Best horses we have had Pauling hopes for another fruitful campaign
APAGE is reserved for Willoughby Court, Barters Hill and A Hare Breath in Ben Pauling’s horses-in-training brochure.
The trio may not be members of the current squad, but they have each played their part in making the stable what it is today.
Each provided the trainer with an allimportant ‘first’ triumph- at the Cheltenham Festival, in a Grade One and at the Home of Jump Racing respectively.
It’s not all about where Pauling is now, just as important is how he got there.
“That’s Raven’s Tower,” he said, going past the outdoor boxes where 2019 National Hunt Chase hero Le Breuil resides.
“He has been with me since day one.”
The Bourtonon-the-water yard has made relentless progress in seven seasons, from nine winners in 2013/14 (56 runners) to 44 (313 runners) in the most recent campaign.
There is a growing partnership with leading owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, a team of top jockeys and a whole host of young horses destined to shine.
Conditional Jason Dixon is a new face in the Cotswolds, having gained plenty of fans in a breakthrough 2018/19 season.
He made the perfect start to his new role here last week, making the long trip up to Kelso worthwhile.
“We are not a yard having 70 or 80 winners a season, what we do have is some nice horses capable of making their mark in graded company,” said Pauling, inset.
“I personally think they are the best bunch we have ever had. “With a clean run we should have a great season.” Stamina will be tested early on when the team, including the trainer and his wife Sophie, tackle the Cheltenham Half Marathon on September 29. Donations are in aid of Racing Welfare and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Ben Pauling gives us his views on a selection of his horses for the season ahead: Kildisart: Anthony Bromley is a big part of where Simon and Isaac’s horses run. He won nicely at Ascot and it was lovely to see him to do the same at Cheltenham on Trials Day. It meant we had to go for the JLT and he ran brilliantly finishing fourth, I thought we should step him up in trip and it was brilliant to see him win at the Grand National meeting. In most of his runs, he’s not been out of the first two. There’s a few options- at the moment I’m favouring the Many Clouds race at Aintree. The way he finished there at the end of a long season was very encouraging. He’s powerful, gritty and tries. He has a lot of class as well. We will soon find out if he’s up to running in Grade Ones again. He’s only run 12 times and looks better than ever.
Le Breuil: lot of people had half given up on him last season. He was wrong at Haydock when he came back with a dirty scope. We had a race against time to get him to Cheltenham. I always thought he would stay, Daryl (Jacob) was very keen to ride him in the Ultima. Jamie Codd rang up to tell us he had the best profile of the mounts available for the four miler. I think he’s still improving and his main aim this year is the National. He’s not the type to wait for that so we will run him in some nice races along the way. Like Kildisart he is hard to get fit.
Global Citizen: He had a brilliant year, the whole aim was to get to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle. He had some tough races and I’m afraid he was over the top- he was looking for the fields already. He’s such an enthusiastic horse, you could see going to the first hurdle he wasn’t going to be himself. As a five-year-old he won a point-to-point and he’s a brilliant jumper. I imagine he will start off over two miles and his first big target is the Henry VIII at Sandown. He schooled with Bright Forecast at the end of last season and they were as good as we’ve ever had. I’m keen to give him some more experience of undulating tracks.
Bright Forecast: We didn’t run him in bumpers and he won his first hurdle at Newbury when he was as green as grass. We campaigned him quietly, he wasn’t beaten far at Haydock behind Mister Fisher despite hanging on the paddock bend. At Cheltenham in the Ballymore I hoped Nico could hold a handy position, he was still inexperienced. He took off up the straight and in another 50 yards he could have got his head in front. After the race he didn’t even know he had had one. He goes chasing over two and a half miles to start with- I think he’ll easily get three. We will start off in the race we won with Le Breuil and Willoughby Court at Huntingdon. If it went well, we might try three miles at Kempton over Christmas. I think he’s genuinely as good as I have ever trained.
Chess Player: We think an awful lot of him. On debut at Ayr he was beaten by one of Phil Kirby’s that went on to finish sixth at Punchestown. Unfortunately he has had a little setback and will miss the first half of the season. We hope he will be back to run at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals. He’s a very decent horse.
Unai: He’s one of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s horses, they purchased him before he made his debut at Warwick. They have six with us now. This is a striking individual and I’m looking forward to seeing him over a hurdle.
We Run The Night: He has come over from France unbeaten after winning two novice hurdles and a novice chase. I was lucky enough to be sent him and he could be anything. It’s exciting to have him on board.
Gerboise Borget: A new horse for JP Mcmanus, she’s a daughter of Martaline and goes about her business in a very positive manner. She’s a forward type and is ready to rock and roll.
Gowiththeflow: He beat Paisley Park as a novice hurdler. We went chasing and it turned into a bit of a rotten year as he had a wind problem. We had it operated on and he won his last start of the season at Market Rasen. I’m looking forward to getting going with him, he’s a a lovely honest horse that could become a decent handicapper.
King Erik: Nothing went right at Warwick, the race was run terribly slowly. He has the ability to have a decent novice season. He was impressive in his point-to-point bumper. He could be a useful recruit over hurdles.
Legal Eyes: He had a bit of a stop-start time of it. He had a wind procedure which held him up. He’s talented and I think his problems are behind him. It was great that he managed to end last season positively.
Guena Des Mottes: He’s a juvenile that won once at Fontainebleau. He’s a powerful sort and is hopefully going to be one to watch. He’s got everything in the right place.
Nadaitak: He learned a lot last season and became the ultimate professional in the jumping department. The plan is to send him to Henrietta Knight for some schooling to make sure it is A1 for when he tries fences. He ran at both festivals and is a very tough horse. He likes big, galloping tracks. With a bit of luck he and Nestor Park might be the right types for something like the National Hunt Chase.
Nestor Park: He pulled up twice at the end of last season. At Aintree he hit a hurdle and Nico felt he wasn’t quite right, then Warwick wasn’t him. I know how good he is. I expect him to rank highly among the novices. This season he could really shine again.
Now is the Winter: He’s not designed to win around Stratford, but he did and I was thrilled. We thought he might need a bit of education there. He’s a galloper and should come into his own over two-and-a-half miles.
One Touch: I inherited him well into last season, he ran once and won. Some of his form reads well already. Even though he was only eighth at Cheltenham at the November Meeting he wasn’t beaten all that far. He’s a lovely horse and looks to have a bright future.
Rintulla: I have always thought a lot of him. He has plenty of potential and will be stronger after his summer break. It was nice to see him win his bumper and he’s useful.
Shakem Up’arry: This is Harry Redknapp’s horse and he did very well on his debut for us, when he finished third. It was a hot bumper and he showed lots of promise. I hope he will be contesting some good races over jumps.
The Macon Lugnatic: A big individual who won a decent race at Newbury. He’s another nice young horse we have here.
Towards The Dawn: He unfortunately picked up an injury during his only start over hurdles, which explained his sticky jumping. Nico nursed him into it and he finished third. It was positive and we have plenty to build on now.
Oistrakh Le Noir: He’s had a year off due to a tendon injury and strengthened up a lot. He was big and raw initially and went close to winning a good prize at Newbury.
Delire D’estruval: Could be a smart prospect for some good handicaps. He won two chases last year and a nice race at Sandown. It was a continuation of his good form from his hurdling season.
We Run The Night with trainer Ben Pauling
Bright Forecast, left. Right, Nadaitak with his stable mates