STARS OF THE PAST PART 5.
SHOON WIND. 01 January 1983. Green Shoon-Gone. Owner-R. H. Scholey.
As far as I know Shoon Wind is the only horse that Micky has trained, and also won on as a jockey. Shoon Wind raced from four different yards under rules, and finished his career in the point to point field, racing for the final time in May 2000, at the grand old age of very nearly seventeen and a half years old.
Shoon Wind started his career in the care of R.H.Scholey, who owned, and trained in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.He won his first race, a novice hurdle at Catterick in January 1988, and would place a further three times from his next four starts, before tackling Listed company at Cheltenham in April 1988, where Micky rode him for the first time, he would finish fifth, beaten just over eight lengths.
Shoon Wind would change trainers over the Summer, staying in Doncaster, but now in the care of C.R.Beever, his previous trainer R.H.Scholey, was still his owner. Shoon Wind made a winning debut over fences at Carlisle in December 1988, with Micky in the saddle, but at Kelso later in the month, with Lorcan Wyer riding, he fell when in contention at the 12th. This must have affected his confidence as he pulled up the next twice, after making several mistakes.He was returned to hurdles, running right up to his best at that stage of his career, finishing second at Southwell.
After his Summer break he returned at Haydock in November 1989, finishing third at Haydock, from a mark of 111.He was back in the winners enclosure in January 1990, over the extended three miles at Catterick, he would race again on five more occasions that season,with his beat effort coming at Cheltenham in February, when finishing forth in the handicap hurdle.
By the time Shoon Wind returned to the racecourse for the 1990-1991 season, he was still owned by Mr Scholey, but was now in the care of fledgling trainer Micky Hammond.After a sharpener over hurdles in November at Newcastle, it was decided to have another go over fences, ridden by Peter Niven, Shoon Wind won a two and a half mile handicap at Hexham, from a mark of just 103. With his confidence restored, he won again three weeks later at Hexham. A disappointing performance at Carlisle was soon put behind him when winning at Hexham again in March, taking his rating up to 117.
Shoon Wind must have matured further over the Summer, as on his return in November 1991 he beat a good field of handicappers by six lengths off a mark of 119.He was now very much on an upward curve, winning by seven lengths at Newcastle in December, before going down to Chepstow to tackle the 'John Hughes Grand National Trial,' where he was still very much in contention when falling two out in the race won by Cool Ground, off a lifetime high mark of 137 (see video on You Tube.).He finished his season by pulling up in the Scottish Grand National, under Mark Dwyer.
He raced seven times during the 1992-1993 season, and was back in the winners enclosure, winning by 30 lengths at Newcastle in November, he also placed on three more occasions, and won again off 129 at Ayr in April 1993.
His final year of racing under rules was the following season, when he raced just five times more,after a good second in November at Newcastle, his form began to tail off, and he ran his last race for Micky in April 1994.
Shoon Wind's racing career was far from over, as he raced a further 23 times in point to points for Heather Dalton, and J N Dalton, winning an amazing 13 times, and being placed on a further eight. In the whole of his career he never missed a season, racing up to the age of 17, he sadly died at the age of 20.
MERCHANT OF MEDICI 01 March 2007 Medicean-Regal Rose Owner-JFW Properties Ltd.
I have written recently about some of the tough horses that go beyond the call of duty, and enrich the sport of horse racing.I can't imagine anybody complaining when I suggest Merchant Of Medici be added to that list. He raced in a total of 82 races, all on the flat, 67 on turf, and 15 on the All Weather.He raced out of two yards, in his seven season career, 28 times from the Lambourn yard of William Muir, between 2007-2011, and a further 54 times for Micky, from 2012-2017.
Merchant Of Mecici was out of the Group 1 Cheveley Park winning filly of the year 2000, Regal Rose, who only ever ran twice, retiring unbeaten. He is one of the mares four offspring who recorded a Racing Post Rating rating in excess of 90.
Merchant Of Medici ran six times as a two year old, running his best races when racing on the All Weather at Wolverhampton over the extended mile, and finishing his juvenile season with a mark of 74.He returned as a three year old in 2010, getting off the mark at the third time of asking when dropped in to a seller at Leicester, with Kieren Fallon in the saddle, he only had to be pushed out to win, and was bought in for 8,000gns. That proved a shrewd move, as he won twice more that season, at Lingfield in July, and Kempton in October.That win at Kempton, and a further win at the track the following May were probably his career best performances, taking his official mark to a new high of 82.
Merchant Of Medici was purchased at the Newmarket horses in training sales in the Autumn of 2011, to continue his career racing from Oakwood Stables.He raced eight times in 2012, and although he didn't get his head in front, he raced consistently from marks in the mid 70's.On his return for the 2013-2014 season, he finished second at Ripon, and then third at York, but in a further four runs that season his form began to falter. When he returned again in April 2014, his mark had dropped to 61, but over the extended 12 furlongs at Musselburgh in May he very nearly took advantage, going down by just half a length.He continued to run well throughout the season, placing on six of his next eight starts.
Merchant Of Medici enjoyed his golden period with us, on his return for 2015-2016 season, when achieving the rare fete of a Haydock hat-trick in just 22 days.Starting on May 22nd from a career low mark of 56, under Paul Hannigan, and following up under Becky Smith, six days later, then completing the three timer with Jack Garritty in the saddle, on June 11th.In his next race at Ripon, a week later he was runner up, taking his official mark back up to 69.
As a nine year old in 2016, he raced on 11 occasions, placing five times,but not possessing the pace of his youth to win again.He raced twice more,both in June 2017, on his final start he ran a cracker in the Ladies Derby at Ripon, staying on in his customary fashion to finish fifth, only beaten by a length and a half.
Unfortunately he never raced again, after joint injury got the better of him, and he had to be put to sleep. Mercant Of Medici had earned his place as one of the stables legends.
LA PANTERA ROSSA. 22 May 2003. Tragic Role-Fortune Cookie. Owner-Thomas, Hattie, Gabby, Paul & Vicky Snook.
Without being disrespectful, Fortune Cookie, the dam of La Pantera Rosa, must have been one of the lowest rated horses to have ever graced a racecourse, in seven attempts on the flat, she never finished closer than seventh, recording a best ever rating of just 25. La Pantera Rosa had an amazing strike rate for a horse only rated 109 at his best, he was the winner of seven chases, from just 23 attempts. He acted on any type of surface, was best over longer trips, but he must have also been the bookies friend, as he kept on throwing in an inexplicably bad run, for no reason at all.
He made his debut in a bumper at Musselburgh in November 2007, finishing a very promising second, his only other bumper appearance was back at the same track in January 2008, finishing forth, and not building on his debut.
He made his hurdles debut, once again at Musselburgh in February 2008, finishing in fourth, it was another three runs until he showed better form, with a second at Wetherby, on good to firm ground in May.He was back at Wetherby 16 days later, but with the race probably in safe keeping, he unfortunately fell two out. After his next race at Hexham in June, Graham Lee let the horse come home in his own time, reporting that he had a breathing problem.
La Pantera Rosa was given a break, and returned at Catterick in December to make his chase debut, where he unseated at the 12th, after being hampered.He ran in his first handicap next time, from a mark of 104, at Wetherby, on Boxing Day, but never got involved.After a short break, he returned in March at Carlisle, for a maiden chase, and got off the mark for the first time under Barry Keniry, at 18/1.It had taken 11 races to get that first win, and he would race a further 20 times, with six more wins still to come.His next three runs were all disappointing, he pulled up at Carlisle just 10 days after that win,and then he unseated when well beaten at Kelso in April, followed by a 62 lengths beating at Hexham. He then won his last race of that season, in May, from a much reduced handicap mark of just 89.
He was off the track for the next 18 months, returning at Kelso in October 2010, where he won first time up, showing that he could go well when fresh.He was back at Wetherby four weeks later, and would have finished second if not for unseating at the last. Once again at Wetherby, in November, he ran inexplicably poorly, but was back in the winners enclosure at Doncaster in January.His last run of the 2010-2011 season was a solid second at Wetherby off 106. which was 4lb higher than his Doncaster win.
La Pantera Rosa returned at Carlisle in November 2011, which was the first of four runs where he failed to get competitive, but in March 2012, under 7lb claimer Joe Colliver, he managed a second place at Market Rasen. He pulled up at Hexham 14 days later, but was back in the winners enclosure at Wetheby on the last day of May.In my opinion this was the greatest ride I have ever seen, the horse was ridden by Jason Maguire, and would definitely not have won without his determination, and persistence, on a horse that obviously had no interest in racing, the Racing Post comment read,'Lost place and behind 4th, reminders after next,soon detached, headway 10th, chasing leaders 14th, led approaching next, driven clear between last two.' Some horses can be soured by a ride where they have their minds made up for them, refusing to comply a second time, but not this one, as Jason Maguire, who was back on board again,next time at Market Rasen, had a much easier time, with the horse being a willing partner, and winning again. Maguire completed the hat-trick on him at Sedgefield in August, holding on well to win by a neck.La Pantera Rosa had his final racecourse appearance when pulling up at Cheltenham in October 2012.
He retired to Harrogate, and lives with a lady who has other horses as well to keep him company.