26/12/19: Two runners took to the mire on Boxing Day. The Game Is A Foot was up into class 3 level where we hoped a low weight would be a big advantage in the conditions. Instead he just found the best horses in that standard too good, but he did stay on gamely to take back fifth on the run-in. Brother Bennett had been off over seven weeks and being such a stuffy sort he needs to keep busy to stay fit. He was in the mix to three out and only lost fourth on the run-in, so that will do him just right for his next intended spin, around Plumpton in mid-January.
20/12/19: Two runners this week. O'Rahilly finished third at Plumpton in a chase, keeping on neatly after the awkward downhill run had been completed. Devious Dicks Dame had her seasonal return for the racing club at Fakenham and needed the spin. She should now get a handicap mark and we can look for some realistic races to shoot at.
11/12/19: Off to Leicester today with two runners and they both did well. It would be fair to say that The Game Is A Foot did exceedingly well, losing by a head to a horse eight years his junior. Despite his thirteenth birthday being just three weeks away it does look as if there is life in those legs yet. Earlier on the card Cagliostro confirmed his promising debut for the club, losing by only eight lengths when fourth over fences.
3/12/19: A couple of nice days for The Secret Circle. O'Rahilly made a very functional chase debut at Plumpton. He did not have the spark to take on 140+ rated opponents but his jumping was very sound. And our veteran hero The Game Is A Foot showed that there is still life in his old legs with second places over hurdles at Lingfield. Both can go onwards from these efforts.
19/11/19: We were out of luck in the flat riders' hurdle at Lingfield, with Ruacana being the best of Zoe's trio. The Game Is A Foot ran a cracker to be third given that the River Avon washed away his warm-up race. O'Rahilly was just behind him in fourth, so that the old timer got one over on the whippersnapper. O'Rahilly has plenty of time on his side.
7/11/19: A round up of a busy weekend. Cagliostro went to Huntingdon for his stable debut and finished a very pleasing second. Leaving the back straight we were seriously entertaining thoughts of a 66/1 winner but he found lack of a race catching him out as the final couple of furlongs arrived. James Best was riding and noted that Cagliostro jumped efficiently and worked hard to keep second, even when tired. A very encouraging start. The following day we had two at Plumpton. Brother Bennett was forced to go up to 2m 3.5f due to lack of alternatives. He needed a slowly run race to last that far on heavy ground, but inconsiderate opponents forced it a touch too fast. In contrast, later on the card O'Rahilly seemed to have a strong chance because of stepping up to two and a half miles, but the going did not get his thumbs up and Page felt that he does not like going down the hill at Plumpton. We will look for races that solve both issues.
23/10/19: The first runners were out and about. With plenty of about. Brother Bennett, who is a bit inclined to personally see the season as long and hard, and thus not needing full readiness for race number one, went to Stratford and ended up a staying on close third. Very encouraging. O'Rahilly was at Plumpton where he found two miles a bit sharp but kept on really well for a fourth, beaten four lengths and a whisker off of third. He will likely be back there for a two and a half miler in a fortnight. There is a pause on plans for The Game Is A Foot because whilst he is plenty old enough to know better, he had a roll in his box, ripped off a shoe and then stood on the toe of it for good measure. Under treatment but 4th November is likely to be too soon for a 100% recovery.
12/10/19: The first runners of the winter season are imminent. Brother Bennett is due to go to Stratford on 19th October, and the club horses all have intended engagements - Cagliostro at Stratford on 31st October, The Game Is A Foot at Plumpton on 4th November (or Lingfield on 12th November, or maybe both) and Devious Dicks Dame at Fontwell on 8th November.
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.
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
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 (10 y.o. gelding)
O'RAHILLY (8 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.
Brother Bennett : 10 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 : 8 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 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 (13y.o. gelding)
DEVIOUS DICKS DAME (5 y.o. filly)
CAGLIOSTRO (8 y.o. gelding)
Visit the Horses page to see their full details, and more pictures. Click on the Membership Form button for a pdf application.