With a string of more than 50 horses, all under the care of Willie Mullins, Ricci is looking to some of his recent acquisitions proving their worth.
Ricci owned three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Vautour, who had to be put down yesterday after breaking his leg in a freak accident.
Four-year-old Senewalk heads most ante-post markets for the 2017 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, although he has yet to jump in public.
“As a son of Walk In The Park, just like Douvan and Min, we have high hopes for him,” Ricci said in his blog for BetBright.
“While we don’t want to put anyone off him he hasn’t jumped a hurdle in public yet.
“He looks a two-miler and if we can get a clear run with him hopefully he will be near the top of the pecking order come March.”
French recruit Francin, a three-year-old by Air Chief Marshal, seems to be impressing at Mullins’ yard and is towards the head of the betting for the Triumph Hurdle.
“We like this guy. He won nicely over a mile and a half at Lyon in June this year,” said Ricci.
“Provided he takes to hurdling we would be hopeful he can compete at the top level in the juvenile division.”
Riven Light, a four-year-old gelding by Raven’s Pass, might well be one to follow, according to Ricci.
“He hasn’t got your typical jumping pedigree but he is a strong-looking animal. He will start in a two-mile maiden hurdle and is one to note,” he said.
Looking even further ahead than just this season, Ricci feels Chacun Pour Soi is a four-year-old with a big future over fences.
“This is an absolutely stunning horse who has been bought as a chaser,” said Ricci.
“His hurdles form held up for the majority of the spring at a strong level in Auteuil and he will stay over those for another season.
“He should pay his way this coming season but we are already looking forward to going chasing with him in 12 months’ time where hopefully he will be a leading light.”
Champagne Fever won the Cheltenham Champion Bumper for Mullins and Ricci in 2012, and one for that sphere this season is the recent point-to-point recruit to the yard, Getabird.
“Getabird has Long Run and J’y Vole buried in the pedigree so a good, long-term prospect,” said the owner.
“He is from the first crop of Getaway and Willie seems to like them so far. It could be Christmas before we see him on the track.”
Written by author and horse racing fanatic Grant Copson and assisted by racing analysis Lee Lewis, the 2016 edition of The Final Flight Jumps Guide includes contributions by racecourse commentator and At The Races presenter Mike Cattermole, leading bloodstock agent Tom Malone and Racing Post’s well-known paddock watcher Ken Pitterson.
Richard Johnson, the 2016 Champion jockey, is joined by Lizzie Kelly, Tom Scudamore and leading Irish Point-To-Point rider Derek O’Connor for the Jockey’s Views section, where they will each highlight their own horses to follow for the 2016/2017 season. This publication is sure to prove a MUST read for all National Hunt racing enthusiasts and again priced at £9.99, it represents excellent value for money.
Dan Skelton continued his quick ascent up the training ranks in 2015/16 by winning his largest amount of prize money, training his highest number of winners and saddling his first Cheltenham Festival victor. Here, the Warwickshire trainer discusses his progressive string which could lead him to further glories.
Dan Skelton celebrated a first Cheltenham Festival winner when Superb Story landed the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle last in March and that well-named individual more than reflects the rapid rise through the ranks of his young trainer.
Now his fourth season with a trainer’s licence, Skelton has already 24 winners and over £232,000 in prize money and is within in touching distance of beating his first season score in 2013/2014 when 27 came his way.
That was increased to 73 in 2014/2015 but the walls came tumbling down last season when 104 winners and over £1,255,000 in prize money was netted on the domestic front.
Superb Story is one of an elite team of hurdlers being readied to grace the jumping scene once more and Virgilio set out his stalls as very much a novice chaser to follower when scoring impressively at Newton Abbot last week.
Skelton has plenty of upwardly-mobile ammunition to call on in the coming months and kindly guided Tony Elves of attheraces.com through some of his leading prospects.
Runner-up, beaten three quarters of a length, to Clondaw Cracker in a Warwick bumper in April.
“He ran well at Warwick in a bumper and we like him. He is going to start at two miles over hurdles but he will definitely end up being a stayer. He’s a chaser as well and is a lovely, lovely horse.”
139-rated hurdler. Winner over hurdles at Uttoxeter and Exeter last season and runner-up in a conditions event at Enghien.
“He ran well in a conditions hurdle at Enghien in the Spring but is very much a chaser and is a great big horse who will go novice chasing. He will run at most trips but I reckon he will eventually end up being a stayer.”
Winning Irish point-to-pointer who won his only bumper at Warwick in March.
“He is a real nice horse who won his only start for us at Warwick after winning an Irish point. He will go to Aintree on October 23rd for a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle and then we will go from there.”
148-rated chaser. Made a winning debut over fences at Warwick in May when beating Rock On Oscar 13 lengths and followed up with another impressive display in an intermediate chase at Newton Abbot last week when slamming Brother Tedd six lengths.
“He has made an excellent start to his chasing career and followed up his first success with another exhilarating display at Newton Abbot last week. He goes for the Rising Stars at Wincanton on November 5th and if he carries on as he is then the long term target is the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton.”
For more Dan Skelton horses go to attheraces.com
Showed ability in three runs in bumpers in Ireland before joining his new yard and made an impressive start when winning a reasonably well contested bumper at Market Rasen (24/09). He doesn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary but he should continue to progress and showed more than enough here to believe that he can make his mark in minor novice hurdles or handicap company a little further down the line. WON @ 4/1 on his hurdling debut.
Trained by Stuart Edmunds, Sired by Mamool
Chestnut gelding, 5yo
A relatively cheap purchase for a winning pointer but there was more than enough promise in his racecourse debut in a Newton Abbot bumper to believe that it could be money well spent. A scopey individual, he moved into contention smoothly and was only run out of the places in the closing stages in what may turn out to be an above average race of its kind. Staying hurdles are likely to be his game and he should be able to pick up a novice before going handicapping.
Trained by M Keighley Sired by Mountain High
Bay gelding, 5yo
Often raced too freely in her first season over hurdles but she improved at the backend and there was a lot to like about her seasonal reappearance in a traditionally hot race at Chepstow (08/10). She was held when making a juddering mistake at the last but she had travelled and hurdled well up to that point and it’s easy to see her making further improvement over obstacles now that she’s more tractable with a strongly run two miles possibly ideal.
Trained by D Skelton, Sired by Teofilo
Bay mare, 6yo
A winner between the flags in Ireland but a distinctly moderate performer judged by her performances under Rules so far. However, she is handicapped accordingly and her run at Huntingdon (02/10) offered more encouragement. It was her first start for a new yard and first in a tongue tie and she stayed on stoutly enough in the straight – admittedly from a long way back – to believe that she might be able to pick up a small race granted a stiffer test.
Trained by J Farrelly Sired by Definite Article
Brown mare, 8yo
For more notebook horses go to sportinglife.com
- It’s all change at Henry de Bromhead’s progressive yard for 2016/17 as while he’s no longer training for owner Alan Potts he has been sent a number of former Willie Mullins inmates from Gigginstown and also has new recruits from other trainers on either side of the Irish Sea.
Henry de Bromhead has steadily built his yard up over the last 15 years into one of the leading operations in the Ireland. The legendary Sizing Europe was a constant presence on the big-race scene for nine of those years, but following the retirement of the great horse, de Bromhead is moving forward in search of his next stable star.
Last season saw de Bromhead finish third in the Trainers’ Championship with 48 winners, which is almost identical to the tally he secured in the previous two seasons. While he had the disappointment of losing the Alan Potts-owned horses during the summer, he recently received a significant boost in firepower from Gigginstown House Stud which will only help in his bid to continue to rise up the ranks.
Henry was good enough to let Kevin Blake of attheraces.com behind the scenes at his Knockeen base to go through the many promising horses he has in his care.
A 145-rated chaser, he won two of his four starts in novice chases last season.
“He’s in great form and is schooling well. I’m hoping to run him a second-season chase that’s coming up soon at Naas, as he has a bit of a tendency to jump left and should be better suited to going that way round. He has settled down at home and hopefully that will translate to the track. If it does, we’d like to try him over a bit further, but we’ll start him off over two miles and see from there.”
A 127-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Galway in October for Eoin Griffin prior to acquitting himself well in stronger company and joining de Bromhead later in the season.
“He’ll start off over fences at Galway on Tuesday. He schooled well the other day and has a good technique over a fence, so we’re hoping for a good run and that he can find some improvement over fences.”
A 142-rated hurdler, he won a Grade 3 novice hurdle for Willie Mullins last season.
“He showed plenty in novice hurdles last season and looks a real chasing type. He’s likely to start off over fences in November.”
A 152-rated chaser, he won the valuable Munster National at Limerick last season.
“We decided to give the Munster National a miss this year as he had a lot of weight and he’ll run in the Daily Star Chase at Punchestown on Thursday. He’s a real character and is a lovely horse to have around.”
For the full stable tour go to At The Races
Jack Berry House officially opened its doors on Monday 20th April with a number of current and retired jockeys calling in to view all the facilities on offer.
Jack Berry House contains a state-of-the-art gym, hydrotherapy pool and associated respite units together with Moller House, the home of the resident site manager, Jo Russell. Established to assist the overall fitness and wellbeing of jockeys and with specialist equipment to aid recovery from injury, Jack Berry House will be the Injured Jockeys Fund’s northern base rehabilitation and fitness centre.
Vice-Patron Jack Berry, has worked tirelessly to raise over £3m towards the cost of the project. Principal contractor Illingworth & Gregory were committed to a high quality product at every stage of the construction under the close supervision of architects, Townscape, quantity surveyor, Derrick Kershaw and project manager, LHL Group .
Irish Injured Jockeys raises funds and increases awareness of the requirement for public funding to provide for our injured jockeys. Irish Injured Jockeys works with individual cases and also supports The Jockeys Emergency Fund, The Drogheda Memorial Fund and The Irish Jockeys Trust.
Irish Injured Jockeys was set up in 2014 to increase awareness and raise vital funds to support our injured jockeys. Funds raised through Irish Injured Jockeys go to the injured riders who are in most need of support.
With the nature of horse racing posing such high risks to our jockeys on a daily basis, it is essential that we have a public fundraising vehicle in place through which we can raise much needed funds on a regular and consistent basis.