Dan Wagstaffe

Dan Wagstaffe

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Middleham Park Racing Open Day - (15-02-15)

Middleham Park Racing showcased three lots of their string under Richard Fahey during an open day in Malton.
R F Racing Ltd is located in a picturesque setting at Mews House, Musley Bank. The gallops are nearby.

(Above left) Trainer Richard Fahey in a land rover on the gallops.

Three lots of the Middleham Park Racing operation http://www.middlehamparkracing.net/ were put through their paces by work riders Dave (Maroon), Tony (White), Natalie (Green), Paddy (Navy), Jack (Brown), Hayley (Yellow), Sammy (Pink), George (Orange).
(Below - The order of running for lot 2) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0fJInlRrXU 
(1) Codgers Gift - Maroon
(2) Elusive Epona - White
(3) Latenightrequest - Green
(4) Midnite Ride - Navy
(5) Obsidian - Brown
(6) Our Boy Jack - Yellow
(7) Ventura Quest - Pink
(8) Signoret - Orange
(Above) One of Richard's work riders Natalie.
(Below) A view of the gallops.
The visit consisted of 3 lots, tea break, hog roast sandwich and Q&A.
Richard believes the current crop of 2 year olds are the best he's trained!
Also in attendance were Assistant Trainer Robin O'Ryan http://racehorse-trainer.com/musley-bank-stables/team/assistant-trainer-robin-o%E2%80%99ryan and Middleham Park Racing representatives Mike Prince https://twitter.com/MiddlehamPark and https://twitter.com/Middlehampark1
In a week when NH jockey AP McCoy announced his pending retirement, I thought it was fitting to take a picture of the above...


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Dedication to Antoni Owczarek

This is a dedication to a friend of mine who sadly lost his life in May 2003.


I dedicated Honey Rich to a close friend of mine who tragically died in a car crash in May 2003. I first heard the news in an e-mail. Words have the ability to startle and to say they have the ability to provoke powerful emotions is an understatement. The small black print travels quicker than a bullet. The impact spreads across brain cells like a forest fire. The end result leaves jelly legs, empty lungs and panic. Words conjure up different images for each and every one of us.

Antoni Owczarek was a strong character who lived his life the right way. The first thing that struck me about him was his presence. He had a firm, true hand shake which regardless of his mood was always followed by an affectionate smile. Antoni's eye contact, deep and warm, made me realise I was in the company of a special person. I think in hindsight, Antoni was far too good for this world. Society's increasing sewer values, its monumental ego's and disregard for anything humble and worthwhile meant there were times when Antoni felt uncomfortable with his surroundings, and understandably so. A strong faith aided his rapid growth into a person who oozed maturity and yet despite his tender years, he still managed to illustrate these tremendous attributes. Antoni's modesty, charm and dignity meant his character glowed in a way that I haven´t seen before. He spoke about plans to join the police force shortly before his death. I think someone must have been looking after him.

(Above) Antoni in 2003. Image taken from You Tube video uploaded by owski83.

I'm sure there are aspects in the novel 'Honey Rich' that would have made Antoni laugh (Nige Honey's antics would make a gigolo raise an eyebrow) even if the immoral themes don't correlate with the very moral values that Antoni owned.

I discovered today the details of Antoni's untimely passing. As reported in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Antoni was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend, he had recently become engaged to his girlfriend - and he'd been due to travel to Canada later in the day.

This is a video of Antoni taken a few weeks before his death. Uploaded by owski83 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt6nBhwFVCI

RIP Mate

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A visit to Brian Ellison Racing

I was fortunate to spend this morning in the company of Malton based, North Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison. The visit was a stable yard package which included breakfast with Brian in his home.

(Above) A view of the gallops and work-in-progress parade ring.

I particularly enjoyed watching jockeys such as Megan Carberry, Tom Eaves and Danny Cook put the horses through their paces.

(Below) We travelled in Brian's vehicle to see the horses work.

(Left and Below) It was a great privilege to witness 2013 Irish Cesarewitch winner Montefeltro recuperating after injury.

(Below) After breakfast, Brian's wife Claire showed us the stables including the storage room which houses the jockey's silks.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Phil Kirby stable visit - Middleham (08-11-14)

Last Saturday, I visited Phil Kirby's yard in Middleham, North Yorkshire - http://philipkirbyracing.co.uk/

(Above) Trainer Phil Kirby (seated) on Middleham gallops.

When I arrived, jockey Henry Brooke https://twitter.com/Henrybrooke12 who has worked under Donald McCain welcomed me to the yard. He introduced me to Rocky Two http://www.racinguk.com/horse/80985-rocky-two and showed me how to bandage a horse.


(Above) Phil's horses prepare for a work out on the gallops.

(Below) The open landscape of Middleham.


I was extremely impressed with the set up of Phil Kirby's working yard (below).

Phil is a credit to the sport and Henry, Simon and the rest of the team made myself and the rest of the visitors feel very welcome.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

National Hunt - Charlie Hall Chase day, Wetherby (01-11-14)

A few pictures (below) taken at Wetherby Racecourse on Charlie Hall Chase day.

(Above left and below) top National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls who despite an appearance on The Morning Line in the morning arrived at Wetherby to monitor the progress of his 4 year old gelding Solar Impulse (above right), ridden by Noel Fehily who went on to win the bet365.com Novices' Limited Handicap Chase. 2 Mile. Class 3.

(Left) The face of AP McCoy is always a reassuring sign that National Hunt racing is back.

This is AP entering the paddock before winning the 2.05 on Aurore D'Estruval 10/11F in OLBG.com Mares' Hurdle (Listed Race), 2m110y Listed - Good, Class 1 Hurdle Listed.



(Below) Paul Nicholls trained Silviniaco Conti in the paddock before the 3.15 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2), 3m1f, Grade 2 - Good, Class 1 Chase, Grade 2.

(Below) The magnificent presence of Jonjo O'Neill trained, AP McCoy ridden Taquin Du Seuil in the paddock. The 7 year old finished 2nd in the Charlie Hall Chase behind Menorah 8/1.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Wolverhampton Racecourse 'Seventh October Meeting' - event masters race night - Thursday 16th October

(Left) Dunstall Park - the home of Wolverhampton Racecourse All- Weather course.

(Below - left) Richard Hughes in the paddock before the 5.30 opener of a seven race evening card.

(Above) Hughes prepares to enter track on Frognal Bear trained by Richard Hannon. 

(Above) Hughes won 'The eventmasters.co.uk Maiden Stakes, Class 5 race.

(Below) A view from the grandstand.

(Below) Wolverhampton is an impressive course. The main feature I noticed were the tight bends.

(Below) Kieren Fallon speaks to the media after winning the sixth race in style on Silver Rainbow 5/4F, trained by Charles Hills in 'The A-Plant Maiden Auction Stakes, Class 5, 7f 32y' 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Countryside Raceday (York 10-10-14)

(Below) The parade ring at York (note Graham Cunningham in the centre of the pic) before the first race of a 7 card meeting earlier today.

(Below) Timeform is an important name for any racing enthusiast.

(Below) I took this picture from the county stand. 
Miami Carousel 25/1, trained by John Quinn, ridden by Joe Doyle wins the 2.00 'The TSG Stakes' 6f, Class 3 Nursery Handicap.