Sue Smith

    With a stable full of high class chasers and proto-chasing hurdle talent, Sue Smith outlines where some of her runners will be heading on Boxing day as well as over the rest of the Christmas period
  • Sunday 24 December 2017
  • Stable Tours

SUE SMITH starts a busy Christmas period with her horses in just the sort of form she would have wished and casts her net far and wide over the next few days.

Delusionofgrandeur and Wakanda stay near to home when contesting the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby but the horsebox has a much lengthier journey for Vintage Clouds when he heads to Chepstow for the Coral Welsh National.

As the aforementioned targets suggest it is staying chasers which are at the forefront of future plans for her embryonic stars and success with Auroras Encore in the 2013 Grand National has been an obvious pinnacle of her career.

Sue has notched up 17 winners so far and was busy mapping out plans for the Christmas season and beyond when speaking to Tony Elves of ATR about her team at Craiglands Farm near Bingley.

Older Horses

Absolutely Dylan (IRE)

Form Profile:

No wins from 2 starts. Finished third, beaten 23 lengths, to Sunshade in a novices’ hurdle at Market Rasen (2m 2f) this month.

Trainer Says:

He has had two runs and showed a bit of promise in a bumper and on his first race over hurdles at Market Rasen. Danny (Cook) quite likes him and I think he is going to be a nice horse with another year on his back. He is a possible for Chepstow.

Video Form
23 Apr 2018:
5 Feb 2018:
17 Nov 2017:

Black Art

Form Profile:

No wins from 4 starts. Finished runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to Crixus’s Escape on his debut for the stable at Hexham in November and then fourth, beaten 39 lengths, to Espoir De Teillee at Catterick (2m 3 1/2f) later that month.

Trainer Says:

He is a horse who has run quite nicely in two novice hurdles for us. He goes to Sedgefield on Boxing Day and we will stick to two miles with him this time and then maybe step him up a bit next year. He looks like being a nice horse.

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:
28 Jan 2018:
12 Jan 2018:
26 Dec 2017:
10 Nov 2017:

Blottos (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 6 starts. Off the mark with a length and three quarter success from Baraculu in a maiden hurdle at Sedgefield (2m 1f) on his latest start in December.

Trainer Says:

He is one of Trevor Hemmings’s and a lovely big NH bred horse. He showed a little bit in his bumpers and first time over hurdles he was a bit green and came down. He went to Sedgefield last time and did it very nicely. I don’t now whether he will run on Boxing Day or go to Leicester.  

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:
28 Jan 2018:
8 Dec 2017:
26 Dec 2016:
8 Dec 2016:

Cloudy Too (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of nine of his 44 starts and currently rated 129 over fences. Finished third, beaten 30 lengths, to Chase The Spud in a handicap chase at Haydock (3m 1 1/2f) on his latest start in November off a mark of 132.

Trainer Says:

He has been a good old servant to us and has run well this season but hasn’t reached the heights he has done before. His main aim is the Veterans Final at Sandown on January 6.

Video Form
19 Oct 2017:
20 Nov 2016:
28 Nov 2015:

Cracking Find (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Robin Des Pres - Crack The Kicker (Anshan)
  • Trained by: Mrs S J Smith
  • Last Race: Haydock, 12 May 2018 17:25
  • Result: 3/7, tracked leaders, not much room and lost place 2nd, mistake 7th, headway 12th, led off last bend, not fluent and headed 3 out, weakening in 3rd last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 12 starts and currently rated 124 over fences. Gained his last success in a novices’ handicap chase at Newcastle (2m 1/2f) in November when beating An Laoch a length and a half off a mark of 122.

Trainer Says:

He is very well named and is a smashing horse. He won at Newcastle on quite fast ground and he loved it. He didn’t run quite so well when we ran him at Southwell next time and it was just a bit too quick for him. We will step him up in trip now and I have got him in a 0-125 over two and a half miles at Leicester. That’s a possible target and not 100 per cent.

Video Form
5 Dec 2017:
17 Nov 2017:
6 May 2017:
28 Oct 2016:

Delusionofgrandeur (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of six of his 17 starts and currently rated 142. Unbeaten in four starts (including a novice hurdle) at Catterick and returned to winning form on his latest visit to that venue when beating Thumb Stone Blues off a mark of 134 in a handicap chase (3m 1f).

Trainer Says:

He has done very well this year and finished third in the Durham National at Sedgefield and then we ran him at Catterick where he won very well. He loves it around there and his next target is the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day and then possibly a four miler up at Musselburgh.

Video Form
2 Nov 2017:
27 Feb 2016:
28 Nov 2015:
6 Nov 2015:

Hainan (FR)

  • 7-y-o; grey gelding
  • Breeding: Laveron - Honor Smytzer (Highest Honor)
  • Trained by: Mrs S J Smith
  • Last Race: Uttoxeter, 17 Mar 2018 15:35
  • Result: PU/18, tracked leaders, pecked 9th, rider having tack problems and lost irons from after 11th until 13th, ridden and struggling after 15th, pulled up after next
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 22 starts and currently rated 140 over fences. Returned to winning form on his latest start in a handicap chase at Haydock (3m 4 1/2f) in November when beating Courtown Oscar 12 lengths off a mark of 132.

Trainer Says:

He has really come to himself now and after disappointing run at Ayr he came back to his best when winning the long distance chase at Haydock very well. Our next port of call is likely to be Haydock for the Last Fling Chase.

Video Form
17 Mar 2018:
24 Feb 2018:
18 Mar 2017:
17 Dec 2016:
12 Nov 2016:

I Just Know (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 15 starts and currently rated 131 over fences. Had a stiff task when finishing last of four to Waiting Patiently in an Intermediate Chase at Carlisle (2m 4f) in November.

Trainer Says:

He ran very well in a handicap chase at Carlisle and it was just a bit short for him over two and a half miles when we went back there. I think his main aim could, hopefully, be the Yorkshire National at Catterick all being well.

Video Form
17 Mar 2018:
9 Jan 2017:
4 Nov 2016:
11 Feb 2016:
11 Dec 2015:

Iskabeg Lane (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 6 starts and currently rated 104 over fences. Off the mark with a three length victory from Iona Days in a handicap chase at Market Rasen (2m 5 1/2f) this month off a mark of 95.

Trainer Says:

We were disappointed with him first time out at Hexham and we couldn’t find any problems with him but he went to Market Rasen and won well there next time. He goes back there on Boxing Day and hopefully he can progress further.

Video Form
12 May 2018:
17 Mar 2018:
10 Nov 2017:
6 May 2017:

Joke Dancer

  • 5-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Authorized - Missy Dancer (Shareef Dancer)
  • Trained by: Mrs S J Smith
  • Last Race: Haydock, 31 Mar 2018 14:40
  • Result: 5/10, mid-division, pecked 2nd, pushed along after 5th, not fluent next, well beaten from 3 out, mistake 2 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 5 starts and currently rated 119. Off the mark over hurdles when beating Niblawi six lengths at Haydock (1m 7 1/2f) at the start of the month but unplaced to Chti Balko in a handicap hurdle on his return to course and distance on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He is only a four-year-old but progressing into a nice horse. He had a little problem after running in his first bumper at Newcastle as three-year-old and we left him off but he has come back and run well and learnt his trade quickly. He wasn’t at his best at Haydock on Saturday and he is better than he showed then.

Video Form
24 Feb 2018:
17 Nov 2017:
25 Oct 2017:
17 Dec 2016:

Just Georgie

Form Profile:

No wins from 15 starts and currently rated 110 over fences. Came closest to victory this season in a handicap chase at Bangor (2m 4 1/2f) in November when runner-up, beaten a length and a quarter, to Siruh Du Lac off a mark of 107.

Trainer Says:

He is a beautifully bred horse who didn’t shine over hurdles. But has been unlucky over fences. He didn’t shine at Newcastle on Saturday but there is a race in him.

Video Form
23 Dec 2017:
7 Dec 2016:
26 Nov 2016:
27 Mar 2016:
26 Dec 2015:

Klare Castle

Form Profile:

Runner-up in bumpers at Hexham in August and October.

Trainer Says:

He has finished second in two bumpers at Hexham and both time I think we have bumped into a very good horse. I haven’t got a plan just yet he is having a break and is possibly still a little weak but he should be ready to run in a fortnight’s time.

Video Form
14 Oct 2017:
21 Aug 2017:

Maxed Out King (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 16 start and currently rated 111 over fences. Gained his last win when beating Chestnut Ben at Sedgefield (2m 3 1/2f) in May off a mark of 107.

Trainer Says:

He has run ok but he is suffering with just a little bit of a problem with his wind at the minute. We are getting him seen too and that is the story with him.

Video Form
2 Dec 2017:
13 Jun 2017:
16 May 2017:
23 Jan 2017:
8 Dec 2016:

Midnight Shadow

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Midnight Legend - Holy Smoke (Statoblest)
  • Trained by: Mrs S J Smith
  • Last Race: Ayr, 21 Apr 2018 14:55
  • Result: Won/16, tracked leaders, challenged 3 out, led next, edged right before not fluent last, driven out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 6 races and currently rated 134 over hurdles. Made a successful hurdling debut at Uttoxeter (2m) in October when beating Counter Shy a length and a quarter and runner-up in two subsequent starts. Beaten only a neck by Delire D’Estruval in a listed novices hurdle at Haydock (1m 7 1/2f) in November and three lengths by Mont Des Avaloirs at Aintree (2m 1f) in December. He is a smashing lovely young horse who won his bumper last season and ran well in similar events after. We went to Uttoxeter with him first time out and he won nicely and qualified for the EBF Final.

Trainer Says:

We went to Haydock next and he was beaten a neck in a listed event and then we were giving 6lb when running another cracking race at Aintree. He has had a few quick race so we will give him until the backend of January before we bring him back and there are no instantly recognisable targets at this stage for him.

Video Form
19 Oct 2017:
4 Mar 2017:
17 Dec 2016:

Never Up

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 23 starts and currently rated 119 over fences. Pulled up at Newcastle (2m 4f) on Saturday and last success when beating Caviligny a length at Carlisle (2m 4f) in October off a mark of 115.

Trainer Says:

He ran an absolute blinder to win at Carlisle and then we ran him back over two miles at Wetherby and they always got him at it and he was well outpaced. He is a nice horse who jumps well but he put in an uncharacteristic performance at Newcastle on Saturday and hopefully that was just a one off.

Video Form
28 Jan 2018:
23 Dec 2017:
19 Apr 2017:
6 Mar 2017:
26 Feb 2017:

No Planning

Form Profile:

Winner of 11 of his 47 starts and currently rated 124 over fences. Finished last of five finishers, beaten 36 ½ lengths, to Captain Redbeard in the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock (2m 7f) on Saturday off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

He is another good old servant who has done nothing wrong and he ran a respectable race in the Tommy Whittle and he wins his races most year.

Video Form
5 Dec 2017:
17 Nov 2017:
6 May 2017:
8 Apr 2017:
23 Jan 2017:

Perseid (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 29 starts and currently rated 100 of fences. Came closest to victory this Autumn when third, beaten five and a half lengths, to Dica in a handicap chase at Sedgefield (2m 3 1/2f) in October off a mark of 102.

Trainer Says:

He is another who is a bit of a Spring time horse so we will wait with him. He is off a good handicap mark now so hopefully he can pick up a race or two in the Spring.

Video Form
30 Aug 2018:
14 Oct 2017:
3 Oct 2017:
31 Aug 2017:
21 Aug 2017:

Quietly (IRE)

Form Profile:

No wins from 8 starts and currently rated 120 over fences. Ran out at sixth when leading in a novices’ handicap chase at Sedgefield (3m 2 1/2f) in November off a mark of 120.

Trainer Says:

He was a bit naughty first time over fences where he was going really well and ran out. He has an abcess in his foot at the moment but he will be back soon and we will keep him novice chasing.

Video Form
23 Apr 2018:
27 Jan 2018:
2 Nov 2017:
23 Jan 2017:
4 Nov 2016:

Sharp Response (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Lambourne Lace (Un Desperado)
  • Trained by: Mrs S J Smith
  • Last Race: Catterick, 12 Feb 2018 15:05
  • Result: Won/5, tracked leaders, went 2nd 8th until not fluent next, 2nd after 11th until 12th, 2nd from 15th, led before 3 out, driven and holding rival flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 10 starts and currently rated 110 over fences. Finished third, beaten four and a half lengths, to Mr Whitaker in a novices’ handicap chase at Carlisle (2m 4f) in November off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

He is another smashing horse. I am just working out where to go with him as I have entered him in a few places. He is going to be nice horse and he hasn’t got his head in front over fences yet but I am sure he will do.

Video Form
19 Oct 2017:
18 Mar 2017:
6 Feb 2017:
12 May 2016:

Shine Away (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 12 starts and currently rated 100 over fences. Off the mark with a three length victory from Novo Dawn in a handicap chase at Cartmel (2m 5 1/2f) in August off a mark of 90.

Trainer Says:

She is more of a Summer time mare than a winter one and she won at Cartmel in August and then ran well again. As soon as the ground goes soft she goes off the boil. We have left her for the Spring.

Video Form
16 Jun 2018:
15 May 2018:
3 Nov 2017:
6 Oct 2017:
21 Aug 2017:

Smooth Stepper

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 25 starts and currently rated 132 over fences. Finished runner-up, beaten two lengths, to Jenny Surprise in a handicap chase at Uttoxeter (3m 2f) in November off a mark of 129.

Trainer Says:

We have yet to get him revved up and rolling this year. He is not flying at this minute in time but we will keep persevering with him. He has just had a bit of a break and we have no immediate plans for him.

Video Form
24 Feb 2018:
5 Feb 2018:
18 Nov 2017:
2 Nov 2017:
25 Feb 2017:

Straidnahanna (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 31 starts and currently rated 130 over fences. Pulled up in the Becher Chase won by Blaklion at Aintree (3m 2f) this month on his latest start off a mark of 133.

Trainer Says:

He hasn’t shone this year and we don’t appear to have found the key to him yet, but all is well with him. There is a possible race for him at Newcastle on January 6.

Video Form
25 Feb 2017:
10 Dec 2016:
12 Dec 2015:

Treshnish (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 4 starts and currently rated 120. Off the mark when beating Cool Mix three quarters of a length in a maiden hurdle at Newcastle in December.

Trainer Says:

He ran well in the bumper won by Midnight Shadow and first time over hurdles at Kelso he just got beaten by Some Reign. He then came back and won well at Newcastle and we were very pleased with him. He will probably goes to Haydock on December 30 now.

Video Form
2 Dec 2017:
17 Dec 2016:

Vintage Clouds (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 19 starts and currently rated 140 over fences. Made a winning return in a novices’ handicap chase at Aintree (3m 1f) in October when beating Lovely Job 18 lengths off a mark of 132 and solid effort in a graduation chase at Haydock (2m 5 1/2f) in November when runner-up, beaten seven lengths, to Clans Des Obeaux.

Trainer Says:

He won the novices’ handicap chase first time out this year at Aintree very well then got beaten at Haydock where he ran a very good race to be beaten by Clans Des Obeaux. His aim now is the Welsh National.

Video Form
6 Jan 2018:

Wakanda (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of seven of his 27 starts and currently rated 144 over fences. Better effort this season at Kelso (3m 2f) in October when runner-up, beaten seven lengths, to As De Mee off a mark of 149. He is finally coming down the handicap a little after two years. He ran very well first time out at Kelso and then we ran him at Newcastle in the Rehearsal and he finished fifth to Beware The Bear.

Trainer Says:

He will go to the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day. He seems to be very well and hopefully will run a good race. He is a very brave horse but the trouble is he is only tiny.

Video Form
27 Jan 2018:
2 Dec 2017:
4 Mar 2017:
26 Nov 2016:
28 Nov 2015:

Wolf Sword (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of five of his 25 starts and currently rated 127 over fences. Returned to winning form with a nose defeat of Poker School in a handicap chase at Wetherby (2m 3 1/2f) in November off a mark of 123.

Trainer Says:

He has been really good and improved each season that we have had him. He ran a very good race up at Ayr when finishing fourth first time out and then went to Wetherby where he won by a nose. His next target will be a two and a half mile handicap chase at Haydock.

Video Form
5 May 2018:
24 Feb 2018:
5 Mar 2017:
6 Feb 2017:
16 Dec 2016:
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