Tag Archive for: Bold Endeavour

Laura Morgan reflects on ‘phenomenal’ spell as winners continue to flow

Laura Morgan is riding high after her stellar stable form continued with a treble at Musselburgh on Sunday.

Champ Is Real, Seemingly So and Clear The Runway all scored under Adam Wedge at the Scottish track, bringing the stable strike rate to 50% over the past two weeks with seven winners from their past 11 runners.

Morgan is based near Melton Mowbray, nearly 300 miles from Musselburgh, and spent over 10 hours driving the horsebox to and from the racecourse having risen in the early hours to feed the horses.

Despite arriving home too late to properly celebrate, the long trip was made worthwhile by the trio of wins and was an experience Morgan would happily repeat in search of more success.

“For such a small yard it was fantastic, I couldn’t quite believe it, it was a crazy day,” she said.

“It was about five and a quarter hours away so it was a long old trip up there and back, getting up at four to feed, but it was all worth it.

“I didn’t do much celebrating, I think the others went to the pub! I was driving the lorry with the horses and I was getting them sorted when I got home at half 12 last night, so it was a long old day but I don’t care.

“I’ll drive anywhere for a winner, everyone says that about me!”

The yard’s recent triumphs are a welcome shift in fortunes for Morgan, with the string out of form earlier in the season and the trainer left to ponder if life had been easier when she was travelling head girl for Jonjo O’Neill.

“It’s phenomenal, you have to pinch yourself because a couple of months ago things weren’t going that great,” she said.

“A lot of the horses were sick and then you’ve got people on your back. Going from working for Jonjo for four and a half years, which was fantastic and I’d never swap that for the world, but you do think when you’re getting all the hassle and grief, ‘should I just go back to working at a yard and taking a wage at the end of the week?’.

“But on days like yesterday it all pays off and it’s just brilliant.”

Foxfield Stud, Morgan’s base, is very much a family-run enterprise, with Morgan’s sister, Kelly, training a string of pointers after a spell as a licence-holder employed by Sir Johnny Weatherby.

“We have a great team and it’s very much a family show here,” she said.

“I train them and Kelly has moved home, she was training for Sir Johnny Weatherby and she’s got a little yard down at the bottom with 10 point-to-pointers.

“She’s had eight or 10 winners already this season so she’s doing well, and then my brother is the farrier.

“He shoes all the horses in the yard, which is great, and Lizzy, his girlfriend, she’s a big part of it too.

“She does a lot of the school work and working on balance and getting them going right.

“We’ve got some great staff that have been with me for years, they’re all very loyal – it’s just a great family yard.”

The team could have even better days ahead as the yard houses a few exciting prospects, including the seven-times winner Socialist Agenda, who will sidestep the Morebattle Hurdle due to the likely testing conditions and could head for the Scottish Champion Hurdle instead.

Socialist Agenda winner a Market Rasen bumper
Socialist Agenda winner a Market Rasen bumper (Steve Cargill/PA)

“He won’t go on heavy ground, he’s more of a speed horse,” Morgan said of the chestnut.

“I’d say we’ll see what Ayr comes up like, he’ll go for the Scottish Champion Hurdle if that comes up good or good to soft at the worst. Possibly Aintree, we’ll wait but I wouldn’t run him on heavy.”

Another horse that could head to Aintree next is the unbeaten Bold Endeavour, who has claimed three wide-margin successes in a bumper and a pair of hurdle contests.

“He’s a lovely horse, I had him in this weekend but again, the ground was heavy,” said Morgan.

“We’ll step up to three (miles) and take the hood off, but I just thought it would be a bit stupid to run him on heavy ground when we could wait and go on better ground. He’ll maybe go to Aintree now and just go there a fresh horse.”

Kelso and Haydock under consideration for Bold Endeavour

Laura Morgan is pondering both Kelso and Haydock options as her unbeaten hurdler Bold Endeavour prepares to step up in grade.

The gelding was a point-to-point winner at Necarne as a four-year-old and then joined Morgan’s Leicestershire yard, making his debut for the stable in a Sedgefield bumper last May where he duly obliged by 10 lengths.

A run in a maiden hurdle the following November resulted in a five-and-a-half-length victory at the same track, after which the six-year-old headed to Wetherby and caught the eye with an impressive 12-length success in a novice event in January.

The Grade Two Premier Kelso Hurdle on March 5 was under consideration for the horse’s next outing, but the dry ground could see him rerouted for the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle, also a Grade Two, run over three miles at Haydock on February 19.

“My plan was to go to Kelso for the Premier Hurdle but with the ground drying out, I’m not quite so sure that I should make that Plan A, I should maybe go for Plan B now,” she said.

“He will maybe go to Haydock on the 19th for the three-mile novice there. I’m in two minds as I don’t really think we’ve had many years where the ground has stayed like this.

“It’s fairly dry everywhere so it is ground dependent, we want to try him over three (miles) because I think that’s where he wants to be.

“I think the track will really suit him and hopefully the ground will stay nice, the thing with Haydock is that it can be a lot softer there.”

Morgan is hopeful that a step up to three miles will bring about even more improvement from Bold Endeavour and has an eye on Aintree in the spring after his next run.

“His performance at Wetherby definitely looked like he wanted every yard I thought. We may go to Haydock and possibly then Aintree after that – I wouldn’t be thinking about Cheltenham this year,” she said.

“For his next run we’ll take the hood off as well, he looked like he didn’t need it at Wetherby.”

Socialist Agenda is another of Morgan's big hopes
Socialist Agenda is another of Morgan’s big hopes (Martin Lynch/PA)

Morgan trains a relatively small string near Melton Mowbray and could see her yard put on the map thanks to the exploits of Bold Endeavour and his stablemate Socialist Agenda.

“It is very exciting, we’ve not had anything of this potential I don’t think,” she said.

“We have Socialist Agenda, he’s won three bumpers and a novice hurdle and he looks quite nice. He has form in a nice race at Cheltenham on his second start over hurdles.

“Bold Endeavour looks the one, doesn’t he? It’s really good for the whole team, we’re only small and have got about 38 in full work, so it is really exciting.”

Bold Endeavour has Laura Morgan dreaming of big things to come

Laura Morgan is excited to see how far Bold Endeavour can go after extending his unbeaten record in impressive style at Wetherby.

A £190,000 purchase after winning an Irish point-point, the Fame And Glory gelding has since landed a Sedgefield bumper last spring and a maiden hurdle at the County Durham venue two months ago.

Faced with three other last-time-out winners, Bold Endeavour was a 3-1 shot to add to his tally in the Bet At racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle and ultimately got the job done comfortably.

It was not entirely straightforward for the six-year-old’s supporters, with David Noonan having to chivvy along his mount with a circuit still race to keep him interested.

But when the field emerged from the fog Bold Endeavour had moved into second behind Escapeandevade and the further he went the better he looked, with 12 lengths separating the pair at the line.

“That was very impressive,” said Morgan.

“He’s a weirdo at home – there’s no getting away from it. I couldn’t believe today that he never really travelled as we struggle at home to get him to relax. I think the next day I’ll take the hood off.

“I think he’d prefer a bit better ground and I’ll probably aim him now for the Premier Hurdle at Kelso in early March before going on to Aintree – that’s the plan.

“He’s very exciting. That was a good novice hurdle today – there were good animals in behind – and he’s come away from them like they were stood still.”

Our Jet justified cramped odds in the wetherbyracing.co.uk Maiden Hurdle.

Second and fourth in two previous starts for Dan Skelton, the six-year-old was the 2-5 favourite to make it third time lucky under Jack Andrews, having undergone wind surgery since his latest outing.

Our Jet moved into the slipstream of the front-running Cartonne rounding the home turn and readily extended nine and a half lengths clear.

“It was pretty straightforward. He was dropping back to two miles today and to be honest he’s a horse that wants two and a half and a little bit better ground,” said Andrews.

“He did it well and was only doing as much as he had to. Hopefully next year he’ll be a lovely chaser.”

Andrews went on to complete a double aboard the Pam Sly-trained Haafapiece (6-1) in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Handicap Hurdle.

Cornerstone Lad was a popular winner
Cornerstone Lad was a popular winner (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Micky Hammond was thrilled to see stable star Cornerstone Lad (7-1) get back on the winning trail in the Book Corporate Hospitality At Wetherby Racecourse Handicap Chase.

The 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle hero moved smoothly into contention under Conor O’Farrell and knuckled down from the final fence to secure his first chase win by two and three-quarter lengths.

“He’s done terrifically well,” said Hammond.

“Although that’s his first win over fences, he’s never run a bad race. Last time he was possibly a shade disappointing and I did wonder whether we’d gone for the Castleford Chase a year too soon, but we decided we’d have a crack at it.

“Today we went back to the cheekpieces to sharpen him up and he came there like a good horse.

“We’ll look for something else in the north. I think it will have done him the world of good to win.”

You Some Boy completed his hat-trick for the in-form Rebecca Menzies team in the racingtv.com Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

A winner at Newcastle and over this course and distance in December, the seven-year-old led from start to finish to score by just over four lengths in hands of Nathan Moscrop.

Menzies, saddling her sixth winner of the month, said of her latest victor: “Everything has just clicked for him and he seems to keep improving a little bit.

“He’s got a likeable attitude who carries his head very low. He was still green after the last – Nathan said he pulled his stick through and he just ducked away a little.

“He’s a lovely horse who will make into a nice chaser next season.”

Ballyrath won after a lengthy absence
Ballyrath won after a lengthy absence (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Ballyrath made a triumphant return from 960 days off the track in the Racing TV Anywhere Handicap Chase.

Gary Hanmer’s 12-year-old had not run under rules since May 2019, but powered to the lead and found plenty for pressure on the run-in for Tabitha Worsley to secure top honours.

“It’s some training performance. Colin (Moore) who owns him rides him out every day,” said Worsley.

“He has actually run in two Newmarket Town Plates since he last run under rules.

“He’s an absolute joy to ride and jumps from fence to fence. Between them Gary and Colin have got him spot on for today and I was the lucky one to steer him round.”