Following a couple of months of wet and windy weather NARANJA (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) set off for Chepstow racecourse on 19th January to run in the 'In Play Betting At 188Bet Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier For The Challenger Mares' Hurdle Series)'
(Class 3) (0-130, 4yo+), 2m 3½f, Going: Heavy, 9 hurdles - 2 omitted.
Naranja won this, her first handicap race, by a cracking 9 lengths !!!  A brilliant ride by Gavin Sheehan once again.

Naranja at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018

‘Racing Post’ analysis:
Race run over an additional 14yds. Fair mares' form.

NARANJA was well backed and made all on this handicap debut, her mark having been untouched after her Lingfield maiden win which also came against mares. She stayed on much too strongly for the runner-up, who looked a threat at the second-last. Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan both continue in fine form.

QUOTES: "Naranja won nicely. She enjoyed the ground and I thought we'd keep it simple. She was probably off a nice mark and ability-wise she wouldn't be the most natural, but she toughs it out and Jamie's horses are flying. She wouldn't be the most scopey sort, but she'd probably jump a fence and she's game - the more you ask the more she gives you" - Gavin Sheehan, rider.

Naranja wins at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018-1

Chepstow blog
"Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan completed a double in the 2m 4f mares hurdle with NARANJA (13/8 fav, backed from 3/1 in the morning).  She made all the running until Lerichi Belle drew alongside two out, looking like a big threat.  They duelled for a furlong but Naranja proved the stronger and galloped on to a nine length victory."

Naranja at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018-a

Our broodmares are looking well awaiting the arrival of their foals in the Spring. Centoria (Generous x Cent Prime), our boarding mare, will be the first to foal - she is due to Sholokhov in March.
Here she is saying hello to her first foal (by Midnight Legend), now a strapping 2 year old gelding, on their first meeting since weaning.

Centoria and Bugsy-Jan 2018-1

Lecon Benefique (Beneficial x Lessons Lass) is due to Kayf Tara in April

Louise - Jan 2018-2

and Kassis (Kalanisi x Gastina) is due to Mount Nelson in May.
Everything crossed for successful deliveries of healthy foals for these 3 mares.

Kassis - Jan 2018

Taking advantage of a less busy period for our feed delivery guys, they have been putting their various skills to good use renovating one of the barns.  So we now have a covered turn-out area on one side for use during inclement weather and 10 large stables on the other side of a dividing wall to house the 2 year olds and the horses when they come home from training for their summer holidays.

Barn renovation-2018

And finally, our Rotweiller puppy Zeus is all grown up and on guard !!

Zeus - Jan 2018

Monday 13th November found us in Ireland at Tattersalls November National Hunt Sales.  It was good to catch up with all our friends and contacts we have made over the years and to partake of the odd Guinness or two in the bar !

Our thanks to all the staff at Ballincurrig House Stud, both colts looked fabulous after their 6 weeks pre-sales prep with them and our Yeats x Ballyhoo (Supreme Leader) foal was the first of the two to go through the sales ring, on Monday.  He was sold to Tommy Newton.

Freddie-1b

Tuesday afternoon saw our second foal, by Telescope x Lecon Benefique (Beneficial) go into the sales ring.  He was one of only 3 of Telescope's first crop presented at the sale; he was sold to Pat McCarthy.

Buzz-3a

We hope their new owners are happy with them and we look forward to maybe seeing them back here in the Derby Sale in 2020 !!

On 1st November our young mare, Toodlepip (Robin Des Champs x Shannon Theatre), left Denis Leahy's yard and travelled to Harry Fry's yard in Seaborough, Beaminster in Dorset.  She has settled in really well and I visited the yard on 22nd November and watched her first canter on their gallops.  I am now looking forward to her making it to the racecourse.

Polly at Harry Fry's - 22nd Nov 2017-2

Here she is coming back in after work and looking good after her wash down.Polly at Harry Fry's - 22nd Nov 2017-1 (2)

Naranja (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) had her first run of the season on 6th November at Plumpton in the Download The Free At The Races App Mares' Novices' Hurdle - (Class 4) (4yo+) - 2m4½f - Going: Good - 12 hurdles.
Gavin Sheehan was in the plate and she was a creditable 3rd of 10 runners.

Naranja at Lingfield - 28th Nov 2017 (Photo by Alexandra Walters)

Her second run was at Lingfield on 28th November in the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares' Maiden Hurdle - (Class 4) (4yo+) - 2m3½f - Going: Soft - 8 hurdles  (2 omitted because of low sun).
Naranja won this race (8 runners), guided home by Gavin Sheehan.

Naranja-Lingfield Winner

Racing Post analysis:
"Not always fluent, made most, headed 3 out, pushed along before 2 out, led again before last, stayed on and drew clear by almost 4 lengths."

Quotes:
“They got racing a little early and Gavin waited on Naranja and let them get on with it. She is very tough. She deserved that - she has only run two poor races and they were in Listed races last season when we threw her in at the deep end. She won her bumper first time and ran a great race to be third in a Listed bumper. She jumps well so tried her highly but then kept her novice status for this season. She is rated 112 but whether we go down the handicap route or go for another novice under a penalty I don't know”.
- Jamie Snowden, trainer.