STARS OF THE PAST PART 8.
SIR PETER LELY. 11 June 1987 Teenoso-Picture. Owner-John Doyle Construction Limited.
Not just one of the best bred horses to strut his stuff for Micky, but also one of the most talented. Sir Peter was bred to be a high class middle distance performer, being by the 1983 Derby winner Teenoso, out of the mare Picture, who had already produced the top class sprinter, Print, by Sharpo.
Sir Peter Lely started out life by being trained by Lord Huntington, who wasted no time in dropping Sir Peter in to a claimer at Ayr, on his third start, in his first season racing, as a three year old. Sir Peter won the race, and the lucky claimant sent the horse to Micky to continue his racing career.
He made his hurdles debut for his new yard at Kelso on December 3rd, 1990, with Neal Doughty doing the steering, he made all and stayed on well, something he would repeat on many occasions during his illustrious career.After being placed a further three times, he came good again in April 1991, under Peter Niven, winning his second novice hurdle of the season.
After his Summer break, he returned in November at Wetherby, in handicap company,almost making all, but going down by a neck off a mark of 121.He raced a further nine times that season, winning on two more occasions, when making all, it was becoming evident that Sir Peter definitely had a preference for top of the ground conditions. He started the 1992-1993 season over fences, making the perfect start at Hexham, he made all again, coming home by an easy 10 lengths.This was followed by finishing second and third on both of his next two runs under penalties.This was followed by the first interruption to his racing career, when injury kept him off the track until October 1993. A career break through injury can often signify the end for a horses progress, but it certainly didn't affect Sir Peter. At Carlisle he won the handicap chase by 20 lengths, in the hands of Chris Grant. This was followed by two back to back wins at Musselburgh, with the Amateur jockey Chris Bonner in the saddle both times.After falling at the ninth at Doncaster on his next start, his upward curve continued at Newcastle, when left clear at the last, after looking possibly held, he finished his season with a mark of 125.
He returned at Wetherby in October 1994, finishing fifth of the eight runners, and this was followed by a lacklustre effort at Catterick. It was then decided that a step up in trip was required, which did the trick as he made all over three miles once again at Musselburgh. The following April, he made his first visit to Aintree, where he finished a very respectable forth in the John Hughes Memorial Trophy.He returned to Aintree for the November meeting, finishing runner up in the Becher Chase over three miles and three furlongs, staying on strongly, on good to firm ground. It was quite evident that the yard had now got a potential Grand National winner on their hands, and he was trained with that in mind.He had two more runs, pulling up at Sandown, and falling at the second at Doncaster, before the Grand National of 1996. Ridden by Chris Bonner, who now knew him very well. and from a mark of 145, he was a strong finishing forth over four miles and four furlongs, in Rough Quests year.He only ran on another three occasions after that, all in esteemed company, before his career came to an end as a 12 year old, back at Aintree, over the fences he loved so much.
Sir Peter Lely spent his retirement being treated like a 'V.I.P.' by racehorse trainer Sara Ender, who rode him out everyday, and when he couldn't be ridden anymore, he would spend his days mixing with the youngsters out in the field. He joined Sara in 2004, and lived to the ripe old age of 24.
BORIS THE SPIDER. 04 May 2001. Makbul-Try Vickers. Owner-The Adbokes Partnership.
Boris The Spider is a mud loving middle distance performer, who won under both codes, and also on the All Weather.He is by the sprinter Makbul, out of a mare who had nine representatives on the racecourse, including Late Arrival, who was a four time winner for us between 2002, to 2005.
Boris The Spider ran four times as a two year old, all over six furlongs, with his best effort coming on his third start at Ripon, when beaten four and a quarter lengths into seventh, of the 19 runners, and earning a BHA mark of 66.
He began his three year old career at Pontefract over six furlongs, but crucially on the heavy ground, with a very respectable second in a maiden.His next six starts were all on a faster surface, stepping up in trip bit by bit, he struggled to get competitive, and his mark plummeted to 48, which allowed him to take his chance in a 'Banded' event up at Ayr, where he made no mistake on his first try at one mile, and five furlongs, on soft ground, with Darren Williams in the saddle.His next race was his All Weather debut at Wolverhampton, but he probably found the surface too fast, but two weeks later at Southwell, the underfoot conditions were much more to his liking, as he won the 14 furlongs handicap off 48, by an impressive five lengths, in the hands of Paul Hanagan.
He probably needed his first run back in April 2005, but was a solid second on his next start back at Southwell two weeks later, under Darrel Holland, with a five length gap back to the third horse. Unfortunately the remainder of that flat season proved to be a none event, and his attentions were turned to the Winter game.
His first three attempts over the jumps saw him beaten a total of 163 lengths, but at Sedgefield in February 2006, he got his act back together again, when finishing third beaten 11 lengths, under Wilson Renwick. He then made his handicap debut at Ayr in March from a mark of 95, and made no mistake beating Bollin Thomas by 3/4 length at 4/1.He pulled up at Newcastle eight days later, with Graham Lee reporting that the horse had a breathing problem, and on his final start that season on faster ground he made no show.
Boris The Spider would race on just five more occasions during 2006-2007,with his best effort coming at Kelso, when finishing forth, beaten just four lengths, but tellingly hanging under pressure.His final racecourse appearance was at Hexham on May 5th, 2007, when it was agreed retirement was the best option.Boris The Spider was found a loving home with a friend of the owners in Northumberland.
DARK CASTLE. 12 April 2009. Dark Angel-True Magic. Owner-J Cox and E Tasker.
With our yard being a dual purpose yard,sprinters don't often take centre stage, but one with above average ability arrived in 2013.Dark Castle is by the outstanding sire of sprinters, Dark Angel, who only ever raced as a two year old, winning the 'Mill Reef,' and the 'Middle Park,' He is also the sire of seven individual Group 1 winners, including, Battaash, Harry Angel, and Mecca's Angel.
Dark Castle made his debut on the all weather at Kempton in December 2011, for the Sylvester Kirk yard over a mile, weakening quickly from the furlong marker, this was only one of two occasions in the whole of his career he didn't race at six furlongs.The drop back in trip did the trick, as he won two of his next three. He had a three month break before returning in September, 2012, having three more races for the Kirk yard, with his best placing being a second at Kempton, he finished his three year old season, with a mark of 81.
He was gelded and turned away over the Winter, and didn't make his debut for us until the following April, when running like the race would do him good.He improved with each race, and on his fifth start at York in June, with William Buick on board, he had to be snatched up at a crucial time, when looking the possible winner. At Doncaster two weeks later he made no mistake, this time in the hands of P.J McDonald, he won by 3/4 length, at 7/1.
He followed up at Pontefract just 10 days later, taking his official mark to 85, the highest it had been to date.He was placed at York, and Newmarket in his next two runs, and was not beaten far in either of his final two starts that season.
He started the 2014 season at Ripon in April, and once again needed the run to put him straight. He was placed in four of his next five starts, but from marks in the mid 80's, the handicapper was in charge.Running in very competitive sprint handicaps, he wasn't beaten far, but failed to add to the previous seasons tally.
It was an April start again,in 2015 when Dark Castle returned to the track,after seven months away, but this time around something was clearly amiss, as he couldn't get competitive in five attempts.He was then away for a further ten months, but unfortunately his best days were now behind him, and it was decided that the best course of action was retirement, after his last race at Carlisle in August 2016.