The winter jumping season is once again approaching, and we will have many familiar old faces returning, as well as several new ones making their debuts. Over the coming days and weeks I will be providing detailed essays on some of our horses that will hopefully be in the winners enclosure very shortly.
GRANGE RANGER 19 April 2012- Gelding Kalanisi-Grangeclare Flight Owner-Oakwood Rainbow
Before racing was brought to an abrupt end because of lock down, we had a number of horses who were primed to go very close on their next run, and no more so than the lightly raced Grange Ranger.
When you have a horse that is bred for chasing, you have to be very patient because you probably won't start to see the best of them until they reach seven years of age. Grange Ranger had just turned that age, and has only seen a racecourse under rules five times. He started his career in an Irish point at Ballindenisk and would have won if not for coming down at the last. He was then transferred to Jamie Snowden for his rules career, and after a promising forth over hurdles on debut, made no show in his next three attempts, including his debut over fences. Before being transferred to us, he had one more go in the point field in December 2019 when finishing second.
On February 25th 2020 he made his debut for us at Catterick over three miles and one furlong off a BHA mark of 109. Had he not made a mistake two out he probably would have won, but he ended up being a very creditable second to Ask Paddy who was completing a four timer, there was 33 lengths back to the third horse,so the handicappers assessment of a six pounds rise seemed fair.
Grange Ranger finally got back on the track at Wetherby in October 2020, and from his new mark of 115 didn't disappoint with a solid second place finish. His next two starts were also at Wetherby but with conditions in his favour on both occasions in December, and again in January 2021, for whatever reason he was out of sorts and finished a well beaten fifth, followed by a non completion. Stepping back down in trip from three miles to Wetherby's extended two miles and five furlongs is a possible explanation as to why Grange Ranger found his form on his next start in February, when winning under Alain Cawley from a mark of 112. At Carlisle in March from a 7lb rise in the weights over two and a half miles he ran right up to his best with a gallant effort in finishing second. His final start to date was at Hexham in May where we asked him to compete over hurdles for the first time since early 2019 in novice hurdle company. Racing over two and a half miles, he was competitive until being outpaced from two out, but ran with credit to finish a 15 lengths third.
Grange Ranger has a brother called Present Flight in training with Lucinda Russell who achieved a Racing Post rating of 127 at his peak. His mother Grangeclare Flight only saw the racecourse twice, but did win a bumper for Nicky Richards on debut. He is a lightly raced horse, and there should be more improvement still to come.
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