12/5/19: A wide ranging catch-up. We had two runners at Plumpton today, unfortunately in the same race due to lack of alternatives. O'Rahilly ran really well over an inadequate trip, Tom Cheesman being very pleased with him and the implications for his potential for next season. He could well get a handicap mark after this which will let us know where we stand, but there could be another run before his summer break if the handicapper wants a further look. The same is true of Devious Dick's Dame. We got a fresh opinion on her from James Best, who said she has all the physical ability to be competitive but wastes it by getting too worked up in before the race and pulling too hard. If that can be eased out of her, we are in business. She too will have another run before summer in order to get an official rating. At the other end of the scale, Maisy Belle has been retired as the racehorse life was not for her. We gave her a good chance to show her mettle but it was not to be.
22/4/19: A mixed ten days or so for the Secret Circle. Firstly Windy Bottom went to Stratford, ran a cracker which was threatening to be her first ever win, only to be stymied by a career ending tendon injury. Next we had three at Plumpton on Easter Monday. Devious Dicks Dame ran solidly to be fourth in the juvenile hurdle. She was a bit wound up with the heat and big crowd, leading to some bad behaviour at the start, but the actual race itself was a step in the right direction. Brother Bennett finished second. It looked like a winnable race but the going proved to be a touch quick and an inconsistent old rival was having one of his better days. And then we had Maisy Belle who ran a rather flat race at the end of the card.
7/4/19; Three Plumpton runners and A WINNER! Hero of the afternoon was Brother Bennett who cruised to a win in the two mile chase that he landed in 2018. We can all put the first Sunday of April 2020 in our diaries and hope that Planet Nibaru does not swoop in from the edge of the solar system and ruin the fixture list. O'Rahilly was fourth in the novices' hurdle. He did not get that close to the first trio but it was only his second run back from two years off and when Tom asked him to fight for fourth a good racing attitude was shown. Things went less well for Maisy Belle, who ran after a heavy shower and disliked the rain softened ground. We will look for races on good or quicker ground and over 2m 6f or more. Page mentioned that Maisy would be suited by summer jumping and get plenty of suitable races to choose from, but when your "local" course become Stratford and Newton Abbot, there is a lot of mileage to put in.
22/3/19: Two runners at Huntingdon this week. Mixed results, to say the least. Brother Bennett was the good, finishing third. Had he not been one of several to suddenly make a mess of fence eight, second would have been possible but he ran into a winner that had an exceptionally good day. Next stop is probably Plumpton on Sunday April 7th. The other runner was Devious Dicks Dame, who had a bit of a nightmare. In a very slowly run race, to begin with, Page decided to try and keep the speed up but when nobody went with her, our mate had a bit of a panic attack and quickly dropped back to the rear. She had never had clear lead in a race before, and hopefully she learned that it is nothing to be frightened of. Benny probably gave her a stern lecture in the horsebox going home.
15/3/19: Brother Bennett put up a good third at Taunton. After eight weeks off he may have just run out of puff at the very end of the race but it looks, fingers crossed, that he is easing back to the sort of form that saw him win at Plumpton last spring. Also note that O'Rahilly is now being syndicated. He will have his long awaited pipe-opener at Fontwell tomorrow.
3/3/19: A range of updates. Maisy Belle was tried in a new bit at Plumpton and settled in the race much, much better (her excitement before the race was a different matter). Paige reported that she was not quite quick enough at two and a half miles but if Maisy stays as sensible we can try her over further. Devious Dicks Dame also ran well until the railway bend in a bumper, but she got roughed up a bit there and faded in the home straight. Finally, As for The Game Is A Foot, we are not happy that his splint injury has completely healed and with the ground going against him, the intention is to call it quits for this season.
18/1/19: Brother Bennett finally got what he wanted - a two mile, 0-100 chase at Plumpton this week. He ran quite well and finished third, possibly a bit unlucky to bump into a winner who was well handicapped and snapped out of a streak of iffy form.
10/1/19: A couple of Plumpton runners to report on. Windy Bottom has had a wind op since her last run (definitely the case, we have not gone all Colin Tizzard on this one) and she ran significantly better as a result. The post-race feedback was that she really wants three miles sooner or later, so that is the plan, in a mares only race if possible. Maisy Belle was not terribly well handicapped at first mark and did not do all that well. We expect better when he has convinced the handicappers to drop her a few pounds.
3/1/19: Three runners so far this year. We went to Cheltenham with Devious Dicks Dame as she has been running as if in need of race taken at a consistent and end to end gallop. This plan failed as the first part of the race went very slowly. A nice day out but an unsuccessful sporting adventure. The next horse in action got a much more positive outcome. The Game Is A Foot made his comeback from injury at Lingfield and finished third. There was a moment where second seemed to be possible, but the horse that he was threatening to catch got a second wind and was not for catching. His follow up run should be fun. At the end of the card Brother Bennett had another shot at two and a half miles but did not stay it this time - a good result was very possible entering the home straight, but it drifted away from him. He was not as fluent as usual in his jumping either, but that may have been the drying ground.
20/12/18: Devious Dicks Dame had a nice enough run at Newbury - she was tenth in the end, but lost most of her places and distance in the last furlong. A definite step forward from race one and we are now considering New Year's Day at Cheltenham for her next appearance. The race is for four year olds only, so she will be in against her peers and the uphill finish is likely to suit. Meanwhile, Brother Bennett has an entry on Boxing Day at Fontwell.
18/12/18: Two runners at Plumpton. Maisy Belle has only been in the yard a week and her old stable had been keeping her ticking over rather than blasting on with the hard work. In that context her seventh place was an acceptable opener. Later on the card we finally dig out a suitable chase for Brother Bennett, over two and a half miles. He enjoyed the chasing style of racing much more, ending up fourth. He met a couple of opponents that seemed to really come right on the day and hopefully easier races will be available.
11/12/18: A quick update on the Racing Club roster. After a scan it became apparent that O'Rahilly has fractured a splint, which is a big irritant for him in the short term, but will not hinder his long term racing career. Meanwhile, a new mare was picked up on Monday at the Ascot sales. A lightly raced seven year old mare, Maisy Belle is entered for Plumpton's last meeting of the year next Monday
20/11/18: Brother Bennett was supposed to be at Leicester this week for a chase, but bad ground led to it being abandoned quite early. This gave time to find an alternative closer to home and he went for a hurdle at Plumpton instead. With Tom Cheesman neatly dodgy the fallers three out (although some ground was lost in doing so), Benny ended up landing second place. We love it when a plan comes together, even if it was not the plan originally planned.
7/11/18: Windy Bottom, whom we share with the Lump O'Clock partnerships (so is it Secret O'Clock or the even very dubious sounding Lump Circle?) made her debut for us at Plumpton. She needed the run, but got a good blow out and will come on a bunch for it.
20/10/18: Brother Bennett was the first Secret Circle runner of autumn, finishing fifth at Stratford. The race was not too his liking, as the early pace was very low, causing him to pull too hard, and then the leaders quickened up unusually far from the finish. Other days will meet his needs a bit better.
The Secret Circle Racing Club operates costs a fixed £50 per month per share, with dual memberships available for £80 per month.The roster of active horses will always be at least three in number.
The horses on the club roster at present are:
THE GAME IS A FOOT (12y.o. gelding)
DEVIOUS DICKS DAME (4 y.o. filly)
Visit the Horses page to see their full details, and more pictures.
Brother Bennett : 9 year old grey gelding
Sire: Martaline, Dam: La Gaminerie, Dam's Sire: Cadoudal
A handful of shares (30%) have become available in this promising chaser who won this spring. They are available in either 10% shares at £1,000 down payment, plus £200 per month all in, or 5% shares of £500 plus £110 per month, all in. Contact Tony Waters on 07462 860 408 for complete details.
O'Rahilly : 7 year old bay gelding
Sire: Aristotle, Dam: Linoora, Dam's Sire: Lil's Boy
Contact Tony Waters 07462 860408
Please contact Tony for prices.
The syndicated horses are available for purchase in shares (or whole) at various prices, depending in the horses. Monthly fees are as per the normal training fees, pro rata to the percentage of the horse owned
The syndicated horses are:
BROTHER BENNETT (9 y.o. gelding)
O'RAHILLY (7 y.o. gelding)
Visit the Horses page to see their full details. Those in part ownership with others will usually alternate whose colours that they race in.
The Secret Circle operates both with purchase syndicates in which the members own a share of the horse that they have chosen to purchase and as a racing club, in which a roster of horses owned by the club are representing club members paying a monthly subscription.
The horses will be based with Zoe Davison, at Shovelstrode Stables, near East Grinstead, Sussex
The club aims to provide:
- At least three club horses on the roster at any given time, ideally mixing flat and jumps
- Monthly club stable mornings - first Saturday of every month
- Regular text bullletins
- Horse progress updates, via a monthly training report
- Race planning and entry information bulletins
- Annual club lunch on a local racecourse
- Owners badges and parade ring access
- Shares of any surplus generated
- Club members car badges
Anyone wishing to get involved with ownership within The Secret Circle can contact
Tony on 07462 860 408 for club info
Rosemarie on 07779 962153 for club info
Zoe on 07812 007 554 (alternatively Andy on 07970 839 357) to discuss the horses or arrange a visit to Shovelstrode Stud Racing Stables, Shovelstrode Lane, Ashurstwood, East Grinstead, Sussex, RH19 3PN.
Or visit the Contact Us page to email