Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Our National Hunt Preview Part 6

Prince as a foal

As our National Hunt preview comes to a close tomorrow, we look at a mixture of novices and older horses with form this evening, starting with the family bred ‘Improved’ or Prince as we know him at home. A first time out bumper winner, and also a winner over hurdles at Fakenham for his Owners John Birtles & Colin Fletcher,  Prince has been off since being injured after Musselburgh on March the 1st, a race that preceeded his first win over hurdles – and a decent win too, picking up good prizemoney and earning this comment from the Racing Post: IMPROVED, in the first-time cheekpieces, jumped fluently under a prominent ride and picked up well when strongly pressed turning for home to win for the first time over hurdles. He did this well and should remain fairly treated.

Resuming with a mark of 100, he should be well capable of winning more races – although we are unlikely


to see him until the Spring as he won’t be back into work for another month. His half brother ‘Show

Promise’ will be trying to follow the same route as him and win on bumper debut!

Prince is by the ex Martin Pipe trained flat horse and succesful hurdler, ‘Rainwatch’ who has bred many point and Hunter Chase winners in Ireland but wasn’t prolifically used. He was 2nd in the Class 1 Aintree Novice Hurdle, and earned a RPR of 144 at best – he was a tough horse who deserved more opportunities at stud.

Prince winning at Fakenham under Tommy Dowson

‘Rock of Leon’ joined us here a couple of months ago, and he arrived with the dubious reputation of unseating in 5 of his last 9 starts. However, this 6 year old has a chase rating of 124, and when he remains in company with his jockey, he clearly has a good deal of ability. He is a big, strong bay gelding by Rock of Gibralter, and has won 5 races in his career to date, the most recent less than a year ago off a mark of 120 over 3 miles at Exeter…

Racing Post: ROCK OF LEON  had unseated on his three most recent chase starts, but jumped well here and, having looked set to come off second best early in the straight, he stuck at it gamely to ultimately outstay the favourite.  

Jumping is all important though, and he will not lack for further schooling before he makes his stable debut for us –  he is a decent horse providing we can keep those UR’s out of the future form figures. Interestingly he is flat bred through and through but is definately in the mould of a chaser with a great big chasing backend on him – he is half brother to 3 other flat winners, including the classy 104 rated, Rodrigo des Torres.

Rock of Leon

In the same Ownership of ‘Rock of Leon’ is the 3 year old filly, ‘Gracie Stansfield’ who is entered up for a Junior bumper at Huntingdon next Thursday. She is by the mile and half Arc winner, Peintre Celebre, out of a double 7f winner, Ex Gracia.  Its a possibility she will head to the flat after this run, as she shows plenty of natural speed – but we will see what happens at Huntingdon first. Gracie is a neat chestnut filly with plenty of white about her, very similar to her Sire – and has been straightforward to train from the day she came.

Tomorrow …we round up our Winter preview with a look at newcomers ‘Pumaflor’ and ‘The Resdev Way’, an  unraced/un-named  Scorpion bumper prospect and our winter flat team for Newcastle and the AW tracks…there’s also still plenty of time to add to the Jumpers for the Winter ahead as we have a couple more orders to fulfill at the upcoming sales.

Sale Dates:

Tattersalls Horses in Training Sales: October 30th – November 3rd

Goffs UK Horses in Training Sales   6th-8th November

Tatts IRE November NH Sale ( Stores, Horses In and Out of Training, Foals, Yearlings and Broodmares) – 11th -17th November

Phil with the Scorpion gelding out of ‘Summertime ‘ soon to be named



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