The seasons may be changing but it hands firmly on the pumps at Ian William’s base at Dominion Racing Stables in Alvechurch where his team are split between Flat and jumpers.
There is no respite for the quietly spoken but workaholic Williams who has enjoyed success at every course on the British mainland both on the Flat and over jumps and is quietly working away to his first 1000 winners in a career that commenced in 1997. Ian has already notched up 27 winners on the Flat so far this year to match his total for the 2015-16 Jumps season and has also knocked nine on that scoreboard already in the new jumps season as he creeps just around 20 away from that notable landmark in his career.
It all augurs well for the remainder of the flat and he has some interesting seasoned campaigners and fresh blood for the jumps too. Ian kindly spoke to ATR about some of those he hopes can prosper in the coming weeks and months.
BAMAKO DU CHATELET
5 gr g Voix Du Nord – Royale Du Chatelet
Winner of three of his 13 starts. Off the mark at Lingfield (AW) (1m 4f) in April off a mark of 55 and gained two further victories there in May. Scored in apprentice handicap off a mark of 60 and followed up with a length victory from Glasgow Central when unpenalised. Currently rated 65.
“He rattled off a quick treble on the Flat on the lower levels earlier in the season. Whilst looking on the upgrade his form went a little astray after and we discovered an issue that was bothering him but it has been treated now and it would be nice to see him get back to winning ways on the Flat before taking up what he was bought to do which is to jump hurdles. He has decent ability on the Flat but I am sure we haven’t seen the best of him yet and he should be a better hurdler than he has been a flat horse.”
4 b g Iffraaj – Badalona
Winner of two of his 11 starts. Promising reappearance at Sandown (1m 2f) this month when fifth, beaten a length and three quarters, to Pure Fantasy off a mark of 83.
“He recently had his first run for us at Sandown and ran a very eyecatching race after taking a long time to settle. He has been a difficult horse in that he was very keen at home and it took a great deal of time and patience from the lad that rides him. He is eventually learning to settle and perhaps to now consider sending him hurdling. He certainly has the size scope and ability to go hurdling but has for me been too keen. Off a current mark of 83 he can be competitive on the flat but he could make a nice novice hurdler later on in the season.”
BARON DU PLESSIS
5 b g Network – Larme A L’Oeil
No wins from 4 starts.
“He was second, albeit beaten a long way. to Red Hanrahan in his point-to-point in Ireland and is a tall leggy horse who has taken a little time to come to himself. He will start off back over hurdles and should be seen to decent effect in novice hurdles during the Autumn and well into the Winter.”
6 b g Monsun – La Nuit Rose
Winner of four of his 11 starts. (Winner four times on the Flat in France for Andre Fabre). Promising reappearance on the Flat at Haydock (1m 6f) this month when third, beaten two and a half lengths, to Intense Tango off a mark of 99.
“He made his first start for us at Haydock recently in the Old Borough Cup and ran an excellent third for a horse that had been off the track for six months. It was a lovely start back and it has encouraged us enough to having started to think about the Cesarewitch at Newmarket prior to resuming his hurdling career. His form on a couple of occasions over hurdles last season, particularly when finishing second twice, put him of some interest in that sphere and he will start the NH season as a novice with a rating of 124.”
8 b g Grape Tree Road – Gurleigh
Winner of three of his 17 starts. Scored by seven lengths from Thinger Licht in a handicap chase at Stratford (2m 6 1/2f) in March off a mark of 113. Currently rated 119 over fences.
“He won nicely at Stratford last season and then some shoddy jumping probably got the better of him when stepped up in class.. He was brought down and then ran below par on his final outing of last season at Haydock. He is still effectively well enough handicapped over fences when he gets his act together. There are more races to be won with him.”
BOY IN THE BAR
5 ch g Dutch Art – Lipsia
Winner of four of his 21 starts. Returned to winning form at Newbury (6f) in August when beating Francisco a length and a quarter off a mark of 75 and followed up with a neck defeat of Harwoods Volante off a mark of 81 at Ascot (6f) this month. Currently rated 86 on the turf and 79 (AW).
“It has been great to see him regain his form in his last two races and he showed a magnificent attitude at Ascot when looking beaten a furlong out but rallying with great effect. He won on softer ground when he was younger but I am not convinced he copes with it at all. He disappointed on it earlier in the season at Nottingham and he has a few options during October/November but we will have to keep an eye on the ground. He remains progressive and we are hopeful we might get back to some of the loftier marks he was previously.”
5 b g Byron – Nursling
Winner of five of his 9 starts. Completed early season hat trick in handicap hurdles when beating Kashmir Peak a length and three quarters at Worcester (2m 4f) in June off a mark of 125. Currently rated 129 over hurdles.
“He performed well in his bumper and won his first start on the Flat in a Lingfield maiden. He went onto win three hurdle races on the bounce and progressed to a mark of 130. The horses were not in great form when he ran at Market Rasen last time and he’s certainly ran well below par that day. He has had a short break and I would be quite keen to make use of his novice tag which he has got until the end of October. He’s a horse that’s been seen to good effect on good ground and probably won’t cope with very soft. When the ground goes during the Autumn I can see us making use of his Flat mark on the AW. He’s a half brother to a horse I trained called Callisto Moon who did very well for us and won a lot of prize money.”
10 b g Sadler’s Wells – Riberac
Winner of eight of his 42 starts. Well placed to win four of his five hurdle races last season which culminated in a five length defeat of Apterix in a non selling handicap at Market Rasen (2m 1/2f) in February off a mark of 126. Currently rated 133 over hurdles.
“He won three sellers and a handicap off 126 last February. He is getting a bit old and a bit long in a tooth but probably enjoyed his best year ever over hurdles last season. Placed in the right grade he is capable of winning more as long as soundness and desire remain in tact. He’s a great fun horse.”
7 b g Shirocco – Lady Lindsay
Winner of seven of his 33 starts. Returned to winning form on latest start at Leicester (1m 4f) this month when beating Rock Steady three and a quarter lengths off a mark of 81. Currently rated 86.
“He was shown a little respite from the handicapper and with the application of cheekpieces ran out a very comfortable winner at Leicester last time where he made the running for the first time under a good strong ride from Silvestre de Sousa. He fell at Fontwell in November 2015 and fractured a hock and it has been a long time getting him back. He is now showing the form on that flat that he was capable of prior to that fall. We will see him once or twice more in the Autumn on the Flat and then it is our intention to go hurdling. His mark of 124 doesn’t look totally out of the way on what he has done on the Flat and what he achieved in his hurdle races. He could go to Newmarket this week if there is ease in the ground.”
GAS LINE BOY
10 b g Blueprint – Jervia
Winner of four of his 22 starts. Ran an excellent race in the Kerry National at Listowel (3m) last week when third, beaten 13 lengths, to Wrath of Titans off his current mark of 135.
“He ran an absolute blinder to finish third in the Kerry National last week. He showed his ability to jump and stay and he remains workable. Although it was heavy, three mile remains his minimum distance and it will be good to see him over staying trips at places like Haydock. The decent staying chases looking on the agenda and he is a real mudlark. He also qualifies for the Veterans series – interesting.”
8 b g Dr Massini – Indian Legend
Winner of four of his 18 starts. Creditable effort when runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Shuil Royale in a handicap chase at Newton Abbot (3m 2f) in May off a mark of 132. Currently rated 131 over fences.
“He probably ran one of his better races in the Spring when second to Shuil Royale at Newton Abbot. It’s a track that didn’t really suit but he’s been given some respite from the handicapper and is on a workalble mark. He is probably at his best over three miles and is a straightforward horse who has run some of his better races round Cheltenham. He is suited to the likes of Haydock too and whilst he wouldn’t want the ground bottomless he copes with most other situations."
4 ch g Duke of Marmalade – Night Dhu
Winner of two of his 7 starts. Two lengths winner from Chelsea’s Boy in a maiden at Lingfield (1m 3 1/2f) in May. Currently rated 80 on the flat.
“I have to say he is one of my favourite horses but one of my disappointments of the Summer. He suffered with a health issue when running no race whatsoever at Pontefract and we have given him a good break. He has comeback into training a little later that the main team of jumpers but he has size, scope and ability and we are really looking forward to seeing him over hurdles in the later Autumn. He has everthing about him to make a decent performer.”
6 b/br g Country Reel – King’s Parody
Winner of five of his 37 starts. Latest success when scoring by seven lengths from Best Tamayuz at Nottingham (1m 2f) in June off a mark of 79. Currently rated 87 on the flat and 120 over hurdles.
“He is another who had a favourable Spring and went off the boil a bit in the Summer. He has had a short break and I wasn’t unhappy with his run at Stratford in August where the race didn’t really work out for him and he was very keen early on. He handicap mark has gone up considerably on the flat and over hurdles but found the right races on galloping tracks he shouldn’t be too difficult to win with.”
KING OF REALMS
4 b g King’s Theatre – Sunny South East
“He is a nice bumper horse who is an embryonic chaser. He has a decent pedigree and there is a lot of horse to work with. He is likely to make his bumper debut in November.”
5 b m Act One – Eveon
Winner of two of her 13 starts. Beaten only half a length by Miss Estela at Market Rasen (2m 1/2f) in May off a mark of 106 when last seen in action. Currently rated 110 over hurdles.
“She is a tough mare who progressed well last season. She started off on lowly marks and is the type to progress more and will benefit for jumping a fence. She should be competitive in those mares’ chases.”
6 b g Turtle Island – Pyrexie
Winner of three of his 12 starts. Successful in a handicap hurdle at Southwell (1m 7 12/f) in August when beating Deserter seven lengths off a mark of 102 and followed up off the same mark in a novices handicap chase at Sedgefield (2m 1/2f) later in the month when scoring by half a length from Jethro. Currently rated 111 over fences and 116 over hurdles.
“He is a talented individual who doesn’t allow himself the best chance as he struggles to relax in his race and pulls too hard. He gave Tom O’Brien a real tough time during his win at Southwell but he still won well from an in form horse. We ran him back quite quickly over fences at Sedgefield off the same mark and he managed to win his first chase. As long as he learns to relax he could step up in grade.”
6 b m High Chaparral – Power of Future
Winner of four of her 29 starts. Successful in handicap hurdles at Stratford in May, Aintree in June and completed hat trick with a head success from Petrou at Southwell (2m 4 1/2f) off a mark off 108. Also beaten only a neck by Chocala over two miles on the Flat at Chester (2m) in August off a mark of 75. Currently rated 110 over hurdles and 76 on the Flat.
“She has very much lived up to her name and won three hurdle races nicely and ran a perfect race in defeat at Chester last month. She found it more difficult at Southwell last time in a more competitive race and is likely to find another opportunity during the Autumn but it is likely to be over further. She could jump a fence next Spring.”
6 b g Gold Well – Broken Pockets
Winner of three of his 16 starts. Last win in a handicap hurdle at Kempton (2m 5f) in February off a mark of 119 when beating Sir Ivan a neck. Currently rated 122 over hurdles.
“He will resume his chasing career this Autumn. He was ridden too handy on his first chasing start and it didn’t work out as well as it should have done. We then dropped him back to hurdles and he progressed well winning nicely at Kempton in February, He was tried at a higher level in his next two races and ran well.”
4 b f Oscar – Derriga Sublime
“She is nice unraced filly by Oscar who will make her bumper debut in November. She showed enough at home last season to suggest she will do well in that sphere and has strengthened up and is continuing to work nicely up to fitness this Autumn.”
6 ch g Indian River – Red Rover
No wins from 6 starts put placed in both of his hurdles this season at Uttoxeter in April and Southwell in May. Currently rated 116 over hurdles.
“He seems to be taking an age to come to hand and was probably running his best race to date at Uttoxeter when making a mistake two out that undoubtedly coast him the race. He will make a really nice staying chaser and is from the family of Red Invader. He will go chasing as soon as he is showing enough maturity in his hurdles.”
3 b c Zamindar – Cochin
Winner of one of his four starts, Beaten only a length when finishing fourth to Toulson at Sandown (1m 2f) last week off his current mark of 77.
“He ran a tremendous race at Sandown last week where he showed signs of immaturity. He is a big horse who will mature both physically and mentally over the Winter. He won’t overdone this Autumn and will run once or twice more over a similar mile and a quarter trip. He is the type of horse who will progress well from three to four after being castrated. At this stage he is probably not one we will see hurdling.”
6 b g English Channel – Raw Gold
Winner of seven of his 27 starts. Returned to winning form at Goodwood (7f) in July when beating Twin Sails half a length off a mark of 87. Currently rated 90.
“He has had a short season due to a late start. His first run back at Haydock was very solid then he backed that up with a great success at Glorious Goodwood with a real gutsy performance. He went back there in August for the valuable Goodwood Revival Stakes and struggled with a lightweight and a poor draw. There will be a couple of opportunities for him during the Autumn and I am sure he will continue to do well.”
7 b g Royal Applause – Nebraska Lady
Winner of nine of his 39 starts. Winner of a handicap at Meydan (5f) in February off a mark of 108 when beating Roicead a length and a quarter and a conditions event at Chester (5f) in May when scoring by four lengths from Maljaa. Currently rated 109.
“He struggled with the soft ground at Haydock and Ascot but has been given a decent break before resuming his path back to Dubai where he has won for the past two seasons. He will probably come back at Wolverhhampton in December prior to getting back on a plane and going on his travels. He has been a wonderful horse and he really enjoys the fast surface in Dubai.”
3 ch g Peintre Celebre – Saldennahe
Winner of one of his 10 starts. Off the mark with a length defeat of Master Gunner at Salisbury (1m 2f) in August off a mark of 68. Currently rated 75.
“I was very impressed with his win at Salisbury where he showed real heart to win under James Doyle. He probably didn’t cope with the lack of pace and the track at Epsom last time when finishing a disappointing fourth. He will be effective over a mile and two and, given the opportunity by his owners, would probably make a nice juvenile hurdler.”
4 b g Robin des Pres – Wavering Bee
Promise in two bumpers at Uttoxeter in May and Worcester in June.
“He ran well in his two bumpers and has schooled well over hurdles. It looks like he will be effective over two and a half miles and he should go well in novice hurdles.”
5 b g Dubai Destination – Absent Beauty
No wins from three starts. Promise when third on his hurdling bow at Doncaster in March.
“He was a tough horse to train last season and was like an adolescent. His attitude on occasions was a little wayward and he ran well on his only start over hurdles. He is the type that will improve as he grows up.”
9 b g Barathea – Szabo
Winner of nine of his 64 starts. Finished seventh of 17, beaten 17 lengths, to Penglai Pavilion at Newmarket (2m 2f) last Saturday off his current mark of 80.
“He has been finding life a little tough this season. His hurdles form wasn’t up to scratch and he’s struggled to get competitive whilst running well in reasonable races on the flat. The handicapper has given him a bit of help and he probably ran quite well in the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket on Saturday although it was run very slowly. We could see him over hurdles in the Autumn but it will need to be decent ground.”
5 ch g Mahler – Bayloughbess
Runner-up, beaten nine lengths, to London Prize on his only start in a bumper at Worcester in June of 2015.
“He ran a nice race when second to London Prize in his bumper and missed the whole of last season through unfortunate mishaps but learnt and enormous amount and will benefit from his experiences this season. He is likely to go straight over hurdles and is the type to improve with experience.”
3 b c Major Cadeaux – Say A Prayer
Winner of one of his 4 starts. Runner-up, beaten a length and half to Exoteric off a mark of 72 at Newmarket (1m 2f) on his latest start in August. Currently rated 73.
“He showed a great attitude to win first time out at Haydock in June and has ran well in three starts since. He is progressing in the right direction and would make a very nice juvenile hurdler but I’m not convinced that the owner will think it is a good idea. If not he may be rested during the winter before continuing his flat campaign.”
BANDITRY – cracking first effort for the stable at Sandown recently and can score on the Flat and over hurdles.
BLUE RAMBLER – starts his hurdling campaign as a novice but can do very well one sent back over timber and could well notch flat wins beforehand.
BOY IN THE BAR – has found his form with a vengeance and could well find further success this Autumn if getting the opportunity to race on decent ground.
GAS LINE BOY – great effort when third in the Kerry National and a decent staying chase or two can come his way this Winter.
RICHIE McCAW – eyecatching run at Sandown last week and plenty more to come.
TOMAHAWK KID – progressing nicely and can soon add to his score.