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Tim Vaughan Racing - Spring Newsletter

Dear All,

Despite the continued attacks of Beasts from the East, the team has remained in good form and, when we do eventually get some sunshine and better ground, we have plenty of horses to run as the season draws to a close.

Records falling!

We have reached two notable milestones in recent weeks, with Point Of Principle's success at Ascot completing a clean sweep of winners at every National Hunt track in Britain.  

We haven't actually had that many runners at the track since I started training and narrow defeats for Rigidity in the Ladbroke and Saved By John in a valuable handicap chase could both have gone the other way. 

However, it was wonderful to see Point Of Principle get home by a nose (pictured left) for owners Oceans Racing (pictured above in the winners' enclosure) and, with the handicapper having reacted with a stiff-looking 11lbs rise to a mark of 136, we will now head to Aintree next week for the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle, in which we have had a winner (Saint Are) and a third (Debece) in recent seasons.

The other milestone was of 700 winners under rules, which was realised when Bassarabad got the better of his sole remaining rival in a stamina-sapping three-mile, heavy-ground handicap chase at Wetherby under Alan Johns for owner Dave Pearn.  The breakdown of winners (we are up to 706 now!) is as follows:

UK Jumps:  671          UK Flat: 34          IRE Jumps: 1


Tanit Back to winning ways

Tanit River is a wonderful horse to have in the yard and he was winning for the sixth time from 24 starts when making most of the running in a three-mile handicap chase at Sandown Park for owners Brian Ead and Martin Moore.

He jumped particularly well under Alan Johns and, looking the likeliest winner from some way out, he kept on strongly to score in really good style. 

It was very pleasing to see him back to his best, building on the promise he had shown in the Mandarin at Newbury on his previous outing, but a couple of significant jumping errors on his return to the course put paid to any chance of a follow-up win.  Nevertheless, I have long thought him capable of making up into a Welsh National horse and that will be his main target next season, as he is a very talented individual - he is off to enjoy a good spell in the paddocks first.

Please click here to see Point of Principle in winning action

Please click here to see Bassarabad winning at Wetherby 

Please click here to see Tanit River's Sandown Park success

Jaunty off the mark at Catterick

The best won't be seen of Jaunty Flyer until he is sent over fences next season, but he has built up a solid record over hurdles in the meantime and, having finished third in a very competitive maiden hurdle at Chepstow on his previous outing, he duly got off the mark when sharing the spoils in a novice event at Catterick for owner David Fox.

Neither the stiff track nor the intermediate trip  were ideal for him and, having made most of the running, he looked likely to finish second when headed inside the final furlong.  However, he battled back very gamely to join issue on the line (picture above) under a strong ride from Alan.  Looking ahead he is one I am very much looking forward to seeing over a fence.

Spectator rallies for Musselburgh win

Spectator has been lightly-raced since joining us off the flat in 2015, but he is a horse with plenty of ability and, having travelled with customary zest, he showed a very good attitude to knuckle down on the run-in at Musselburgh, a mistake at the last having at one stage looked likely to cost him the race.

Fourth at Uttoxeter on his next outing on ground that he hated, he remains on a very workable mark and finished a good third in the £50,000 two mile Challenger Series Final at Haydock Park last weekend.  I am sure he will find improvement for better ground and I am very hopeful he can land a valuable handicap hurdle this summer.

Brian doubles up

Looksnowtlikebrian is a really nice staying chaser in the making and the son of Brian Boru got off the mark at the second time of asking over fences with an authoritative win at Ffos Las in December under Richard Johnson.

A dual winner over hurdles, he missed the second half of last season, but has returned a stronger horse and I am very hopeful that he can develop into a challenger for some of the valuable staying handicaps over the next couple of years for owners Steve and Reg Botham.

He followed up on his most recent outing at Ayr, just getting the better of a protracted duel in a three-runner contest that had looked a match on paper, and hopefully he will have one more outing before being put away for the autumn.

Click here to watch Jaunty Flyer's close finish at Catterick

Click here to see Spectator's late rally at Musselburgh

Click here to view Looksnowtlikebrian's Ffos Las win

French connection

C'est Du Gateau is a real chaser in the making and should do very well at that game next autumn, but for now he is learning his trade over hurdles and it was very pleasing to see him get off the mark on his return from a short break in what were attritional conditions at Towcester last month under promising conditional Richard Patrick.

The son of Laveron is a half-brother to Dame De Compagnie, who ran Point Of Principle to within a nose at Ascot and, out of a half-sister to a Grade 3-winning chaser, he looks sure to progress over the larger obstacles next year.

Normandy King had looked likely to win on his first two starts of the season but had disappointed just before Christmas and we gave him a short break after the new year.  He has returned in great form and I was delighted to see him get off the mark over fences with an authoritative succcess at Southwell under Alan Johns (pictured above).  His owner The 600 Club have shown plenty of patience with him and hopefully he can reward that further in the weeks ahead.

Click here to see C'est Du Gateau in winning action

Click here to see Normandy King's Southwell success



Andrea finishes runner-up in Godolphin Awards ceremony

I'm sure all of you are aware of the contribution that Andrea makes to our yard and we were all absolutely delighted when we heard she had made it through to the final three of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards and it was a privilege to attend the awards cemerony in London.

Though she lost out in her category to the eventual overall winner Jess McLernon, it is a fantastic achievement to have got so close and Andrea and indeed all the nominees can be hugely proud of their achievements.  

Dickie shines on Native River

We were all delighted to see Dickie Johnson and Native River get the better of a titanic tussle with Might Bite at Cheltenham to land his second Gold Cup, 18 years after Looks Like Trouble's success in the race.

Dickie has been such a big part of things here since I started training and it was brilliant of him to come down to see us at the yard last week with his trophy (pictured right with owner Jonathan Shinton)!

He is set to land his third consecutive Championship and both that and his Gold Cup glory are richly deserved.

Winter is over!

Well, we think it is..! 

We have certainly all had to deal with some pretty desperate weather this winter and I can't thank the team enough - they have worked tremendously hard and it was a pleasure to take them all out for dinner last week to thank them for all their efforts.


Sefton third Debece has Aintree aim

It has been a frustrating few months for Debece, but I am glad to report that he is in training, looks really well and we are hoping to start him back at Aintree's Grand National meeting next week, where he finished a very close third in the Sefton last year.

If not, we will consider all other options, including the Scottish National meeting and Punchestown, and we are just looking forward to seeing him in action again.

Pigeon Catcher

Officer Hoolihan ran a promising race on his return from a break when third at Wincanton last time and the son of Kayf Tara is hopefully set for a successful spring campaign when the ground comes in his favour. 

A wide-margin winner at Huntingdon in October, he remains capable of further improvement over fences and is on a workable mark.