Race horses in the paddocks

Thorne Farm Blog – Tuesday 21st April 2020


Things have quieted down considerably at Thorne Farm after the further setback to the restarting of racing. After the clarity of having a date to aim at we’re now left in the dark with a potential date to aim at for our flat runners. It’s a difficult time for all industries but we too must be patient and put the safety of our people before our business. 

Due to the uncertainty we have turned a number of our horses out who we had hoped to keep going for another couple of runs after their winter campaigns. They’ll enjoy a break in the sunshine we’re currently enjoying, a far cry from last year when we saw snow in April! New plans will be made for these horses in time as the situation develops. 

We still have 15 horses in training, made up of breakers, young horses being ridden on and a few in training for the flat. All are progressing well and enjoying time spent in the paddocks after their work. We have have plenty of space for them to go out in daily when the weather is good, it’s great for them both mentally and physically after spending the winter months largely indoors.

We’ve had a couple of new arrivals recently with our broodmares Ocarina Davis and Sedgemoor Classact both foaling. The pair gave birth to two healthy colt foals both by new stallion Frontiersman. Owned by Godolphin, he was a quality horse who achieved Group placings most notably when 2nd in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom. He is out of globetrotting classic winner Ouija Board, who has also produced classic winning leading sire Australia. Frontiersman looks to emulate his half-brother’s success at stud as he stands at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire. 

We’ll keep you updated with regular footage of our foals as they grow and play together in the fields here. There will be another foal on its way shortly with our Listed winning mare Rejaah due to give birth soon. We’re waiting excitedly and will let you know as soon as she foals!

It will probably prove to be another slow month for us but we will continue to bring you all the latest news and developments from the yard as it happens. You can follow us on social media for the latest footage of our horses at work. 


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


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.



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


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   

Race horses in the paddocks

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


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.

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