STARS OF THE PAST PART 4.
HAM N'EGGS. 01 January 1991. Robellino- Rose And The Ring. Owner-M.H.O.G. Racing.
How can you not have anything but the greatest respect for a tough versatile horses such as Ham N'Eggs, a well above average performer on the flat,winning three times in the early part of his career, followed by a second career, winning three times over hurdles, and twice over fences.He was one of 11 representatives of his dam, Rose And The Ring to see a racecourse, we also trained his half brother Lay The Blame, who was a dual winner.
Ham N'Eggs started out life racing with the Richard Hannon yard, racing five times during a very successful juvenile career, winning on both his second and third appearances at Leicester, and Beverley, in July, and August of 1993 over seven furlongs.His best effort as a three year old came first time out at York at the May meeting, winning over a mile, with Pat Eddery in the saddle.The handicapper raised him to a mark of 95 for that effort, which would prove to be a career high.He struggled to get competitive in some very competitive handicaps after that, including racing in the 'Britannia' at Royal Ascot, and 'The Tote Festival' handicap, also at Ascot in September 1994.
After his Winter break, and a gelding operation, Han N'Eggs returned for his four year old career, and once again put up his seasons best effort first time out, finishing second at Goodwood. He raced just four more times for the Hannon yard, including a return to Royal Ascot,where he finished 20th of the 32 runners in 'The Royal Hunt Cup.
Ham N'Eggs was bought by Micky at the Newmarket sales in the Autumn of 1995 as a dual purpose horse, but as Ham N'Eggs had only ever raced once past a mile, there must have been stamina doubts.He made his hurdles debut at Wetherby in February 1996, finishing fifth, before going to Newcastle in March, where he was placed in third.Any stamina doubts were laid to rest in April at Hexham, where over two miles he put a field of 21 to the sword,wining as the 15/8 favourite.He followed up at Cartmell in May, and then just three days later at Hexham he made it a hat-trick of novice hurdle wins.
Ham N'Eggs next had two unsuccessful attempts on the flat, before returning to hurdles in August at Cartmell, where he finished second from a mark of 113.After a short break, he returned at Wetherby in February, where he finished runner up again, but receiving a jumps career high mark of 119.
Ham N'Eggs didn't race again until December, when his attentions were turned to chasing.He never got competitive on his debut at Hexham, but won a novice chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day, on his second attempt.He raced a further seven times over fences during the 1997-1998 season, never finishing out of the first four. He would race for us, for just one more season, racing a further five times, his final win coming at Catterick in November,but his mark had dropped to just 82.His last race for us was also at Catterick in December, but he did appear one more time in a Hunter Chase in February 2000 at Sandown, for the yard of M.J.Gingell, where he fell for the only time in his career, at the seventh fence.
TUSCAN GOLD. 02 April 2007. Medicean-Louella Owner-Littlethorpe Park Racing 1.
Tuscan Gold is one of three horses from Oakwood Stables to have won the prestigious Pontefract Stayers Championship in recent years, the other two are Mr Crystal, and Becky The Thatcher.
Tuscan Gold is a very well bred horse, being by the 2001 Group 1, Coral Eclipse winner, Medicean, out of a El Gran Senor mare, who herself produced the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano winner Leadership, in 2003.
He started his racing career in the care of Sir Mark Prescott, being brought along in typical Prescott fashion, over shorter trips as a juvenile, before stepping up in distance at three.This approach paid off very well, as once he was introduced in to handicaps from a mark of 66, he won twice, and was second on his other three starts. He was then off the track for the next 11 months, running a further three times, including a no show in the 2011 Cesarewitch.
He was sold following that race, and put in to training for his jumping career with Alan King. He had just the five runs,all in novice hurdles for the King yard, not looking keen on some occasions, but still earning a BHA mark of 113, before changing hands again, and being moved to the yard of Laura Mongan. He would race a total of 19 times for that yard under both codes, once again not always looking the most straight forward, from tough looking handicap marks. He did actually win a race for the Mongan yard at Worcester in April 2013, but lost the race in the stewards room, having hung badly, and interfering with the runner up Jacks Grey.
Tuscan Gold arrived at Oakwood Stables in the Spring of 2015, and got off to a flyer. After a second at Pontefract in the Jamaican Flight handicap, he went on to winning two of his next four, at Ripon,and Pontefract. He would race a further four times in 2015, all at Pontefract, but never got competitive.The following season began once again by finishing second in the Jamaican Flight, over two miles and two furlongs, but he lost his way under both codes for the remainder of the year. It wasn't until January 1st, 2017 at Catterick, that Tuscan Gold found his form again, when finishing second from a plummeting mark of 100, in the extended three miles handicap hurdle, with our 10lb conditional Hugo Thompson Brown taking over for the first time. At the same venue 12 days later, with Hugo once again in the saddle, he was finally back in the winners enclosure.
His final season of racing was in 2017, and once again, for the third year running he was second in the Jamaican Flight handicap, at Pontefract, He won the Pontefract Marathon 13 days later, and was aimed at all of their staying races for the rest of the season, placing a further three times,in the remaining five events. His final racecourse appearance was on October 23rd in the Phil Bull Trophy, and although last of five in the very classy event, he ended his career as the Pontefract Champion Stayer of 2017.
Tuscan Gold is loving his retirement, living in Bedale, North Yorkshire.
GEORGE THE BEST. 30 January 2001. Imperial Ballet-En Retard Owner-Stef Stefanou.
George The Best is an Irish bred sprinter, by Imperial Ballet, a son of Sadler's Wells, who was a sire of precocious two year old's, out of En Retard, a 92 rated mare, trained by Paddy Prendergast.
George The Best was indeed at his best as a two year old, making a very promising debut at Hamilton Park, finishing second over five furlongs, under Tony Culhane, in May 2003.Two weeks later at Redcar he finished fifth, but was only beaten two lengths in a slightly better race, before filling the same position in June at Catterick. He got off the mark on his forth attempt at Pontefract, and followed up under a penalty at Hamilton in July, on his first attempt over six furlongs, which earned him a career high BHA rating of 86. He made his handicap debut at Thirsk in August, over five furlongs, but there was obviously something amiss, as he hung left throughout, and trailed in a very sorry last of the eight.On his next start in September he took his chance in the £200000 St Ledger Yearling Sales race, finishing 20th of the 22 runners, beaten 14 lengths.
George The Best found life tough as a three year old, he was not showing the same zip as he did as a juvenile, and probably found his handicap mark too stiff. He ran 10 times in 2004, with his best effort coming at Ayr, on soft ground in October, from a reduced mark of 62, over five furlongs, he was beaten two and a half lengths, with Paul Hanagan on board. In 2005 he ran a further nine times, needing his reappearance at Ripon in April, before once again getting back in the winners enclosure, on his next start at Hamilton in May, with Tony Culhane once more back in the saddle.His other efforts that season, including his All Weather debut at Wolverhampton in May, were all disappointing, and he finished the season, with an official rating of only 50.
He had his busiest season as a five year old in 2006, racing a further 15 times. On his forth race that season, it was a trip back up to Hamilton which did the trick, as he powered home by three and a half lengths to win the fourth race of his career, and he was back there again on September 25th, to win at 7/1, on what was the date of Micky's 44th birthday.He won for the sixth and final time in his career just two weeks later at Ayr on heavy ground, beating a field of 22 under Paul Hanagan.
He made a further nine appearances during 2007, placing on three occasions, and was only just touched off by a neck in November at Nottingham, on good to firm ground.He was now proving more difficult to keep sound, and during 2008 and 2009, raced just a further six times, bowing out at Hamilton on August 24th, 2009, with Frederick Tylicki in the saddle.