Paul Webber Racing Report – 2

According to racehorse trainers, rapeseed is the scourge of the countryside!

There are many advantages and some disadvantages of training in such a lovely place as Cropredy lawn. At this time of year though we can suffer from the amount of pare grown around us as racehorses are very sensitive to this very heavy and irritating pollen.

Like humans and hay-fever, it is not every horse that feels the effects of the pollen, but if a horse is ‘on the cusp’ of an infection or its’ resistance is at a low ebb anyway, this pollen can bring on further infection and production of mucus.

You probably noticed that Blue Revelation was a non-runner last Friday. He had been so fresh and happy all week, prancing about all the way home after work, but on Thursday morning he behaved too well, walking home far too sensibly for him!

We scoped him and he had some mucus present and his white cell count came back at 800. We take the view that no horse runs its best race with a cell count of more than 400 or a neutrophil percentage of more than 15%. Cell counts can go as high as 2500 so 800 is only mild and five days of anti-biotics should soon clean the situation up. This just illustrates how day to day this can be.



Next week is the NH May Sale at Doncaster, a really important week for us as it is often for us the best opportunity to find new talent and hopefully future stars.

I have been attending this sale every year since I started working at The Curragh Bloodstock Agency in 1985 for Johnny Harrington and David Minton. We are creatures of habit at sales time and follow a tried and trusted routine. There are 250 N.H. ‘Stores’ catalogued, so before the sale we scour through the catalogue listing those horses that we want to Inspect. With withdrawals and unsuitable pedigrees, I will probably list about 170 horses to be seen, which means a Very full day of inspection on Monday, the day before the sale.

The cost of our raw material, these young horses is rising all the time, but with serious work and attention to detail value can be found. Last year we bought Dassett Gold for £10,000 who has shown great promise in his two bumpers finishing 4th and a luckless 5th as well as Boughtbeforelunch who was an early lot (!) for £15,000 who was 2nd in his debut bumper at Warwick and looks a lovely prospect for his owners, The Let Us Do Lunch Partnership. Please get in touch to join in our search for new horses for the yard.



Our two NH broodmares have done us proud this spring by both having colt foals. My father always said, “If you ever want to get even with someone without him noticing for a few years, give him a broodmare! He’ll thank you for it before counting the tremendous cost in the future.”

We share in partnership with Simon Sweeting Shuil Gaelach, a Flemensfirth mare who we trained to win a bumper at Worcester. She had a lovely Kayf Tara filly last year and a lovely colt by the same brilliant stallion this spring. As you’ll see from this photo he is a cracker so we hope that she will soon be tested ‘in foal’ again to the same stallion.

Our other mare September Blaze is shared with one of her original owner Paul Bowden and she had her first foal on 4th May, a colt by another of Overbury Stud’s stallions, Cityscape.

He is a very cheeky chap and she has instantly become a model mum. The foal has been nicknamed ‘Hugo’ due to their matching hair colour and their shared ability to lie down and be asleep instantly! This mare is booked to visit the magnificent-looking Telescope at Shade Oak Stud.


– NEWS –

Last week The Bottom Bar chalked up our third second of the new season when just getting caught on the line in a bumper At Market Rasen. He was beaten a neck by one of Alan King’s who they think highly off. Sadly “Moses” as we call him, named that because he’s by Stowaway and Moses was the most famous ‘stowaway’ (in the bushes) we could think of, has to go to the Goffs UK sale as Lot 692 next week.

This is an improving horse that we would love to keep in the yard and we expect him to make about £60,000. Please contact us if you are interested in buying a lovely ready-made, oven-ready prospect!

Breath of Blighty disappointed at Southwell, but three factors may have contributed to this. There was heavy rain at Southwell and although the ground was not officially changed, the times were very slow. This horse has been in a long time and he is very sore under the saddle, so further investigations will take place to see if we can ‘crack the code to this enigma’ of a horse.

Royal Debutante ran her career-best to be second to an improver of Jonjo’s and deserves her summer holiday before going chasing in the autumn, she remains a lovely and improving prospect. With a busy week ahead at Doncaster (don’t forget my mobile number 07836 232465 to place your order!) it will be handy to have a quieter time on the racecourse, with our next entry being New Agenda in a maiden hurdle at Huntingdon next Tuesday.

This looks a suitable opportunity but there are no easy races around at the moment as our four ‘effing’ seconds prove! Yesterday’s rain has settled the dust and polished up all the greens of the countryside around Cropredy Lawn. Obviously where the racecourses have watered it changes the ground very quickly but we’ll have to see how lasting the effects of this rain are. Our schooling field remains very firm and it will take a lot more rain to adjust that.

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