STORMIN NORMAN RETURNS AT MUSSELBURGH
We have one runner on Wednesday when Stormin Norman makes his seasonal debut under Graham Lee in the 3.50pm at Musselburgh. Stormin Norman had a very successful second half of the season last year when sent handicapping, winning at Ripon in July, over an inadequate 12 furlongs, before stepping up to two miles, and one furlong at Carlisle in August, and winning a shade comfortably.He was raised 9lb to 64 for that effort, and in two subsequent races at Pontefract, over the same trip, he just found that mark beyond him, finishing third on both occasions.
Stormin Norman is still very lightly raced, so further improvement from him would not be a surprise. Wednesday's race does not look the strongest, but this is his first run in over nine months, off his highest mark yet of 65.
STORMIN NORMAN 27 February 2015 Sir Percy-Roses-Gelding Owner-The Monday Club
Here at Oakwood Stables Stormin Norman will always hold a special place, as he is named after the late Norman Smith, father of our assistant trainer Gemma Hogg, and Becky Smith, Lady Flat Champion Amateur Jockey.
If Stormin Norman had only turned out to be moderate he would have still been held in high esteem, because of whom he represents, but the bonus is, he is a horse with lots of ability. Norman Smith always enjoyed a good night out, and would meet with friends, for a night of karaoke. After he passed away, several of his fellow singers clubbed together and bought, and named Stormin Norman in his honour.
He made an excellent debut in the bumper at Market Rasen in October 2018, running very green, and finishing strongly to only being beat by 3 lengths. His next two runs were also in juvenile bumpers, over one mile six furlongs, he found the trip far too short on both occasions, running on at the end when his chance had gone.
It was his return after his winter break on April 3rd, 2019, that 'The Monday Club' will always remember. Exactly one year to the day since Norman Smith was laid to rest, Stormin Norman got off the mark in the bumper at Market Rasen, with Norman's daughter Becky in the saddle. If this had been a story line in a film, you would probably think it was a bit far fetched.
With the flat season now in full flow, a debut over hurdles was put on hold, so Stormin Norman began a flat campaign at Wetherby in May. over mile and two furlongs. He had two more runs over trips which proved to be on the short side, and now eligible for a handicap mark, went to Ripon, and got off the mark, off a very generous looking rating of 52, under Franny Norton. The way he saw out his race suggested that a further step up in trip should bring about even more improvement, and so it did as three weeks later at Carlisle, on lady jockeys only evening, over two miles, he came home on the bridle, under Becky Smith. His last two runs to date were both at Pontefract over the marathon trip of two miles and one furlong, where he finished third on both occasions.
Stormin Norman is a consistent and willing partner, he is still lightly raced, so there should be much for The Monday Club to look forward to, but more importantly, he is a credit to the memory of Norman Smith.