Michael Bell Stable Tour

    Stable stalwarts Big Orange and Fabricate, heads up Michael Bell Stable Tour where he shares his thoughts about many in his progressive string
  • Monday 09 April 2018
  • Stable Tours

MICHAEL BELL had to put the champagne on hold when his beloved Manchester City failed to deliver the killer punch against arch rivals Manchester United at the weekend but he will be once again searching for major Trophy’s of his own during the ongoing turf Flat season.

The Fitzroy House was able to hoist the Gold Cup at Ascot when Big Orange hit the back of the net with a short head defeat of Order Of St George and his highly respectable total of 53 winners on the domestic front left him just short of a £1million in prize money in 2017.

Bell has several stalwarts like Big Orange and Fabricate to draw upon once more but, like any self respecting Premiership manager, he will be looking to some of the young bloods to keep his name up in lights in the next few seasons and he has a particularly interesting hand in the two-year-old division this time around.

Bell said:   “We had a good year in 2017 and it was a good solid season but when you win the Ascot Gold Cup it is worth 20 winners to you as for the next two months people come up to you and say well done.”

“We probably have our biggest bunch of two-year-old I have ever had and that bodes well for the future. If you are laying foundations that is very encouraging as you can see two or three years ahead. It is an ongoing process and training flat horses is like being a doorman at hotel on the revolving door - you can see who is coming in and out and some stay longer than others.”

With the season proper about to kick off, Bell kindly spokes to Tony Elves of ATR about his main hopes.

Older Horses

Big Orange (GB)

Form Profile:

Winner of nine of his 27 starts and currently rated 120. Landed the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown (2m) last May and surpassed that effort when short heading Order Of St George in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot (2m 4f) in June. Below his best when unplaced to Vazirabad in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan (2m) at the end of March.

Trainer Says:

Big Orange has returned from Dubai where the trip didn’t go according to plan and he probably hadn’t got over a bout of setfast he had earlier in the week. He seems fine on his return and he is going to be prepared for his usual Summer campaign over here which will include any of the Cup races that are run on fast ground. Royal Ascot is very much the target once again and given fast ground and the sun on his back he will run another huge race.

Video Form
31 Mar 2018:
25 Mar 2017:
26 Mar 2016:

Fabricate

Form Profile:

Winner of six of his 17 starts and currently rated 112. Made an impressive winning reappearance in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton (1m 2f) in March when beating Autocratic two and a quarter lengths.

Trainer Says:

Fabricate got his season off to the perfect start when winning the Magnolia Stakes at Kempton. He is due to go for the Gordon Richards at Sandown on April 27. If that went according to plan I might say we would look towards doing a bit of globetrotting with him. He has been a real fun horse for Her Majesty, The Queen.

Video Form
26 Aug 2017:
10 May 2017:
14 Apr 2017:
6 Mar 2017:
9 Sep 2016:

Fire Brigade

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 17 starts and currently rated 98. Was scoring for the fourth time last season when beating Chatez half a length at Leicester (1m) in October off a mark of 94. Finished unplaced to Addeybb in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster (1m) on his reappearance in March off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

Fire Brigade didn’t run as well as we hoped he would in the Lincoln but he’s being aimed at the Spring Mile at Newbury. He is happy with a bit of cut but slightly better ground at Newbury would help and that ground at Doncaster was very demanding for horses making their seasonal debuts. At the end of the day he has gone up from a rating of 56 to 98 and he is at an all time high. It may be that he struggles off 98 and hopefully he can win at least one nice pot.

Video Form
24 Mar 2018:
30 Jun 2017:
25 Apr 2017:
10 Nov 2016:
10 Oct 2016:

Maori Bob (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 11 starts and currently rated 85. Winner of his final three starts last season and was completing a hat trick when scoring by three quarters of a length from Medalla De Oro in a handicap at Leicester (1m 4f) in September off a mark of 78.

Trainer Says:

He won his final three races last season and he is being targeted at the mile and a half handicap at the Guineas meeting for four-year-old and upwards. I am hoping he will have another successful campaign. He looks to have trained on and, hopefully, he can continue to be a fun horse.

Video Form
1 Mar 2017:
22 Feb 2017:
15 Dec 2016:
13 Oct 2016:

Merlin

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oasis Dream - Momentary (Nayef)
  • Trained by: M L W Bell
  • Last Race: Ascot, 6 Oct 2017 15:10
  • Result: 13/13, led far side group until merged with centre group, tracked leaders, pushed along over 2f out, weakened and eased final furlong
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 10 starts and currently rated 94. Was scoring for the third time last season when beating Black Isle Boy three and a half lengths at Haydock (6f) in July off a mark of 86.

Trainer Says:

His principal aim is the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot but he needs to go up 4-5lb. The intention is to send him to Ascot on May 11 for six furlong handicap and, hopefully, the ground will have dried out by then and it will give him some match practice before the Wokingham. He’s a decent sprinter.

Video Form
16 Sep 2017:
15 Sep 2016:
11 Aug 2016:

Three Year Olds

Artarmon (IRE)

  • 3-y-o; bay colt
  • Breeding: So You Think - Aljumar (Marju)
  • Trained by: M L W Bell
  • Last Race: Lingfield, 23 Mar 2018 16:20
  • Result: 2/6, awkwardly away, in touch in rear, ridden 3f out, driven and ran on final furlong, went 2nd towards finish, no threat to winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

No win from three starts and currently rated 76. Finished runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to African Jazz in a novice event at Lingfield (1m 4f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He ran a nice on his reappearance at Lingfield having raced lazily throughout. He will be seen to better effect on the turf and I hope will make up into an above average middle distance handicapper. He has been gelded since his first run.

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:

Best Blue

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 3 starts and currently rated 84. Off the mark on his third start at Chelmsford (1m) in December when beating Fleeting Freedom a head.

Trainer Says:

Best Blue was progressive last year and has done very well from two to three. The handicapper hasn’t been particularly kind but he has a nice pedigree and looks the part. Hopefully, he can develop into a high class handicapper.

Video Form
21 Dec 2017:
23 Nov 2017:

Christopher Wood (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 3 starts and currently rated 79. Made a winning debut at Salisbury in June when beating Lifeboat three quarters of a length and runner-up, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Yorbelucky in a novice event at Ffos Las (7 1/2f) in September when trained by Ralph Beckett.

Trainer Says:

Christopher Wood has joined us from Ralph Beckett’s and he looks to have done very well over the Winter. He is a big horse and we did train his half brother who developed as he got older. I see him as a good fun mile/mile and a quarter handicapper. He is likely to start at Newmarket or Epsom.

Video Form
17 Sep 2017:

Flying Sparkle (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one his 4 starts and currently rated 87. Finished third, beaten a length and a quarter, to Midsummer Knight in a novice event at Wolverhampton (5f) on Thursday.

Trainer Says:

She slightly disappointed on her reappearance at Wolverhampton on Thursday but there’s a possibility the AW didn’t suit her. I am pretty sure she has trained on and hopefully she can get back on track sooner rather than later although it may be difficult off her mark of 87.

Video Form
5 Apr 2018:
21 Sep 2017:
3 Jul 2017:

Highlight Reel (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 4 starts and currently rated 82. Off the mark at the fourth attempt when beating Alternative Fact half a length in a novice event at Newmarket (7f) in August.

Trainer Says:

He is being aimed at the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot and we are just working our way back from there. We are aiming towards a mile handicap and he needs to take a nudge up the weights in order to make sure he get in the Britannia. He is a nice horse with a future.

Video Form
29 Jul 2017:
1 Jun 2017:

House Edge

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 2 starts. Off the mark in impressive fashion at Musselburgh (1m 1f) in October when beating Lynwood Gold five lengths.

Trainer Says:

House Edge is a horse I like a lot. He won his maiden up North and the form worked out well. He’s a well bred horse and by Nathaniel and half brother to Khalidi who was trained by John Gosden and then went to Clive Cox. I hope he will make up into an above average middle distance horse.

Main Desire (IRE)

  • 3-y-o; bay filly
  • Breeding: High Chaparral - Purple Glow (Orientate)
  • Trained by: M L W Bell
  • Last Race: York, 19 May 2017 14:20
  • Result: Won/13, tracked leaders stands side and travelled well, went 2nd over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, ran on, led close home
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of both of her starts and currently rated 93. Scored by a length and a quarter from She Believes at Nottingham (5f) in May and followed up with a half length success from Neola in the Listed Marygate Fillies Stakes at York (5f) later in the month.

Trainer Says:

She won her first two start prior to going wrong before Royal Ascot. She has come back in great form and appears to have trained on nicely. She is zipping along and the plan is to go for the five furlong listed race at York on May 17. Hopefully she will remain a pattern race performer.

Revived

Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 3 starts and currently rated 79. Off the mark with a length and a quarter length success from Deviate in a novice event at Ripon (5f) in August and unplaced when next seen out in a listed event at Newmarket (6f) in November.

Trainer Says:

Revived won her maiden well at Ripon and then didn’t run her race in the Listed Bosra Sham at Newmarket where she slightly boiled over. We left the hood off that day and we will leave that on from now on and hopefully she can get back under winning ways when she reappears. She looks to have trained on.

Video Form
29 Aug 2017:

Roulette

  • 3-y-o; chestnut filly
  • Breeding: Poet's Voice - Unex Mona Lisa (Shamardal)
  • Trained by: M L W Bell
  • Last Race: Newmarket, 29 Sep 2017 15:00
  • Result: 10/10, steadied start, held up in rear, pushed along halfway, some headway inside final 3f, never involved, weakened 2f out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 3 starts and currently rated 85. Lost her maiden tag on her second outing when beating Ripley a neck at Goodwood (7f) in August.

Trainer Says:

Roulette has a nice mile fillies’ handicap in her and is being targeted for the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. I am very disappointed it has been downgraded from a listed race.

Sailing Home

Form Profile:

Promise when fourth in maidens at Nottingham (1m 1/2f) and Doncaster (1m) in October.

Trainer Says:

Sailing Home is a well bred staying filly of Her Majesty, The Queen who ran two nice races in defeat last year. She looks in good order and I hope will make up into a nice middle distance handicapper/possibly stakes filly.

Video Form
27 Oct 2017:

Trinity Square

Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

Trinity Square is a very good mover and has just taken time to come to hand as the gallops have been so soft. She is a filly we have always held in relatively high regard and from past experience I have found the proof in the pudding will be in the eating.

Two Year Olds

Allmankind

  • 2 b c Sea The Moon – Weymss Bay
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

He is a lovely Sea The Moon colt out of Weymss Bay. The dam is a half sister of Beat Hollow from the family of Oasis Dream and Kingman. I think he is a smashing horse and he, potentially, has a stallion’s pedigree. Hopefully he will be a good advertisement for his first season sire.

Artair (IRE)

Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

He Is A Kodiac Colt Who Goes Well And He Is A Three Quarters Brother To Coulsty Who Was A Stakes Horse. He Is Due To Go To Windsor Or Leicester And He Will Go Close Wherever He Runs.

Video Form
16 Apr 2018:

Fast Endeavour

  • 2 b f Pastoral Pursuits – Scented Garden
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

She is a filly by Pastoral Pursuits who is owned by Middleham Park and was bought very cheaply. She was due to go Chelmsford this week but she has had a bout of sore shins and we think she is worth waiting for.

Manic Monday

  • 2 b f Declaration Of War – Bohemian Dance
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

Manic Monday is a Declaration Of War filly who goes nicely. She is from the Islington family and wasn’t expensive. She is very good looking and we like her a lot.

Master Brewer

  • 2 b c Reliable Man – Quenching
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

Master Brewer is a son of Reliable Man that we bought at Deauville. The stallion has excellent statistics with his first crop and Bloodstock agent Alex Elliott was very taken with him at the Sales. I can see why, and he seems to go well.

Nahema

  • 2 b f Dubawi – Sariska
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

She has only just come in but is beautifully bred being by Dubawi out of Sariska who was a dual Oaks winner for us. We are delighted to have her in the yard and she won’t be out any day soon but it is just a joy to see her cantering up Warren Hill every day at this early stage. She carries herself very well.

Pretty Pollyana

  • 2 b f Oasis Dream – Unex Mona Lisa
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

Pretty Pollyana is named after the owner’s daughter who is married to trainer George Scott so we are lucky to have her. She is an Oasis Dream filly and she looks to go well. She just has slightly immature knees so we have had to take a slight pull but she looks an above average filly.

Tribal Commander

  • 2 gr c Intikhab – Jessica Ennis
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

Tribal Commander is a very likeable colt by Intikhab who won’t be early but he carries himself really well. He is out of Jessica Ennis who would have been a very good racemare but hurt herself shortly before she was due to run. He was bought very well at Ascot Sales and I am very hopeful he will give Highclere Thoroughbred Racing plenty of fun.

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