Paul Webber Racing Report – 6

On Sunday I think we witnessed as great a sportsman and sporting achievement as we will ever see. Having said that, it is entirely possible that Roger Federer will eclipse and enhance his own stardom by winning Wimbledon in 2018.

Impossible and astounding performances are achieved in all sports, with athletes and animals running faster all the time. Nature may produce improving specimens through clever breeding and Nurture assists through better training methods and the benefits of experience.

Roger Federer appears to be the perfect athlete, with a faultless temperament and has the right team with him. He appears to have divine gifts, so it is little wonder the planets seem permanently aligned with him and he can create the magic he does. We also appreciate that hours of bloody-minded addiction to practice are paramount to make perfect.

When trying to buy horses we search for the combination of balance, symmetry, lithe movement, strength, soundness and the most difficult to assess, ‘the will to win’. We need the equine equivalents of Roger Federer. Could he become the successor to Galileo at Coolmore, although I’m not sure how thrilled Mrs. Federer would be and his propensity to sire twins could be a concern?

2014 bay gelding by Kapgarde (Fr) ex Queyrann (Fr) (Sheyrann)

Eyrkhan de Carjac (FR)
2014 bay gelding by Kapgarde (Fr) ex Queyrann (Fr) (Sheyrann)

The search for new raw material continued on to The Tattersalls Derby sale where with the enormous help of Ross and Peter Doyle and their team we came home with two lovely un-broken three year olds. They are both strong and well-developed horses by proven top-class National Hunt sires. When looking at N.H. ‘store horses’, you have to ask yourself whether you can realistically imagine them sticking their head down and battling up the Cheltenham hill and these two certainly create that image. The Oscar gelding cost 42,000 euro and has an owner but the Kapgarde who cost 40,000 is currently an orphan and quickly needs some loving parents!

Three days of commuting to Newmarket for The Tattersalls July Sale proved fruitless. 600 miles and 200 horses viewed, but nothing quite right at the right price. Sophie Webber was working for Juddmonte Farms which has always been such a rewarding seam for us to mine but even their draft was lacking in golden nuggets. Their operation is just superb and the attention to detail shown to every facet of Juddmonte is unsurpassed. Enable was just pure gold in completing the English and Irish Oaks double in an truly exceptional manner at the weekend, proof that Juddmonte must feed their horses ‘carats’! We will want to get plenty of ‘ammunition’ together in order to be able to pay serious attention to their draft at the Tattersalls Horses in Training sale at the end of October.



Most of the horses are back in after their Summer holidays which lasted between five and eight weeks depending on their requirements and their varying ability to metamorphose into elephants! The ability of the horse to injure itself is legendary and manifold. We have to believe that turning horses out as much as possible is beneficial for both their mental and physical state, but as in any action there is always risk attached.


Starjac’s tendon

Three Saturdays ago I was feeding the twenty two horses that were turned out here in three different paddocks. In one paddock eight of them careered over feeling very fresh and happy when one of them Starjac, pulled up suddenly and lame. Somehow in those few seconds of galloping and fooling about he had managed to strike into his right front leg, half-way down the back of the tendon. It was a nasty sight but thank goodness he did it in front of my eyes and not at night when he would have been in pain for hours and all sorts of infection could have got in. I held him until the horsebox arrived and within the hour one of our veterinary team, Katherine Murray did a beautiful stitching job. Although the tendon sheath was visible it looks as though very fortunately he has not damaged the tendon which we will we scan to confirm in ten days’ time.

Ken Gamble is in charge of shipping all of Mr. McManus’ horses both to and from Martinstown Stud where all ‘J.P.’s horses go for their holidays. I always tell Ken that his job must like that of Father Christmas as he spreads goodwill when he rings to advise of a delivery! Imagine my child-like excitement when he rang to say that not one but two horses were to be dropped off for us! We were looking forward to the return of YOUKNOWELLbut are doubly thrilled to receive a lovely un-named four year old by Jeremy as well. We had tried to buy a couple of geldings by Jeremy at the Derby Sale but they sold too well. This stallion is very sadly no more; he looked a serious prospect leaving behind the likes of Jer’s Girl, Our Conor and Kool Kompany from few and not large books of mares. We really like our new arrival and imagine we’ll aim towards a bumper before Christmas.

Our youngest team-member Brogan McCarrick made her race-riding debut at Lingfield two weeks ago in The Three Feathers Cup. This race is a good BHA idea to give inexperienced stable-staff racecourse experience in an ‘unofficial’ but replica race. Brogan raised over £650 for Racing Welfare and enjoyed her ’spin’ over 1 ½ m. on Honour a Promise. Having been a little surprised at the start and jumping off towards the back, she did a great job and passed plenty in the straight. Brogan described her experience as “Out of this world!”. Let’s hope this is the first step on her intended path towards The Grand National.


We have only had two runners in the last fortnight; TRIGGITAS ran very well to be a staying on second at Worcester and looks to be a late-maturing horse that is making good progress. He attended a very sparsely-attended Ascot sales this week and quite rightly came home when the bidding stopped far below his value. He will have a short holiday back at his owners lovely Fawley House Stud before an Autumn campaign, that will include the valuable Brush Handicap Hurdle Fina in October.

NEW AGENDA was disappointing when weakening to be third at Uttoxeter but there were reasons. The trainer was probably too gentle on him after he had an infection four weeks ago and as he is a horse who is keen in his work, I may have not done enough with him. Certainly he had a long ‘blow’ after the race, but going left-handed does not help him either although the champion jockey had thought we’d get away with it now he is more tractable. Anyway put a line through it and watch out for him at Goodwood in the last race of the meeting, a 1m. 1f. Apprentice Handicap, 71-90.


This week: ”Far From Any Road” – The Handsome Family, from the album, Singing Bones




Ku on BBC camera at Wimbledon. Watching Murray… but dreaming of Roger!

Recent Posts