“When you start out in a team, you have to get the teamwork going and then you start getting something back”
Michael Schumacher
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Star in their eyes: Solstice Star wins gamely at Chepstow for Foxtrot Racing
picture courtesy of Chepstow Racecourse on Facebook

That time of the year...

Dear Friends,

It's been a very busy month, and the season is well and truly underway. In the few weeks since the last newsletter we've had over 16 different runners at 8 different courses.

We've had some solid results including Solstice Star winning a very hot race at Chepstow on 30th October for Foxtrot Racing, more on that below. We were also impressed by Ben Buie, who ran so promisingly at Ascot last Saturday, and we’re lucky enough to own his younger half-brother by Yeats.

The initial analysis of the results of our Owners' Survey has been done, and we'd like to share our plans off the back of these and we're very grateful to all who took part.

As ever there are plenty of ownership opportunities at all levels and budgets and plenty of options for the ideal Christmas gift whether that's one of our scarves or a share in one of our new foals, see below.

And, as ever,
give us a call if you'd like to attend a sale, discuss any aspect of ownership, or arrange a visit to view any of the horses for sale.

Dates for your diary
If you are interested in attending any of the above events please get in touch

The Ultimate Christmas Present?

Paul Davis and Gerry Hogan are linking up to buy two foals in the Irish Foal Sale as there is significant value in buying talented NH stock as foals. The foal part of this sale contains 1,318 babies. So Paul and Gerry will be covering an enormous number of miles looking at these youngsters.

We're going to have a dedicated foal area at the yard which gives us all the pleasure of following them as they grow. The horses will eventually be partnered out in 1/10th shares. The purchase price will depend on the price of the foals but will be cheaper the earlier you buy in. Keeping them will be very economical at just £75/month per share. 

Wouldn't this be a perfect Christmas gift and something to be enjoyed by the family over and over for years to come...

Want to know more? Contact Paul for details

Race Report: Chepstow 30th October

Solstice Star gave members of Foxtrot Racing lots to cheer about as he showed plenty of grit to see off some determined rivals in the closing stages of the Free Tips Every Day 'Confined' Handicap Hurdle.

Champion Jockey Richard Johnson showed plenty of guile as he took advantage of being allowed some space in the early part of the race, a tactic that paid dividends in the closing stages with Solstice Star leading from start to finish, winning by 3/4L.

We're absolutely delighted for Foxtrot Racing and hope this fantastic start is a sign of more to come

Watch the replay
(NB: ATR Player is still free but requires registration)
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Owners' Survey 2018

Thank-you to so many of you who gave us your views in our annual owners' survey. We were particularly impressed by the openness and level of detail from respondents when completing the comments section.

Well done Simon Prowting who came out of the hat to scoop the magnum of champagne.

We believe it's vital for the health of the owner-trainer relationship for us to listen to your views and take action where appropriate. With this in mind we've put together a seven point plan going forwards, based on analysis of the responses.

  1. Address the needs of different owner types. As the Americans would say, “It ain’t vanilla”. We need to tune in more effectively to the requirements of sole and joint owners as well as the needs of larger syndicates and the Racing Club.
  2. Regular weekly updates from Martin to owners, either face-to-face, by telephone, WhatsApp or email. This is the minimum to maintain that personal connection. Including a video of the horse was indicated as being very well received. The communication also needs to contain more on race planning and review of performance.
  3. Maintaining the friendliness and approachability of the yard. Making sure that Martin is available to spend time with owners is important. Some survey respondents would also like to know more about the staff, and who is looking after their horse.
  4. More success stories. In particular, making sure that we have flagged them up in all communications. For example there is a recommendation that we have a pop-up on the Home Page of the web site every time a horse wins.
  5. Using technology for communication. References were made to WhatsApp, videos, & audio. It needs to be personalised for the owner. Social media doesn’t appear to be very highly rated.
  6. Vet communication. The area of least satisfaction. The lowest score on the whole survey. A need for it to be a lot more informative.
  7. Maintaining the progress of yard improvement. Seen as an important step forward.  Continually improving the buildings and surrounding areas is well regarded - for example: the work on the new washdown area, and the building of the extra stable block.

Ownership Opportunities & New Horses

3yo bay filly by MAHLER

ex Bobset Leader by Bob Back

£5,450 + VAT per 1/6th Share –  £350 per month per share

It isn’t very often you get the chance to secure such a well-bred and well put together filly as this one and so we were delighted to secure her for the price we did – especially as our agent, Gerry Hogan, told us that if we didn’t buy her then he would buy her himself as he was so convinced of her value.

Mahler is really making his mark as a National Hunt sire with his early jumps progeny and has already sired the hugely talented three times graded winner Sutton Place and the 7 times winner and Grade 1 placed Ms Parfois. It’s no surprise that Mahler is producing top class staying progeny since he was a top-class stayer himself, winning the 2 miles Queens Vase at Royal Ascot finishing 3rd in the Melbourne Cup over the same distance when still a 3 year old.

The dam of our filly, Bobset Leader, has already produced two black-type horses from just 3 runners making our filly a half-sister to the 146 rated and 4-times winner Shantou Bob, and the 144 rated and 3 times winner Uncle Danny. Shantou Bob was most effective over 3 miles and Uncle Danny over 2 ½ miles so there is a high class staying feel to her pedigree.  

We expect “Betsy” to be just as talented as her half-brothers on the racetrack where we are looking forward to seeing her run under the ‘Martin Keighley Racing Partnership 5’ banner. We are confident she will have a long and successful racing career as she has the size and scope to jump fences. 

She was broken in by Martin Jones and returned to the yard in late July. Martin has already fallen in love with her as she has a great attitude and clearly enjoys her work. The current thinking is that she will be an end of season bumper filly who graduates to longer distance hurdling next seasons. She already possesses a great attitude to her work and she’s sure to give the Partnership many years of fun before eventually becoming a much sought after and valuable broodmare. She’s a lovely animal and a fantastic prospect and has already been entered for the valuable Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival, 30th April 2019.

Enquiries to Martin on 07767 472547 or Jon Hughes on 01451 850780.


3yo bay gelding by MOROZOV

ex Baraza by Kalanisi

£3,400 + VAT per 1/10th Share, £250 per month thereafter

This horse caught our eye from the minute the sales catalogue was published as it is a dam line that a number of our owners know well, containing the very promising young novice chaser Indian Hawk with Nicky Henderson and the very exciting dual-winning 4yo bumper, Melekhov, with Philip Hobbs. 

He is a notably good-looking horse, an excellent mover with a really athletic swagger about him.  Gerry Hogan absolutely loved him, and we snapped him up for somewhat less than we expected to have to pay, probably because the sire is not particularly well known.  By contrast Indian Hawk, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Suede, paid £110k for their fellow.

Morozov is by Sadler’s Wells and has already sired three encouraging young horses in Eduard, Opening Batsman and Marshal Zhukov.  Our lad is the third foal out of Baraza, and her first two foals have already won multiple times: Kinari has won four times to date over fences while Fletcher has won twice over hurdles.  We are confident that our gelding will maintain Baraza’s 100% strike rate with winners to runners 

Enquiries to Martin on 07767 472547 or Jon Hughes on 01451 850780.

The Martin Keighley Racing Club

Memberships for 2019 are open and filling up fast - this must be the ideal Christmas present for the racing fan.

Club membership includes two horses to follow, the chance to get owners badges and associated access on race-days, and regular yard visits and gallop mornings - not to mention the social benefits of belonging to such a well-run and friendly club.

All for just £500 for the whole year with no other fees to pay.

To find out more simply get in touch

 Team Focus

This month it's the turn of Kieran O'Hare. Kieran has been with us for over 3 1/2 years when he moved south from his Chester home after a stint with Donald McCain.

Kieran quietly gets on with his work and his riding has improved hugely since he has been here thanks to regular coaching from our jockeys that ride out and retired Stable Jockey Warren Marston. 

He has certainly been a main benefactor of us having Champion Court as a lead horse as Kieran has done plenty of schooling on him over hurdles and fences. He's led up quite a few Cheltenham winners for us most notably Solstice Star who he looks after and rides most of his fast work.

Kieran has worked hard towards his Amateur Licence which is in the process of being granted and, after giving The Kvilleken a great ride in a charity race a year ago he cannot wait to do it for real in the near future.  
Followers of Forecast (third from left) should be pleased this month...

Five To Follow
Our annual Five to Follow competition is always a lot of fun and you can WIN some great goodies.

Simply pick five horses - two of whom must be 4 years old or younger. Return your selections and entry fee to have the opportunity of winning some fantastic prizes.

  • 10 points if your horse wins
  • 5 points if your horse places 2nd
  • 3 points for a 3rd
  • 20 bonus points for a Cheltenham win, 10 for 2nd, 6 for 3rd

£10 per entry, enter as many times as you like. Prizes will be given to winners at the Champagne Breakfast at the end of the season.

The current standings are:
  1. Gordon Bendall - 20 points
  2. Alan Stickley - 18 points
  3. Roger Sollis - 18 points
  4. Alex Steedman - 18 points
  5. Stefan Hibbett - 16 points

Thank You Ash

This month we said a sad farewell to one of the most popular members of the team we've ever had - Ash Hark.

We knew he was popular in our household (Freddie especially used to follow him around everywhere & he helped him a lot with his riding) but it wasn't until we read his 'good luck' card from the team that we realised that every single member of the team were going to sorely miss him (including our dogs Windsor & George who he looked after when we were away).

Such a good rider, and a reliable and hard working member of the team, he was popular with owners too and there was nothing Ash wouldn't put his hand too including helping fix Freddie & Harry's bikes when required! 

Ash is relocating to Devon with his girlfriend Emma to set up home together and we wish them all the best.  He hopes to ride out for a yard local to his new home and possibly to start point to pointing again - he deserves to ride winners and it's frustrating we didn't quite manage to provide him with one. We've offered him a ride in a charity race sometime if he wants though and we look forward to him coming back to visit us when he can.  


It's a wrap! Stay warm in style with a Martin Keighley Racing scarf (ably modelled here by Neil Lloyd).

It's the essential neck-wear for the season and perfect for showing your support on those chilly (and not so chilly!) days at the track.

To order yours in time for Christmas at just £15 each, simply  get in touch
Warmest Regards
Martin, Belinda, Freddie, Harry and all the team at Condicote Stables

Copyright © 2018 Keighley Racing Ltd, All rights reserved.

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