SHREWD has proved an appropriately-named horse for Iain Jardine at his Paddock House Stable in Carrutherstown near Dumfries on the Scottish Border as his progression and that of several of his stablemates has seen a healthy influx of new horseflesh that has seen stable numbers grow appreciably since his move to his current base 18 months ago.
Shrewd started off winning a handicap hurdle at Musselburgh off the lowly mark of 105 and then took the Scottish County Hurdle on his return to that course and distance off a mark of 124 and progress on the Flat to win a big handicap at York in June of last year. There have been notable success too with the tough as teak Nakeeta who remains a stable stalwart but there have been successes at a lower level with several horse that looks to have lost their way until taken under Iain's care.
Absolute Blast has been another recent success story on the Flat and has crept up to a mark of 101 and five winners from only 35 runners on the Flat in 2017 indicates that his best season is yet to come. Jardine is a proper dual purpose handler and 20 winners have also been accrued in the current Jumps season.
Iain said: "Everything has been like a rolling ball and we are improving all the time and improving the quality of the horses we get."
Jardine kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about those in his team that can keep the momentum going in the months to come.
5 b m Kodiac - Perfect Fun
99 rated on the Flat. Has shown improved form since joining stable in December and winner twice and runner-up twice in four starts. Scored by two lengths from Heartstone off a mark of 78 at Wolverhampton (1m 1 1/2f) in January and followed up off a mark of 90 when beating Bint Dandy a length and a half at Kempton (1m) later that month. Beaten only half a length by Carolinae after losing ground at the start at Wolverhampton (1m 1/2f) at the end off that month off a mark of 98.
"She is a nice mare who has obviously done well for us. I am not absolutely sure if she will go for the Winter Derby but it will be race like that for her and the Lincoln would come under consideration. She started off on a decent handicap mark for us and I still can't believe she got beat first time out for us at Newcastle to be honest. She has done well since and was probably should have won at Wolverhampton last time she was just a bit unlucky. She is definitely going the right way and I think there is more to come."
5 b m Yeats - Caoba
Well beaten in three bumpers.
"She is well bred and it is just a matter of finding the key to her. She was disappointing on her last start but I think she is better than she has shown and she should do better once she goes over hurdles."
5 b g Westerner - Highland Cherry
Unplaced in three bumpers.
"He is named after a whisky and is a nice horse by Westerner. He is a really nice horse and could be alright."
5 gr g Fair Mix - Lucylou
Promise on his only start in a bumper at Musselburgh in January.
"He shaped well in his only bumper and he will run at the Eider meeting at Newcastle in another bumper. He is a lovely horse and could run well there."
6 ch g Kheleyf - Champion Place
Rated 79 on the Flat. Last victory when scoring by three quarters of a length from Apricot Sky at Ripon (5f) in September off a mark of 76.
"He is a grand little horse and won a nice race for us at Ripon in September. He is back on the go and we will campaigning him back on the turf again. He will have a crack at some decent sprints and we will see what he is like but he should be alright."
11 b g Systematic - Honor Rouge
134 rated chaser. Winner of his last two handicap chases at Wetherby (2m 5 1/2f) (beating Wolf Sword 13 lengths off a mark of 112) and Perth (3m 6 1/2f) (Scoring by eight lengths from Presented off a mark of 123) both in April of last year.
"He is a grand horse but he has been plagued with leg injuries. I have him back to where I want him and he's nearly ready to run. He won the Highland National for me at Perth and also won at Wetherby and he has also won at Aintree for me. He is a talented horse with a huge engine."
5 ch g Dylan Thomas - Alexander Queen
Rated 85 on the Flat. Beaten a neck by Kenny The Captain at Newcastle (6f) in November off a mark of 83 when trained by Michael Dods.
"He came to us from Michael Dods and he appears to have thrived with the change of scenery. We wouldn't be in a mad rush with him but I think he could be a good horse for us."
EDGE OF SANITY
8 b g Invincible Spirit - Saor Sinn
Rated 96 when beating Quest For More half a length in a handicap at York (2m 1/2f) in August 2014 and last seen on racecourse when well beaten in the Chester Cup at Chester (2m 2 1/2f) in May 2015.
"He has been off with leg injuries but he is back in training. He could be ok if all remains well with him. He was with Brian Ellison and was rated in the high 90's. He broke down in the Chester Cup but he's sound at the moment and if I can keep him right we could have some fun with him."
3 b g Sixties Icon - Sailing Days
Unplaced on his debut in a maiden at Newcastle (1m) in January.
"He is alright and he could do well in time."
5 ch g Fast Company - Indiannie Meon
Rated 83 on the turf and 76 (AW). Unplaced over seven furlongs at Newcastle in January off a mark of 79 on latest start.
"I feel he should win and will be running shortly. He has come down the handicap a bit and has been working quite well lately. He is starting to bloom and coming on nicely."
HEART O ANNANDALE
10 b g Winged Love - She's All Heart
85 rated chaser. Last win in a novice handicap chase at Hexham (3m) in May of last year when beating Shaiyzar 11 lengths off a mark of 80.
"He is lowly rated but he won for us and was very consistent. I am sure that he will win for us again and he wants really fast ground."
4 ch g Street Cry - Arlette
Rated 90 on the Flat. Gained his first victory for the stable when beating Age of Elegance two and a half lengths off a mark of 79 at Redcar (1m 2f) in October and creditable effort later that month off a mark of 89 when third, beaten three and a half lengths, to Novelty Seeker at York (1m 2 1/2f) later that month.
"He didn't come off the bridle when winning for me at Redcar and he has had a Winter break. He is one of my better class horses and there might be a decent race for him on the turf this year. He won't start until around May."
12 b g Miesque's Son - Toryka
Rated 67 on the Flat. Last success at Musselburgh (2m) in October when beating Rocktherunway three and three quarter lengths off a mark of 62.
"He was my first winner as a trainer and has continued to win every season for me. He is now 12-years-old but he can win again when he gets a race to suit him. He has been a stable stalwart and places like Musselburgh suit him well."
7 br g Librettist - Final Overture
Rated 87 on Flat. In great form and beat Siren's Cove half a length at Newcastle (1m 2f) in January off a mark of 70 before following up with a seven length defeat of Come Back King under a 6lb penalty at Southwell (1m 4f) six days later. Failed by only short head behind Isharah on his return to Southwell (1m 4f) later that month off a mark of 83.
"He has done well for us over the Winter and goes well. He could end up over hurdles at sometime but he could win some more on the Flat. If he was to carry on improving he could be a Northumberland Plate horse as he's an unknown quantity over two miles and it's a possibility. I think he will stay and he's a nice prospect for the Summer."
LOUD AND CLEAR
6 b g Dalakhani - Whispering Blues
Winner of bumpers at Worcester in August and Ayr in October.
"He is a dual bumper winner and at the moment we are not sure what to do with him. We could go for a Championship bumper but I don' t want to run him over hurdles when he's only got the short spell in the Spring to go at."
7 b g Manduro - Tamalain
Rated 72 on the Flat. Having first outing for the stable when runner-up, beaten a length and a quarter, to Taopix off a mark of 71 in a handicap at Newcastle (1m 4 1/2f) this month.
"He was second at Newcastle the other day and he should be alright. I think a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half will be his trip and he could be a dual purpose type of horse."
4 b g Henrythenavigator - Sunshine For Life
108 rated hurdler. Improving with experience over hurdles and finished third, beaten four and three quarter lengths, to Walshingham Grange at Catterick (1m 7 1/2f) this month.
"He ran well in a juvenile hurdle at Catterick the other day and he is another who will be a dual purpose horse. If I can find the right kind of race he could be dangerous off 108."
,MY LITTLE CRACKER
7 b m Scorpion - Cailin Gruaig Dubh.
107 rated hurdler. Third to Bollin Julie in a Mares Handicap Hurdle at Sedgefield (2m 3 1/2f) on Sunday off a mark of 107.
"She did well for us last year and won three and we put her back over hurdles on Sunday. She ran well for a long way but the ground was very testing and she faded to finish third. She should win again in due course."
6 b g Sixties Icon - Easy Red
Rated 103 on the Flat. Several creditable effort last season without winning including when second, beaten half a length, to Sea Of Heaven in the Brown Jack Handicap at Ascot (2m) in July off a mark of 95 and when runner-up, beaten half a length, to Golden Spear in the November Handicap at Leopardstown (1m 7f) in November off a mark of 99.
"He is one of the stable stars and he was second in the Irish November Handicap at Leopardstown on his last run. I felt he was a little unlucky as Seamie Heffernan just got to the front too soon. He had no option as the horse just carried him there and he was unlucky. He could be a right horse for race like the Ebor this year."
6 b g Dalakhani - Heavens Peak
Rated 66 on the Flat. Finished creditable third, beaten three and a half lengths, to Chiswick Bey at Newcastle (1m) on Saturday night.
"He is a bit of rogue but he will win somewhere down the line. He is a talented horse with a load of gears and he ran well for our stable apprentice at Newcastle on Saturday night."
7 b/br g Luso - Augusta Victoria
113 rated hurdler. Came closest to victory when runner-up, beaten three and a half lengths, to Miss Maiden Over in a maiden hurdle at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) in November.
"He has run well for us this Winter and he's still a maiden but I think he will win. His best runs have been on flat tracks and he wants soft ground and two and a half to three miles. He ran ok at Musselburgh at the Trials meeting but a horse fell right across him at the second hurdle and it knocked him right out of the race. He stayed on well to finish fifth not beaten too far and I was quite happy with that."
10 b g Caballo Raptor - Branceilles
116 rated chaser. Placed in all four starts this season and beaten only a head by Rowdy Rocher in a handicap chase at Ayr (2m 5 1/2f) in January off a mark of 115.
"He has come down the handicap at little and he runs on Tuesday at Ayr. He is in good nick and should run well and he has been very consistent for the stable. He has been running well over fence but I have put him back in a hurdle race and he is one for the punters to have on each way."
6 b g Presenting - Keats Dream
Came good in a maiden hurdle at Musselburgh (1m 7 1/2f) in December when beating The Phantom half a length.
"He is a nice horse I have for Paul and Clare Rooney and he won at Musselburgh in December. He stayed on really well and good ground is the key to him. He is a horse that will go chasing in the future and fingers crossed we will have a bit of fun with him."
4 b g Rip Van Winkle - I Hearyou Knocking
Rated 70 on the Flat. Finished seventh, beaten five and three quarter lengths, to Safe Journey in a handicap at Newcastle (7f) off a mark of 72 last month.
"He came over to us from Ireland and he's quite a nice horse. He is a talented horse and we are still trying to find the key to him. He is probably a winner waiting to happen at some stage."
5 b m Sixties Icon - River Alder
Placed in two of her three bumpers.
"She is a another by Sixties Icon who is one of my favourite stallions. She could run well in a mare maiden hurdle or do well when she gets a handicap mark."
5 b m Major Cadeaux - Mancunian Way
Rated 69 on the Flat. Made a winning debut for the stable when beating Darkside Dream a neck in a handicap at Newcastle (6f) in November off a mark of 67.
"She won for me and she is owned by Market Avenue Racing. She is ok and she usually runs her race. We are giving her a break now and she will be back for the start of the turf."
SEVENBALLS OF FIRE
8 b g Milan - Leadamurraydance
117 rated chaser. Finished second, beaten 19 lengths, to Newtown Lad in a novices' handicap chase at Ayr (3m 1/2f) in January off a mark of 120.
"He is a real slogging chaser and I was going to enter him for the Eider but he wasn't qualified. He runs at Ayr at the end of this month in a novices handicap chase and he will run very very well. He handles soft ground and stays all day. He will be one to follow."
7 b g Street Sense - Cala
Rated 101 on the Flat and 132 over hurdles. Very progressive both over hurdles and on the flat last season and was scoring for the third on the level when beating Rite To Reign three and a quarter lengths off a mark of 89 in a handicap at York (1m 6f) in June.
"He is another stable star and he's won over hurdles and on the flat and done so well. He has had a well deserved break and is back in training now. He is in great nick and better than ever. We will be aiming for these big handicaps on the Flat and if the right race came up he could go back over hurdles too. He ran in the Cesarewitch last year and he could end up there again."
6 b g Aqlaam - Pirouretting
111 rated chaser. Scored by a head from Bright Prospect in a novices handicap chase at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) in October off a mark of 109.
"He won a chase for us at Ayr in October and has run well since. He has his level but once the ground dried out we will have some fun with him and he can go over hurdles too."
4 b f Shamardal - Geminiani
Rated 64 on the Flat. Finished fourth, beaten four and three quarter lengths, to Energia Fox on his debut for the stable at Newcastle (1m 2f) this month.
"She ran very well for us on her first run and she is very well bred. I really like her and really think she can win."
5 b m Sulamani - More Likely
Winner of her first two bumpers at Kelso in September and November.
"She is a home bred and a lovely mare. She was bred by Mrs Tullie and I rode a few winners for her Auntie when I was riding for Peter Monteith. She should have a bright future."
5 b g Danehill Dancer - Cote Quest
133 rated hurdler. Winner three times since joining the stable this season and highly creditable third, beaten nine and a half lengths, to Diego Du Charmil in the listed Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh (1m 7 1/2f) this month off his current mark.
"He could go for something like the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr we will forget about Cheltenham and Aintree but he is a horse with a big future. He is a horse who will jump a fence but there is no panic for that."
ABSOLUTE BLAST - firing on all cylinders since joining the stable and more success beckons.
DRAGON KING - sprinter who could thrive on the change of scenery and one to keep an eye on when he returns on the turf.
HIBOU - another with untapped potential who could well thrive further for his Winter break.
NAKEETA - hardy individual who can get his head in front in a top staying handicap this time around.
SEVENBALLS OF FIRE - going the right way and can soon get off the mark in a novice handicap chase.
TRADITIONAL DANCER - looks to have been cut from the same cloth as Shrewd and one to follow in handicap hurdles.