Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing Blog – Thursday 2nd April 2020

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The news today that National Hunt racing will start again at the beginning of July has given us some much needed clarity. Decisions can now be made more firmly about our horses plans for the summer. 

Although the vast majority of our horses will have to wait to run it does seem only fair to prioritise the flat season getting underway first. We had the majority of the National Hunt campaign and although we’ve missed out on the Grand National meeting and the curtain call at Sandown at least we did manage to crown our champions at Cheltenham. It would be a shame if the flat season didn’t get going sooner and jeopardise meetings like the Guineas that are only weeks away. 

Our typical summer jobs have started early this year, we’re currently breaking in and riding on a number of young horses. I mentioned some of them in the last blog. The 3 year olds Call Me Sainte, the Sinndar filly and the Authorized gelding are now being ridden every day and have started to canter up the gallop daily. They also got off the ground for the first time this morning as they had their first jumping sessions over poles and then barrels. They all took to it well, we had no refusals, run outs or poles down which is brilliant at this early stage.

It never fails to amaze you how quickly these young horses progress. These 3 year olds have not long been sat on. The Authorized gelding for example, he was only ridden for the first time early last week. Already he’s able to canter up the gallop quietly alongside an experienced older horse, and as you’ll see on our social media he’s taken to jumping straight away! It’s testament to the professionalism of our team of staff here. Interestingly his speedy progression reminds us of another young Authorized gelding we had here, a certain Tiger Roll

Over the next week or so we also have a few of the home breds that were born here on the farm to start breaking in.

We had a very successful schooling session yesterday as well with Theocrat, Peat Moss, Historic Heart, Sinistry and Lazarina jumping out on the sand ring for the first time. They took a lead off some experienced old hands in the shape of Heart Of Kernow, Calin Du Brizais and Speronimo. The old boys enjoyed it just as much as the youngsters! A few more sessions on the sand ring and they’ll hopefully be ready to graduate to schooling out on grass over hurdles. 

Speaking of the grass, we’ve been preparing the fields ready for some of the horses to be turned out when the weather picks up. The fields have been rolled and all the fences have been checked and mended. It’s just a case of sitting tight now until the sun comes out.

 

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Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing Blog – Tuesday 24th March 2020

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With the outbreak of Coronavirus bringing the curtain down on the season prematurely we’re looking at the next five weeks without racing. We’ll be spending this time keeping the horses ticking over before bringing them to a peak for the reprisal of racing at the beginning of May. 

Our season culminated with our final runners at Fontwell ten days ago. Both Nikap and Ouro Branco were ridden by Keiran Buckley. Nikap ran a little too freely early in the race but still finished a respectable 3rd. She’s come out of her race very well, hopefully the ground will retain enough give into May for her to run again.  

The last runner of the campaign was Ouro Branco who signed off in style coming home a short margin winner in the 2m2f handicap chase. He jumped very well throughout and was always near the head of affairs before rallying gamely to lead at the last and keep on well up the run in. 

Ouro Branco’s victory took our tally to 17 National Hunt winners plus a Flat winner for the season. Although we bettered last season’s total of 16 winners it’s been a shame not to be able to keep going. We have a fair few horses that have been waiting for better ground after the deluge of rain we’ve endured over the last few months. But they’ll get their chance when we’re back racing and can hopefully get the ball rolling for next season.  

Although we’re without race meetings, the last week has been busy enough. We’ve had several new young horses arrive recently so we’ve had a chance to get to grips with them. Atlantic Friends Racing bought three new three year old recruits from Jim Bolger; Theocrat, Historic Heart and Peat Moss

Historic Heart is the only one of the three who has previously run when he finished 8th of 17 in a 6f maiden at Curragh. He was beaten only 10 lengths by Arizona who subsequently went on to win the Coventry stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing placed in three Group 1’s and coming 5th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

Theocrat and Peat Moss are both nice horses too, Theocrat actually holds an entry in this year’s Derby. These three have been learning how to jump, they seem like naturals so far. We’ll post a video of their progress on our social media channels soon. 

We purchased winning four year old pointer Bring The Action for owner Claire Elliott who has enjoyed owning Innerpickle this season. Bring The Action is a lovely big horse of over 17 hands who won his maiden at the first time of asking at Tinahely at the end of February. He’s impressed us since arriving and doubtless he’ll go on to make a staying chaser in time.

We’re also in the process of breaking in Call Me Saint, a three year old filly by Saint Des Saints whom we bought in France last year. Also being broken in are a three year old filly by Deby and Arc winning sire Sinndar and a gelding by Derby winner Authorized, sire of Tiger Roll and Goshen. 

Obviously this is a trying time for us all but there’s a fair bit to look forward to with our horses here and each day is a day closer to the return of normality. We hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe   

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Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing Blog – Friday 6th March 2020

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Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing

Blog –

Friday 6th March 2020

It’s been a little while since the last blog, and it’s rained ever since! There’s been a lot of abandoned fixtures but we have managed to send out some runners. 

All being well we should have 2 runners at next weeks Cheltenham Festival, Repetitio in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and Le Musee in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders Handicap Chase. Their preparations have gone well, Le Musee has had a couple of runs on the flat to sharpen him up whilst Repetitio had a racecourse gallop at Kempton on Tuesday, you can see a short clip of that here.  

Eurowork put in a solid performance at Wincanton last week finishing 2nd to the Paul Nicholls trained Ask For Glory in the 2m 5f novice hurdle. Dave Noonan kept him in a prominent position throughout and he stayed on in testing conditions to gain the runners up spot after the last. He jumped well throughout and has the makings of a chaser in time. The handicapper has given him an opening mark of 108 which seems workable as he continues to strengthen and improve.

Ballymagroarty Boy was in action for the racing club on Friday. He was beaten a little over 4 lengths in the 3m handicap hurdle at Newbury under Keiran Buckley. He relished the conditions and after being held up early doors he made smooth progress through the field to challenge in the straight. You can get Keiran’s perspective on the race on our social media channels here

Yesterday we ran Innerpickle in the 2m 1f maiden hurdle at Exeter. It was his first time running against older horses and he finished a respectable 4th of the 12 runners. He tracked the leaders, jumping well on his second start over obstacles and showing his tenacity and stamina to keep on in soft ground and be beaten by only 8 lengths.   

Stay tuned for updates on our Festival preparations and more.

Upcoming Races


Get Involved In The Nigel Hawke Racing Club!

The club gives an exciting opportunity for racing-lovers to share in the thrills of racehorse ownership without the need for the usual major expense. The new club will always have four horses running in its colours and, uniquely to Nigel Hawke Racing Club, Nigel will also introduce selected young horses to the racecourse by running them in club colours.
Fees to join the new club are £45 per month or £515 when paying annually in advance. This makes enjoying the thrills of horse racing available and affordable. (Members must be 18+)
To find out more visit nigelhawkethornefarmracing.co.uk/nigel-hawke-racing-club

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Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing Blog – Monday 3rd February 2020

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Nigel Hawke’s Thorne Farm Racing

Blog –

Monday 3rd February 2020

We’ve had a quiet week with just the one runner Friday with Pola Chance at Catterick. It’s a perfect time to fill you in on our potential Cheltenham festival runners now that the early entries are out. 

Pola Chance ran another solid race in the 2m 3f conditional jockeys hurdle to finish 4th under a 7lb penalty for her recent win. She travelled strongly throughout and looked to be in command as they turned into the home straight but found the testing conditions difficult as they neared the finish. She far from disgraced herself being beaten just 10 lengths by the winner.

Repetitio and Guardia Top both hold entries in the Triumph Hurdle although they will also get entries in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle when the time comes. Although he hasn’t been seen on track since winning at Cheltenham back in mid December, Repetitio has continued to work as usual along with plenty of schooling to make sure he’s foot perfect come March. He’s likely to go straight to the festival as he’s off a decent handicap mark for the Fred Winter.

Guardia Top has come out of her race at Doncaster in good form, she’s a tough little mare who takes her racing so well. She’ll probably be seen on course before Cheltenham.

Eurowork and Some Detail are also entered for the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham after pleasing so far this season. 

We took Pearl Royale and Nikap on an outing to Kempton for a racecourse gallop on Wednesday. It was a good opportunity for us to get a real workout into Pearl Royale who hasn’t run since last year’s Cheltenham festival. It’s really important to get horses match fit after a long lay off to reduce the chances of injury when they get to the racecourse, being able to use a facility like Kempton is so useful for this. The pair worked very well, you can see a short clip on our social media pages. 

On Thursday we were at Tattersalls Newmarket sale to purchase Sinistry, a four year old filly who has run in two bumpers so far. She’s by Nathaniel, the sire of Enable, out of a group winning mare Synergy. On her last run she was beaten by just 5 lengths, with her pedigree and the right handling we hope she will flourish here at Thorne Farm.


Upcoming Races


Get Involved In The Nigel Hawke Racing Club!

The club gives an exciting opportunity for racing-lovers to share in the thrills of racehorse ownership without the need for the usual major expense. The new club will always have four horses running in its colours and, uniquely to Nigel Hawke Racing Club, Nigel will also introduce selected young horses to the racecourse by running them in club colours.
Fees to join the new club are £45 per month or £515 when paying annually in advance. This makes enjoying the thrills of horse racing available and affordable. (Members must be 18+)
To find out more visit nigelhawkethornefarmracing.co.uk/nigel-hawke-racing-club

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