HURWORTH BLOODSTOCK AND GEORGE BOUGHEY
Since George Boughey took out his training licence last July, Hurworth Bloodstock have taken great pleasure in teaming up with him to source horses. The working relationship began with the private acquisition of the OR49-rated Three C’s (Kodiac x Ms Mary C (Dolphin Street)), who was bought in early July to target a 0-50 Classified Handicap at Bath some 3 weeks later on a card where George fielded his first three runners as a licenced trainer. Unfortunately, Three C’s was turned over that day but duly obliged on his next start at Lingfield to jubilant scenes from a great group of mutual friends who make up The Dice Men. It has been most pleasing to see Three C’s really thrive under George’s conditioning of late, which has seen him win 4 of his 6 starts so far in 2020, with the promise of more to come.
The acquisitions of the slightly less-inspiring pair of Jack Berry House (Harbour Watch x Dularame (Pivotal)) & Olaf (Frozen Power x Khafayif (Swain)) followed prior to the 2019 Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale, where 1,097 lots on offer were whittled down to four purchases, all of whom came in under the average sale price of 25,780gns. Of those four, our first purchase Baltic Wolve (Australia x Baltic Comtesse (Lope De Vega)) showed brief promise on his first start for George at 1m4f prior to two subsequent efforts at the same distance in which he twice folded tamely under pressure; Baltic Wolve was moved on at last week’s July Sale, and is set to continue his career in Italy.
2nd up was Absolutio (Kendargent x La Joie (Montjeu)), a 16,000gns purchase who showed blistering speed on his first start for George over 7 furlongs at Chepstow prior to running a touch flat at Lingfield on the 4 day back-up. Absolutio should find his niche at 6 furlongs around a bend, and can resume winning ways sooner rather than later. Absolutio could reappear at the end of the month over 6 furlongs at Wolverhampton, and may well take some stopping.
Then came Songkran (Slade Power x Choose Me (Choisir)), with the combination of a gelding operation, a step up to 1m2f and an 11lb drop from the handicapper through the winter seeing a major upturn in his fortunes so far this year. Narrowly-denied on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket, Songkran has quickly made amends in winning twice this month already, most recently when caught wide in a 14 runner handicap at Bath but having more than enough in hand to score by 2 lengths, winning in the manner of a horse who can be defying his new rating of OR74 sooner rather than later. Indeed, Songkran could reappear as soon as this Friday in the 3.20 at Chepstow, and is well worth following closely should he take up his engagement; there can be plenty more to come from him.
Last, but not least, of the Tattersalls HIT Sale purchases was Involved (Havana Gold x Trick Or Treat (Lomitas)), who continued his bright start for George in no uncertain terms when bolting up by 3 lengths in a 1m2f handicap at Windsor yesterday. In winning yesterday, Involved joined Songkran on form figures of ‘211‘ since joining George, and is the 4th horse from George’s Saffron House Stables to have won two or more consecutive races in 2020. Moreover, Involved has won his last two starts by a combined 6¼ lengths, looking a fair way ahead of the assessor on each occasion.
Involved is now a three time winner at 1m2f and looks sure to relish 1m4f when given the opportunity to step up in distance. Moreover, with his proven love for firm going, Involved now has a potential tilt at this year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival very much on his agenda, where targets such as the $300,000 Hotham Handicap on Derby Day & the $300,000 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Stakes Day could make it a most exciting raid on Australia for George and his team.
Last week saw Tattersalls host their annual July Sale and, for the first time since purchasing Involved, Hurworth Bloodstock teamed up with George Boughey to sign for Lot 327, Widaad (Muhaarar x Mudaaraah (Cape Cross)), a 3 year old filly who commanded 12,000gns from the Shadwell draft.
Seen just once on the racecourse for trainer Owen Burrows, Widaad can readily be forgiven for her debut effort which saw her finish 8th of 14 in a 7f novice at Kempton last November. Breaking from stall 12 of 14, Widaad was a touch sluggish from the stalls, and was immediately settled at the rear of the field under David Egan. Unfortunately for her, the field crawled through the early stages, playing very much into the hands of those who raced prominently, to the extent that the 2-3-4-5-6-7 at the halfway stage filled the first 6 positions home, producing a 3f finishing speed % of ~110% in the process. Despite being checked slightly by Dame Denali (Casamento x Doric Lady (Kyllachy)) at the top of the straight, Widaad still finished off her race well, clocking the 5th fastest 3f closing split of the race and making up several positions in the process.
This performance smacked of a filly who needed a much greater stamina test than a slowly-run 7 furlongs, a sentiment that is readily echoed in Widaad’s pedigree. Sire Muhaarar (Oasis Dream x Tahrir (Linamix)) may well have been Champion Sprinter of 2015, but he appears to be putting a good deal of stamina into his progeny, to the extent that 11 of his 15 individual 3yo winners in Europe so far this year have obliged at distances of 1m and beyond, with recent 1m2½f Group 3 Musidora Stakes runner-up Albaflora (Muhaarar x Almiranta (Galileo)) leading the way in his 2nd crop. Moreover, Widaad’s dam Mudaaraah (Cape Cross x Wissal (Woodman)) may have been a 7f Listed winner as a 2 year old, but she progressed into her 3 year old career to fill the frame twice in Listed contests at 1m2f, seeing out the distance strongly on both occasions.
Widaad may well have been seen on a racecourse this season but for a minor setback in April that has led to her being on walking exercise since. Therefore, while she will not be seen on a racecourse in the immediate future, Widaad can nevertheless prove one to very much look forward to in the coming months, particularly with an eye to stepping up in distance beyond a mile. Finally, Widaad is currently for sale; please do not hesitate to get in touch with either George (firstname.lastname@example.org) or I (email@example.com) for more details if you are interested !
Many congratulations are due to owner Olivia Hoare and her bloodstock advisor Luke Lillingston, as well as all of the team at Somerville Lodge, who successfully combined for a major breakthrough success with 5 year old mare Nkosikazi (Cape Cross x Whatami (Daylami)) in last month’s Group 3 Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle. Nkosikazi had been a 30,000gns purchase as a 3 year old filly by Avenue Bloodstock from the 2018 Tattersalls December Mare Sale, and was sent into training in 2019 with William Haggas in a season that saw her fill the frame on four occasions, most notably when finishing 3rd in the Listed River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield.
Nkosikazi was sold again at the 2019 Tattersalls December Mare Sale and on this occasion commanded 220,000gns, thanks in no small part to the emergence of her high-class two year old half-brother Juan Elcano (Frankel x Whatami (Daylami)). Sent back into training with William & Maureen Haggas for 2020, it has been a great thrill to see Nkosikazi regain the winning thread in such style for her new owner; many congratulations to Olivia Hoare and the very best of luck with Nkosikazi going forward !
Finally, this Sunday could see unbeaten 5 year old mare Miss O Connor (Roderic O’Connor x Magadar (Lujain)) make her long-awaited seasonal reappearance, as she has been confirmed at the 6-day stage for the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes over 1m1f, to be held at 4.15pm at the Curragh. An absentee in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot due to drying conditions, Miss O Connor will need sufficient rain to fall on the Curragh in the coming days if she is to take up her entry. Regardless, it is most exciting to see Miss O Connor edging closer to a return to the track, and fingers are firmly crossed that we see plenty of rain fall on Kildare in the coming days !