'Wherever he was trained, it was like it was still one of our own.'
YORKIST 12 March 2008. Urban Ocean-Kilbarry Demon. Owner-Mike and Eileen Newbould.
We recently received the sad news of the passing of the very smart hurdler, and chaser Yorkist, from natural causes.He raced a total of 48 times, winning on eight occasions,four times over hurdles, and four times over fences.He was trained by three of the best in the business, in his eight year career, by Brian Ellison, Dan Skelton, and on two separate occasions by Micky.
Yorkist was out of an unraced Bob's Return mare, and had two Gordon Elliott trained half brothers, who were both also well above average.He was also the highest rated runner for his sire Urban Ocean, the half brother of Galileo.
Yorkist made his racecourse debut for Micky on February 21st, 2012, finishing second in a bumper, the winner of the race was the future Grand National winner Many Clouds. Yorkist made his hurdles debut in November 2012, but though he failed to win in seven attempts, he was second twice, and he also fell when disputing the lead two out at Carlisle.
Yorkist joined Brian Ellison for the 2013 season to race in handicap hurdles off the very attractive mark of 108. He won on his third start for his new yard at Catterick in December in a maiden hurdle, under Nathan Moscrop, this would prove to be a very productive period, as over the course of the next two months he won three of his next four, Nathan won on each occasion, and the only defeat came when A.P.McCoy was in the saddle. Yorkist finished his season rated 138. an improvement of 30lb in just eight weeks.
Yorkist made his chase debut in November 2014, he raced seven times over fences that season winning twice,and never being out of the first three, he finished that season with his all time highest rating of 139 over fences.
For the 2015-2016 season Yorkist returned to Micky for a second spell, where he would contest some quality handicaps, from a mark that never dropped below 131, although he was in the handicappers grip,he placed on five of his seven runs, with his best effort being second in the Scottish Champion Chase Handicap, when just failing to give 16lb to Chestnut Ben.
Yorkist was on the move again for the 2016-2017 season, this time joining the team at Dan Skelton's. On his second run for the yard he won the prestigious Castleford Chase, over Christmas at Wetherby, beating his former stablemate Just Cameron into third place.He raced another four times, once again placing on each occasion, but finding marks in the mid 130's just beyond him.
Yorkist was off the track for the next 18 months, not returning until November 2018 at Aintree, from a mark of 130.He would prove that he could win fresh by coming home comfortably by six lengths, under Harry Skelton. His next two runs were at Cheltenham, and Sandown, where he never got competitive, and it was decided he needed wind surgery.When he returned at Wetherby in February 2019, he ran very close to his best when third off 134, under Bridget Andrews.He would race a further four times without ever getting competitive,his last racecourse appearance was at Ascot in November 2019, in the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase.
Yorkist was best at the minimum trip, and could act on Good, Soft, or Heavy ground, he was very consistent, only falling once over hurdles, and never falling over fences.His form was very similar for all of his three yards, and he gave Mike and Eileen Newbould some wonderful memories,Gemma Hogg assistant trainer to Micky summed up what Yorkist meant to everyone when she said,'Wherever he was trained,it was like one of our own.'