach the highest level, he could still feature at major meetings throughout the summer.

Fawaareq ran for the same connections in a maiden later in the day. This nicely bred three-year-old chased home another Gosden winner. He travelled beautifully throughout the race, but failed to pick up when asked, and may have found conditions testing enough. Time will tell just how good this form proves to be, but the colt is another to look forward too as the season progresses.

Massaat is expected to be one of the leading lights for the yard. He’s currently a 12/1 shot for the Qipco 2000 Guineas, a race that will see him clash again with his Dewhurst Stakes nemesis Air Force Blue. The trainer recently spoke of his talented colt, saying: “We were thrilled with his run in the Dewhurst Stakes. He is working well at home and we are thrilled with him. He has got three and a half lengths to find with Air Force Blue, but the nice thing is there was a good gap back to the third that day. Hopefully he has improved enough to give it a shot. How he runs in the Guineas will determine where we go after that.”

Burrows, who served as assistant trainer to Sir Michael Stoute for 12 years has an incredible act to follow in his role at Kingwood House. Barry Hills had spent almost 50 years in the business and had captured virtually every prize worth winning. With his retirement drawing near, he had been in no doubt of the suitability of the man taking over.

“Owen was the only person we interviewed,” Hills had told the Racing Post late last year. “We all liked him and agreed he’d fit the bill. He’s level-headed and has a good background in racing. The idea is for Owen to take over next year, with me helping to steer him into it. Everything should work out. It’s a wonderful opportunity for him. I’ll continue to be involved, but the time will be right for me to step down as trainer. I can’t go on forever.”

Burrows will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of close friend Roger Varian. He said: “It was through Roger, who I met at Josh Gifford's, that I went to Newmarket as he offered me the chance to lodge with him as he was working for Michael Jarvis. I rode out for Sean Woods and became assistant to him before he put in a good word to get me the job at Sir Michael Stoute's.

The first tentative steps have been taken and we watch with interest to see how this latest young talent copes with the weight of expectation.

Race histories 10: The Dee Stakes

Magician - will his win preserve Gp 3 status?

Magician - will his win preserve Gp 3 status?

The Dee Stakes has long been recognised as a Derby Trial, although it is ten years since it threw up the winner in Kris Kin. It’s hard to believe then, that one winner of the race went on to win the Grand National. You won’t remember it any more than I do: the horse was Voluptuary, and it took the Dee Stakes in 1881 and the National three years later. Read more

Chester Trainer Stats


Aidan Does Well On The Roodee...

With the 3-day Chester May Meeting this week Andy Newton highlights four trainers to look out for, plus two that might be best avoided..... Read more

Barry Hills back in business

barry hills2There’s an old name returning to the training scene in Barry Hills, who has come out of retirement at the age of 76. His name won’t actually appear in the racecards, as he won’t hold a licence. He will, though, manage 14 horses owned by Sheikh Hamdan, which will run under son John’s name. Read more

Baker steps on to Manton training ladder

George Baker is definitely a trainer on the up. The former racing journalist learned the art of his second career as assistant to Paul Webber, and though he’s yet to become a prolific trainer of winners, there are plenty around who would be pleased with his total of 20 this flat season. Read more

Backwards and Forwards

As this is my final post of the year I thought I would put my Janus head on and reflect briefly on some of the people and horses who will no longer grace the turf next year before I record my resolutions to improve my betting in 2012. Read more

Cartier Racing Awards 2011

One of the year's shortest priced favourites duly romped home last night as Frankel was named Cartier Horse of the Year at the 2011 Cartier Racing Awards. Read more

Hills’ perfect start

Charlie Hills - picking up where Dad left off

The transition from father to son was seamless. Just 43 hours and 5 minutes after Barry Hills signed off with a winner on Saturday night, his son Charlie was standing in the winner's enclosure at Kempton celebrating success with his first runner as a trainer. Read more

Hills’ perfect sign off

Barry Hills - much to look back on in retirement

Veteran trainer Barry Hills rounded off his career in style on Saturday with a double at Chester and Bath. With runners at all four flat race meetings it was a typical busy day for the stable. Read more

TV Trends – Saturday 13 August


Tajneed - the 2008 St Wilfrid winner

Did you know that eight of the last ten Great St Wilfrid winners carried 9-4 or less? - ruling out 2008 winner Tajneed. Well, there’s plenty more where that came from as Andy Newton looks at Saturday’s LIVE C4 races from a trends angle..... Read more

Trainer Trends 11th Aug

Horses On The Heath

Horses On The Heath

As we enter the second half of the flat season Andy Newton continues with his popular weekly look at the yards that are too hot to handle and one that that might be worth avoiding for the time being Read more

31 years? A very civil partnership

There can't be too many relationships in racing that last for of all 31 years, but one that did was that between Newmarket trainer Mark Prescott and Yorkshire jockey George Duffield. Read more

Saturday TV Trends

Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse

Okay, Shergar Cup Day at Ascot is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are plenty of trends to get stuck into, while we’ve also got live C4 action at Newmarket and Haydock - Racing pundit Andy Newton takes you through the LIVE races....... Read more

Hot Trainers 4th Aug


Barry Hills

Barry Hills

It’s that time of the week again as leading horse racing pundit Andy Newton arms you with some much needed ammo to take the bookies on with as he continues with his popular Hot & Cold Trainers feature......... Read more

Saturday TV Trends


Goodwood and Newmarket TV Trends

Okay, we've still not got a funky, catchy name for this weekly feature, but for now it does exactly what it says on the tin - and hopefully, like last week, it can point you in the direction of a winner or two this Saturday...... Read more