Evan Williams Stable Tour

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Race horse trainer EVAN WILLIAMS. Copyright Martin Lynch.

There is no doubt the Evan Williams yard is going through a transitional period.

With stable stalwart De Faoithesdream retired and fellow poster boys Court Minstrel and Buywise likely to follow suit in the near future, this season represents a changing of the guard for a trainer blessed with a handful of promising youngsters.

The 2017-18 campaign would certainly have been considered a success with prize-money a near career-best £783,136, up by around £185,000 from the previous season – an achievement that bears greater significance considering two particular blows the yard suffered in December last year.

In the space of just over a fortnight, smart novice chaser Gayebury and talented novice hurdler Evening Hush both fell foul of career-ending injuries on the track. Williams says: “These things happen in racing. You just have to take your medicine and move on.”

Two of the stable’s four-year-olds who stood out in bumpers in the spring were debut winner Mick Manhattan and the mare Crackle Lyn Rosie, who showed great potential when running second to potentially smart Nicky Henderson-trained rival Lust For Glory.

“We have a lovely bunch of young horses,” says Williams, “although it’s difficult at this stage to gauge just how good they all are. Several will be coming out over the next few weeks and could be anything.”

It is customary for Williams to have a staying chaser in mind for major handicap riches later in the season, but by his own admission a candidate has yet to come forward. He says: “I’d love to have a horse for one of the Nationals but I probably don’t right now. We’re focusing on youth and I’m excited for the season ahead.”

Stable profile

Trainer Evan Williams

Yard Fingerpost Farm

Where Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Started training 2003-04

Horses in yard 81

Members of staff 25

Travelling head lad David Burchell jnr

Stable jockey Adam Wedge

Conditionals Conor Ring, Mitchell Bastyan, Lewis Gordon

Amateurs Isabel Williams, Ellis Collier

Office William Williams, Cath Williams

Website evanwilliamsracing.co.uk

Twitter @EWilliamsRacing

WINNERS IN BRITAIN

2017-18 52

2016-17 51

2015-16 70

2014-15 63

PROFIT/LOSS TO A £1 STAKE

2017-18 -£144.49

2016-17 -£157.01

2015-16 +£12.95

2014-15 -£52.30

TOTAL PRIZE-MONEY 2017-18

£783,136

HORSES

Annie Bonny

Five-year-old mare

Black Sam Bellamy (sire) – Queenoz (dam)

Owner: Mrs C Williams

Form figures: 1-5

Racing Post Rating: 100 (hurdles); Official rating: –

She’s a grand little mare who won her sole point-to-point but I still don’t know a massive amount about her. We’re learning all the time with her and will continue down the novice hurdle route.

Aqua Dude

8g Flemensfirth – Miss Cozzene

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

F320/1P-

RPR 143c OR 139c

He’s a promising horse but won’t run this season. It was unfortunate because he cut into a tendon last year and will need a fair bit more time to recover from that.

Arcade Attraction

4g Arcadio – Tobetall

RER Williams

Unraced

He’s a young horse but I couldn’t tell you if he’s good, bad or ugly right now. He’s entered up in novice hurdles in the coming weeks.

If I could sum up last season in one word . . .

Solid.

Billy Bronco

7g Central Park – Nan

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

14/3428-

RPR 124c OR 119c

He would have gained a lot of useful experience last season and didn’t do a whole lot wrong, but just wasn’t the quickest learner in the world. He ran okay in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter but I’m not sure he stayed the trip after travelling nicely there. He’s stronger now and could be a good staying horse somewhere down the line.

Bold Plan

4g Jeremy – Kings Orchid

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

12-

RPR 109b OR –

He won his point-to-point and ran a really good race when second in his bumper at Wincanton. He must have a good constitution because he was so fresh when he came over. We didn’t expect a massive amount going into the race and he surprised us. We’ll go novice hurdling with him.

Burn Baby Byrne

5m Malinas – Top Of The Dee

RER Williams

22-1213

RPR 98b OR –

This former pointer has a good attitude and ran nicely in a bumper at Ludlow recently, staying very well. We’ll tick away in mares’ hurdles.

Buywise

11g Tikkanen – Greenogue Princess

T Hywel Jones

4/8610U-

RPR 158c OR 145c

He did us proud again last season, winning the veterans final at Sandown, and things clearly didn’t go to plan in the Grand National. He’ll start off over hurdles in the next few weeks and we’ll see if the old boy retains his ability. He’s been a joy to train over the years.

No10 Buywise – Leighton Aspell wins
The Veterans’ Handicap Chase (The Final Of The 2017 Veterans’ Chase Series)
Sandown Pk 06/01/2018
©cranhamphoto.com

Carouse

3g Excelebration – Terre Du Vent

Richard Abbott & Mario Stavrou

2

RPR 97h OR –

He was quite handy on the Flat and ran okay on his first start for us at Ludlow but it was a strange race. The favourite was in behind and an outsider won, getting a good positive ride that probably caught us out a bit. He’ll certainly improve for the run and should win a nice little hurdle this season.

Cesar Collonges

6g Fragrant Mix – Prouesse Collonges

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

5/41025-

RPR 118h OR –

He’s a big, strong horse who managed to win over hurdles last year but jumping a fence should be the making of him. He’s bred to get a trip, so winning over two miles last season definitely bodes well. He’ll go straight into novice chasing over further than two miles.

Chooseyourweapon

5g Flemensfirth – Definite Love

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

1/1143-

RPR 132h OR 130h

He’s a nice, strong horse and did well to win two novice hurdles last year. He’s a big boy and won’t be out too early because he wants plenty of cut in the ground. It’s been a dry autumn and when the ground gets soft he’ll go novice chasing.

Clyne

8g Hernando – Lauderdale

David M Williams

324413-

RPR 155h OR 152h

He finished the season off well and his best run was probably his last run at Aintree. He’s been a very prolific horse over the years. I’d say we’ll campaign him in three-mile hurdles. He wouldn’t be one for chasing as he’s not even a good jumper of a hurdle. He’s been placed in a top-level hurdle, so I can’t see any sense in running over fences now. There’s no doubt he could be placed in Graded hurdles this season.

Race in focus

Clyne has been a good horse for us and we’re eyeing up the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on Charlie Hall day next month. He’s never run over three miles but the trip might unlock some improvement.

CLYNE with A Wedge wins Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter 17-318.

Cotton Jenny

7m Craigsteel – Rose N Alice

Billy Bates

235232

RPR 121c OR 120c

She’s a genuine girl but has probably suffered by consistently running well in novice chases and the handicapper has her a bit too high for her to win. She’ll rectify that in time but she needs to fall down the weights.

Court Minstrel

11g Court Cave – Theatral

Mrs Janet Davies

80-0077

RPR 155h OR 131h

We thought it would probably be his last run at Chepstow recently. Age is catching up with him but he did run a solid race there and came out of it well. We’ll persevere with another run or two and see how he goes but he’s not far away from enjoying a long, honourable retirement. He’s been a smashing horse but clearly doesn’t have the same zip he once had. It’d be great to go out on a win and we probably won’t ask him to race through the winter.

Court Royale

5g Court Cave – Windsor Dancer

Mrs Janet Davies

2-33F3

RPR 104h OR 110h

It’s just taken a bit of time for the penny to drop with him. He ran well in a Ludlow bumper and the form has worked out well with Kim Bailey’s Vinndication looking very smart. He hasn’t run as well since, however. We’ll tick away on tracks like Bangor where the ground shouldn’t get too bad as he wouldn’t want it too soft.

Crackle Lyn Rosie

4f Kayf Tara – Native Sunrise

RER Williams

23

RPR 93 OR –

She did nothing wrong in her bumper – the winner looked smart and she must have run well to finish second. She travelled really nicely into the race at Fontwell [on Wednesday]. We’ll see how she comes out of it before making a plan.

De Dollar Man

7g Vinnie Roe – Dollar Bay

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

39/4124-

RPR 141c OR 135c

His novice chasing form was pretty strong and he did nothing wrong last year, although he was racing on exceptionally deep ground all year. With a bit of better ground he should show us a bit more than last year. He’s a very tough and genuine horse and I think there could be a fair bit more to come from him over fences somewhere down the line.

Esprit Du Large

4g No Risk At All – Tuffslolyloly

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

Unraced

We can see from his home work that he has a good attitude and he’ll start off in bumpers. He’ll be a lovely horse over hurdles in time and will make a chaser further down the line.

Rival to watch

I feel Defi Du Seuil might bounce back this season. Things obviously didn’t go to plan last year but he’s still a wonderful horse. Philip Hobbs would have given him a nice holiday over the summer to freshen him up and it’ll be interesting to see where they go because he was a brilliant juvenile.

Firebird Flyer

11g Winged Love – Kiora Lady

RER Williams

P/3F889-

RPR 144c OR 112c

He’s not the force of old but we’ll run him on soft ground in the winter and see if he can be competitive. If he shows any signs of not enjoying the game anymore we won’t hesitate to retire him.

Go Long

8g Hurricane Run – Monumental Gesture

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

3/12/P/43-

RPR 133h OR 127h

He’s really lightly raced for his age and I still don’t feel he’s had a real chance in life because he’s always had little niggly issues. I think he’s got plenty of ability if we can get a clear run at things. I hope to go chasing with him this year as he’s schooled quite well over fences at home. There’s definitely talent there, he just needs a bit of luck to be seen to best effect.

Grania O’Malley

5m Beat Hollow – Oh Susannah

Ms S Howell

2-31313

RPR 121h OR 118h

She’s been a grand mare for us this summer. She’s tough and genuine but needs a sound surface to thrive. She’ll be back out in the new year when the ground quickens.

Gwalia

5g Beat Hollow – Payphone

David M Williams

222-3

RPR 105b OR –

He’s a nice horse and ran consistently in bumpers last year. He ran pretty well in his maiden hurdle on his return and he’s probably one to have fun with round the lesser tracks.

Holdbacktheriver

6g Presenting – Fairy Lane

WJ Evans Racing

325261-

RPR 120h OR 122h

He’s a big, cumbersome type who did well to win a hurdle race. I’d imagine we’ll go chasing at some stage but he’s still a novice over hurdles, so we could make use of that. He definitely wouldn’t want the ground to be too quick and it might be a little while before he comes out.

Star quality

John Constable

7g Montjeu – Dance Parade

Walters Plant Hire Ltd

29-7530

RPR 156h OR 150h

He’s a really good horse on his day and ran a couple of smashing races for us last year. We experimented with chasing on better ground but in hindsight he’s no chaser and it dented his belief. I’d say he might take a little bit of getting back because having a crack over fences really didn’t help him. We’ll tick along and rebuild his confidence because there’s so much talent in there.

JOHN CONSTABLE with D Russell 1st in Swinton handicap hurdle at Haydock 13-5-17.

Khanisari

4g Dark Angel – Kadayna

Pos Partnership 2

20

RPR 100b OR –

He looks a nice recruit as his bumper form in Ireland is working out well, but I doubt we’ll see the best of him until he matures more.

Kilcullen Bellamy

6m Black Sam Bellamy – Fenney Spring

Mrs C Williams

F/143-4

RPR 100h OR 110h

Her mark over hurdles perhaps looks a bit too high for what she’s achieved so far. A fence will help her and we’ll go straight down that route this season.

King’s Odyssey

9g King’s Theatre – Ma Furie

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

30/3333-

RPR 148c OR 139c

He was great last season and clearly loves Cheltenham. He was third in three really competitive handicaps there but probably runs too consistently for his own good. He deserves to win a big prize.

Mack The Man

4g Flemensfirth – Nifty Nuala

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

8-

RPR 94 OR –

He pulled too much in his bumper and will need to settle better. He comes from a good family and will go novice hurdling.

Marble Moon

6g Millenary – Royal Marble

Emrys Jones & Partner

75-1111

RPR 118h OR 118h

He’s been a revelation for us this year. He hates soft but loves good ground and has racked up a really good sequence. He’s surprised us a bit. The handicapper should have his measure now, though.

Market Road

8g Tikkanen – Clydeside

WJ Evans Racing

114F-4U

RPR 115c, 113h OR 108c, 108h

He had a wonderful time again last season but is far from straightforward. I do think he could win again off his mark because the handicapper has never been too harsh with him. He’s the type that just does enough in his races and isn’t overly hard on himself, which is a good trait to have.

Mick Manhattan

4g Blue Bresil – Normanville

Walters Plant Hire Ltd

1-

RPR 110b OR –

He did well to win his bumper on his debut, handling soft ground very well that day. He’s a good, tough horse and we’ll try to win a novice hurdle with him on soft ground this winter.

Morianour

7g Valanour – Moriane

T Hywel Jones

2/6254-3

RPR 119c OR 115c

He ran okay over fences but he’s very difficult to get right. He probably wants cut in the ground to be seen at his best and we’ll persevere over fences with him.

North West Wind

5g Shirocco – Crystal Ballerina

RER Williams

38P-433

RPR 107h, 102c OR 106h, 103c

I genuinely don’t know what trip he needs. He looks slow over two miles, he looks slow over two and a half miles and over three miles he doesn’t seem to stay. He’s a tricky one. I’m sure he’ll win races but over what trip I’ve no idea.

On Tour

10g Croco Rouge – Galant Tour

T Hywel Jones

9F62-65

RPR 146c OR 138c

He’s been another good servant for us but there’s no doubt he’s badly handicapped. He performed well on his comeback at Chepstow and could be competitive in the winter but he’s another to need a bit more weight off his back.

ON TOUR (Centre red Cap) ridden by Mitchell Bastyan wins at Aintree 11/11/17
Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723

Oscar Sunset

11g Oscar – Derravarra Sunset

Geoff & Anne Price

3P2/7P-P

RPR 142h, 144c OR 117h, 127c

He’s a grand old boy. He’s had a couple of problems off the track but he seems to retain plenty of enthusiasm for the game despite his age. He seems the type to come back and be competitive somewhere down the line when we can get him match-fit.

Oxwich Bay

6g Westerner – Rose De Beaufai

David M Williams

21F2P4-

RPR 124h OR 120h

He had a good start, terrible middle and bad end to last season. I think he could improve for a fence. I feel he was very unlucky last year, so we’ll find our way over the larger obstacles.

Padge

9g Flemensfirth – Mona Vic

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

U30/P5P-

RPR 134h, 149c OR 124h, 143c

He’s a funny old fella. We’ve had loads of little problems with him as well. There’s no doubt he has ability but he’s a very difficult horse to get right. We’re going to have another go and I really do like him because I know there’s a big engine in there.

Peterborough

5g Fuisse – Peony Girl

Norwester Racing Club & Partner

1/8-32

RPR 102h OR –

He won his point and did nothing wrong in two nice runs over hurdles but it’s difficult to get a handle on just how good he is. I see him as a long-term prospect and wouldn’t even worry about this season. I think he can win a hurdle race and, although he’s not a big, robust horse, another summer on grass will be the making of him.

Pobbles Bay

8g Oscar – Rose De Beaufai

David M Williams

15/974P-

RPR 147c OR 131c

He travelled really well in the Welsh National last year but didn’t quite get home. Perhaps I went to the Welsh National a year too soon as it probably emptied him. It would be nice to go back to a race like that somewhere down the line but we need to get his confidence back to where it was. We’ll start off somewhere small when he’s a bit more enthusiastic. He’s definitely talented.

Positively Dylan

7g Multiplex – Wou Oodd

Mrs Janet Davies

33U1F2-

RPR 143c OR 137c

He’s a really tough horse. He suffered with a couple of problems and as a result can be a little hit or miss in the jumping department but can be dangerous when he gets conditions in his favour.

Prime Venture

7g Primary – Next Venture

Mrs Janet Davies

4086-06

RPR 143h, 129c, OR 137h, 137c

I felt the handicapper gave him a hard time for winning a moderate race at Ffos Las and he paid the price in better company at the spring festivals, although he acquitted himself well. We’re going chasing with him this season and, although he’s not a big horse, he’s related to a few chasers.

Radical Archie

7g Prince Arch – Radical Gunner

Mrs Janet Davies

66/7PP1-

RPR 111h OR 110h

He did well to win a bad race on very bad ground at Uttoxeter. He’s had a lot of trouble with his feet over the years and I’d imagine he needs soft ground to be at his best. We’ll try him over a fence this season and see how he gets on.

Silver Streak

5g Dark Angel – Happy Talk

L Fell

12U6-11

RPR 141h OR 145h

He’s a really gutsy horse with a likeable attitude. He puts his head down and battles when he has to and has already won two really nice handicaps for us. I was really impressed with his Welsh Champion Hurdle victory on his first start of the season and he seems the type who could progress again.

Grey horse in centre is SILVER STREAK with Adam Wedge 1st in Pertemps Network Swinton handicap hurdle at Haydock 12-5-18.

Skewiff

6m Doyen – Skew

Mrs Janet Davies

61-4253

RPR 117h OR 118h

She’s a pleasant enough mare and ran well behind a nice mare of Henry Daly’s when last seen. We’ll go chasing with her because the programme book nowadays means there are so many opportunities for mares over fences.

Still Believing

10m Blueprint – Im A Believer

RER Williams

8-56711

RPR 135c OR 114c

She’s a funny little thing. She has no pedigree and no looks but seems to pop up when you need a winner. We were going to stop with her but she came out of the woodwork to help us out at Chepstow. She’s nothing really going for her apart from the fact she’s a very game little girl.

Dark horse

The Last Day

6g Oscar – The Last Bank

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

19/1341-

RPR 130h OR 128h

He had a lovely season last time and ran a couple of very nice races to remain unbeaten at Chepstow. Chepstow is a real specialist’s track. It takes a certain type of horse to act around there and he proved he loves the place. Really he’s not a hurdler, so we’ll go chasing with him this year. I think he can take big steps forward over fences and I’m really quite sweet on him for the season ahead.

Tornado In Milan

12g Milan – Julika

Mrs C Williams

32411-2

RPR 142h, 140c OR 136h, 136c

He’s a tough old boy and has been great to have around over the years but he can’t keep winning at his age. He’s done his job and we’ll crack on again until he’s had enough.

Tossapenny

5g Presenting – Blueanna

Mr & Mrs William Rucker

1/2224-

RPR 125h OR 126h

You can put a line through his last run on really soft ground at Warwick and he didn’t do anything but try his hardest for us after winning his point. He’s a nice horse and will want a fence in time but we’d dearly love to win a hurdle race. He’s a good-ground horse rather than a soft-ground one. He was probably inexperienced enough last year and has strengthened up.

Virginia Chick

6g Nickname – Sweet Jaune

Mrs C Williams

011121-

RPR 124h OR 123h

He kept progressing in moderate races this summer but we’re not sure where to go now. He’s not very big, so I’m not sure if he’ll jump a fence, but it’s difficult to know what I can expect him to do. He’s undoubtedly had a brilliant season, though. He’s very genuine and handles cut in the ground but probably doesn’t have much in hand with the handicapper.

Voodoo Doll

5g Getaway – Voodoo Magic

RER Williams

133822

RPR 128h OR 124h

He’s had a good summer. I thought he was useless, to be honest. The guys in the yard kept telling me he wasn’t and they were proved right. He’s been having a lovely time of it on good ground, so we might put him away soon.

Horse to follow

Chooseyourweapon

They obviously thought a bit of this horse last season, pitching him into a Grade 2 at Warwick after a couple of minor wins, but he didn’t appear to get home, or over further on his next start at Chepstow. The old adage ‘whatever he did over hurdles was a bonus’ definitely applies to this scopey gelding and he’s going to be an interesting prospect once the ground changes. He might not want to go beyond 2m4f, though.

Pietro Innocenzi

 

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