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One of the most rewarding parts of being involved with Hambleton is spending time with so many pleasant and interesting people. It's been a very busy few weeks with four naming meals held this month and it's been great to catch up with so many friends and introduce many new owners to the Hambleton way of doing things. We've been bowled over by the number of kind messages we have received since these recent events and would like to say a big thank you for all the messages and great feedback. Receiving such messages is always very rewarding and as we regard it as so important that all of an owner's involvement with Hambleton is enjoyable, not just the race days. We've reproduced a selection of the messages from owners below: A big thank you to you all for a fantastic day last Sunday and making me feel so welcome, enjoyed every minute. Brian Many thanks for yesterday, Steve and myself really enjoyed ourselves Richard Thanks for a very enjoyable naming day and for all the effort you put into it. Looking forward to Doncaster next week and meeting up with everyone. Irene and John Thanks again for earlier today, great company as ever here’s to a successful year for all the Hambleton horses, not just the ones we are involved with. Brian and Kathryn Thanks for a lovely naming day Tom Thanks for yet another great day. John and Colleen Many thanks for a brilliant first naming day, I was buzzing as I left the pub! Chris
They say a picture can say a thousand words and we are firm believers it’s important to capture the special moments our owners and their horses enjoy at the stables. By employing the excellent Louise Pollard on behalf of our owners we always expect great images and we’re rarely disappointed. Here we’ve picked a brief selection of our recent days at the stables.
With the flat season less than a week away Sunday was an apt time for owners in our two-year-old colt by Kheleyf to visit the stables as they gathered at David O’Meara’s yard on a pleasant morning to name their horse. With the weather significantly warmer than in recent days and the sun shining brightly, a positive vibe ran right through the day as owners kicked off their morning by catching up with David’s horses while enjoying a selection of freshly made refreshments and drinks in the morning sun. As owners enjoyed the informal atmosphere of the yard their colt was prepared for exercise and paraded in front of owners prior to heading to David’s private all-weather gallops. Once on the gallops the day’s main attraction cantered in front of his owners, who gathered close to the gallops to get a real close look at their horse and jockey Josh Doyle. After exercise it was time for owners to head back into the yard for the chance to get up close and personal with their horse as Hambleton Racing photographer Louise Pollard took those all-important Naming Day pictures. The equine star of the show defied his tender age and experience with a calm show of maturity as he stood well alongside his owners and posed for the camera. As David’s right-hand man Jason Kelly led him away attention then turned to the naming day lunch, held at outstanding Plough Inn at the nearby village of Wombleton. There was a lovely atmosphere in the pub as owners got to know one another a little better over drinks before everyone settled down to an excellent lunch in the pub’s private dining area, which proved the perfect location for the day. With an exquisite roast lunch followed by a selection of mouth-watering desserts there were many satisfied smiles around the room as Caroline stepped up to announce the result of the naming vote. Takaleyf, suggested by Will, also an owner in Keep To The Beat, proved the successful name and was accordingly toasted with champagne to cap a great day. We’d like to thank all the owners involved on Sunday for helping make the day such a success.
Saturday proved a memorable day for owners in our two-year-old filly by Fast Company filly, who gathered at Kevin Ryan’s Hambleton yard on a bright, chilly morning to name their horse. With the weather colder than of late our now familiar complimentary hot drinks and freshly made pastries proved more popular than ever with owners and Kevin’s hard working staff who were in typically good form. Owners enjoyed a relaxed time in the yard as they got the chance to see star horses such as the Dubai-bound The Grey Gatsby and catch up with Kevin’s latest yard improvements, the latest of which is currently being constructed, a dedicated brick built owners room for Hambleton Racing’s owners. There was an understandable swell of interest around the box of the star of the morning and the soon-to-be-named filly coped well with the extra attention as her owners watched carefully as Tracey prepared her for gallops action. As the horses headed out owners were then driven up to Kevin’s impressive private gallops to see their two-year-old in action. Owners watched their filly exercise upsides another two-year-old, and were more than content as Tracey allowed her to move slightly ahead in pleasing style towards the end of the exercise. The filly moved with her trademark fluidity in her gallop and coped really well with extra gallops audience, trotting back calmly as many a photograph was taken. After the gallops everyone returned to the yard for one of the key moments of the day – the photo shoot. Our photographer, the excellent Louise Pollard, was on hand throughout the morning, not only to get some great pictures of the filly but also to ensure that each and every owner had their own professionally taken picture of themselves and their filly. After owners had enjoyed the chance to get to know their horse a little better owners then moved on to the nearby Whitestonecliff Inn at Sutton for drinks near a very welcome open fire ahead of the naming meal. With many owners already existing owners with Hambleton there was a really good atmosphere throughout lunch, with a typically warm welcome given to the new owners in the syndicate. The food was of an excellent quality with the Chocolate Ale cake with Bramley jam and Muscavdo cream a very popular dessert choice but the real excitement was of course not the food but the announcement of the naming vote. Company Asset proved a very popular winning name to the delight of owners Kevin and Maureen, who chose the winning name. Owners proceeded to toast Company Asset with champagne along with trainer Kevin Ryan while Kevin and Maureen, also owners of Lightning Cloud and Lightning Spree, received their prize bottle of champagne for suggesting the successful name. With Company Asset looking likely to hit the racecourse soon and plenty of good conversation and laughter throughout the day, her all-complimentary naming day proved a real success. Her owners are now excitedly looking ahead to April when this exciting filly is likely to make her debut.
It's a huge weekend of racing next week with flat turf racing returning at Doncaster, and the huge Dubai World Cup meeting taking place in Meydan. The Dubai meeting sees the reappearance of The Grey Gatsby, who is set to line up in the Group 1 Turf against a strong field. The impressive grey earned some huge wins last year for Kevin with success in the Dante Stakes and French Derby preceeding a thrilling win from Epsom and Irish Derby winner Australia at Leopardstown in the Champion Stakes. Kevin's outstanding Breeze Up graduate will once again be ridden by Ryan Moore and looked in outstanding order at home this morning. He is training very well and it's going to be great to see The Grey Gatsby back in action on the World stage.
It’s an exciting time for owners involved in our Kevin Ryan Breeze Up syndicate with Kevin and his sales team amassing plenty of knowledge ahead of the up-coming Breeze Up Sales. The breeze up sales season kicks off in mid April and with less than a month to go now is the time that Kevin and his team are amassing information about great numbers of the young horses that are set to breeze at the sales. Kevin's most notable Breeze Up graduate is of course the outstanding double Group 1 winner The Grey Gatsby, who so famously lowered the colours of Derby winner Australia at Leopardstown last year. Finding such horses at these sales is no fluke with Kevin's outstanding bloodstock team visiting many of the vendors of the horses for sale, to not only see them exercise but also to let riders get the leg up on them. Kevin joins the team on one of the final visits and by the time the sales come around he and the team have amassed a great deal of information about the horses that are catalogued to exercise. Of course, how those horses then perform and cope with the sales experience is the final hurdle for prospective purchases to overcome. It’s imperative to watch not only each horse as they breeze ahead of the sales, but also at the pre-breeze when the horses get a look at the racecourse for the first time. This year's reports are really enouraging with some potentially smart sorts already identified. Last year Kevin sourced us impressive maiden winner Sir Domino for the Breeze Up syndicate, who is pictured below winning in style at Leicester. He's an exciting horse to look forward to for 2105. With Kevin’s professional team working hard for us the task of selecting the right horse for the Breeze Up syndicate could hardly be in better hands – evidenced further by that Kevin's other recent Breeze Up success stories, such as Group winners Hot Streak and Astaire from the breeze ups. To date six of the twelve shares in the syndicate have been reserved and it looks certain that the Breeze Up Syndicate will be the twelfth straight Kevin Ryan two-year-old syndicate to sell out without going on open sale. As ever, more details of our plans are available from the team.
The Lincoln weekend is always significant in the flat racing calendar and now holds extra importance for Hambleton with our annual Owners Day being held at the meeting for the second time. The day is always a very enjoyable occasion as our owners get together in a fine location to discuss the hopes and dreams for the new season whilst watching a very good card of flat racing at a top racecourse. With just a week to go the countdown is well and truly on as the menus, seating plans and plans for the day are finalised. The tickets for Doncaster will be being posted out early next week and the Hambleton team are really looking forward to starting the season with a great day at Doncaster.
Ever since Hambleton Racing began over a decade ago we've prided ourselves on being a little different and trying to offer more than just a fantastic racehorse ownership experience on the racecourse. Our owners are very much part of Hambleton life and we're delighted to announce a new complimentary event for our owners - a private visit to the National Stud. The Stud boasts some of the best equine facilities in the world and is thriving under the guidance of renowned horseman Brian O'Rourke. Situated amongst 500 acres on the outskirts of Nemarket the National Stud, the stud stands five stallions, including Bahamian Bounty, Pastoral Pursuits and the outstanding Toronado. With any number of quality broodmares in the paddocks there should be lots for owners to see and enjoy as they benefit from a private tour of the stud before enjoying lunch on site towards the end of April. It promises to be an enjoyable, interesting and enlightening day and its one we and our owners are looking to forward to greatly.
The two-year-olds are busy, the top jockeys are back in the yard and there is an undeniable buzz around the O’Meara and Ryan yards at the moment as the horses continue to gear up for the start of the season. Much of the recent racing talk has been focused on Cheltenham but there is now just over a week to go till the season kicks off at Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting. There is no escaping the fact at the yards with the gallops busy and the horses freshly clipped in preparation for the new season. The young horses are changing all the time at the moment and are really starting to look the part as their preparation for the new season continues apace. Both Canny Style and Taking Libertys already have their racing names following their recent Naming Days at the stables and this weekend it's the turn of our Fast Company filly at Kevin's and Kheleyf colt at David's to get their racing names as their owners get together at the stables in anticipation of an exciting season. Everything is certainly bubbling up nicely as the hard work continues to prepare the horses for the challenges that lie ahead this year. With some exciting young horses to look forward to and some proven star quality returning to action, this year promises much and the countdown to the new flat racing year is an exciting time for us all. The season starts with a bang with our Owners Day at Doncaster's Lincoln meeting and as ever there is lots planned aside the racing, with a private visit to the National Stud, Kevin Ryan's summer barbeque and David O'Meara's stables day three dates that should provide plenty of enjoyment off the racecourse. However, it's the racing we're all looking forward to again and our trainers are planning to hit the ground running with both yards reporting the horses very forward and in great order. We can hardly wait!
With the flat season fast approaching the excitement is tangibly growing and went up a notch for owners in our filly by Canford Cliffs on Saturday when her syndicate gathered at Hambleton for her Naming Day. With warmer, almost spring like weather and the sun breaking through the clouds there was a real feel of optimism in the air as owners made their way into Hambleton Lodge, where they were met by the Hambleton team. Our ever-popular pastries and coffees once again went down very well with the hot chocolate and marshmallows also a popular choice as owners cast their eyes over Kevin's well-oiled training machine. As owners moved freely around the yard to catch up with their horses there was a good atmosphere as memories of last year's great days were discussed along with this year's plans and hopes. Despite Kevin's yard being chock full of Group winners and proven quality performers the most popular box on Saturday morning was of course that of the soon-to-be-named filly, who was getting lots of attention as her owners spent some time in her company ahead of the gallops action. As she walked calmly from her stable the excitement grew further as the syndicate headed off to see their two-year-old in action on the Hambleton gallops, where a nip of refreshment was enjoyed by Caroline as Nick and Lena, pictured below, encouraged Caroline to have a warming sip of brandy. Former Gimcrack winner Blaine led the filly in her exercise and she moved with impressive fluidity and pace, in front of the many snapping cameras and admiring glances. The daughter of Canford Cliffs looked a picture as she came back calmly down the gallops under Kevin Stott as her owners got a closer look at their filly. Owners returned to the yard to await their filly and after she was washed off Louise Pollard, Hambleton's excellent professional photographer, was on hand to ensure some stunning pictures were captured for owners as they posed with their filly. After the photo shoot the syndicate made the short journey to the nearby Whitestonecliff Inn at Sutton for drinks ahead of the naming meal on the all-complimentary day. With several of the syndicate having shares in other horses there was a great atmosphere in the pub as lunch was served with lots of laughter, chatter and smiles in a typically informal and enjoyable Hambleton environment. With exquisite puddings to go with the hearty main courses there was a general feeling of contentment in the room as Caroline stood up to announce the result of the naming vote alongside Kevin Ryan. Before the result was announced Caroline had a little surprise in store for Bill, who was due to celebrate his birthday the following day. Never one to miss an opportunity, Caroline led the chorus of Happy Birthday's as Bill's complexion turned a slight shade of red as the song rang out. Caroline then had a further surprise for Bill as his naming suggestion of Canny Style clearly topped the vote and was announced the winning name by Caroline. Owners then toasted Canny Style with champagne before Caroline presented Bill with a prize bottle of champagne for suggesting the successful name. With Canny Style looking a picture and a great atmosphere running throughout the day, her naming day proved a very enjoyable occasion. Her owners are now excitedly looking forward to the future as their horse prepares to begin her racing career. We can hardly wait!