Sue Smith Stable Tour

There must be something in the air at Sue and Harvey Smith’s Craiglands Farm nearly 1,000 feet up on the edge of Baildon Moor near Bingley.

It’s not just the extraordinary pensioners in this windswept expanse of West Yorkshire moorland that keep coming back season after season but also a merry band of staying chasers who have a toughness and resolution instilled in them by what at times can be a harsh environment.

Survival of the fittest is the motto in these parts and fit horses are what you get with nearly three miles of all-weather gallop weaving its way through the rugged terrain.

The Smiths are patiently waiting for the soft ground many of their troops require and it is hoped some of the younger brigade can fill the void left by the retirement of 12-year-old Cloudy Too – who has been found a “wonderful home to go hunting” – and the injury setback to I Just Know, who looks likely to miss the rest of the season following a fall at Kelso on Saturday.

“We have a few horses for the novice chase category and although that might not win you as much money on a Saturday, hopefully they’ll become those types if not this season then the next,” says the trainer.

Smith racked up 40 winners and a little more than £600,000 in prize-money last term with Midnight Shadow capping a highly respectable campaign with victory in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

“Hopefully we can have that and a little bit more this time,” Smith adds.

Midnight Shadow is being readied for a crack at the Greatwood Hurdle and ambitions of a second Grand National success for the stable rest with lionhearted chaser Vintage Clouds.

Stable profile

Yard Craiglands Farm

Where High Eldwick, Bingley, West Yorkshire

Started training 1990

Horses in yard 50

Members of staff 15

Assistant trainer Ryan Clavin

Travelling head lad Reece Jarosiewicz

Jockeys Danny Cook, Sean Quinlan

Conditionals Kane Yeoman, Sam Coltherd

Secretary Rachel Swinden

Stable sponsor Tuffa Boots


2017-18 40

2016-17 41

2015-16 44

2014-15 31


2017-18 -70.82

2016-17 -31.52

2015-16 -66.35

2014-15 -134.58




Absolutely Dylan

Five-year-old gelding

Scorpion (sire) – Cash Customer (dam)

Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Form figures: 32178-1

Racing Post Ratings: 108c Official rating: –

Made a smashing chase debut on his comeback at Sedgefield, jumping his rivals into submission. He’s quirky at home but did his job properly. He won over hurdles last season and then drifted away but has come back a man. We’ll find a novice handicap chase next and you’d think he’ll progress.

Black Art

6g Black Sam Bellamy – Art Series

Jacqueline And John Conroy


RPR 119h OR 118h

Harvey bought him out of Emma Lavelle’s and he’s done smashing for us. He’s not the quickest and I’m not whether he’ll develop into a Saturday horse but he’s a scopey jumper who will keep finding for you. He’ll start out over fences at Sedgefield today.

BLACK ART and Sean Quinlan Win at Sedgefield 12/1/18
Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723


10g Presenting – Smashing Leader

Mrs Jacqueline Conroy


RPR 140c OR 123c

A fragile horse who only ran twice last season but has been sound this time. His comeback at Carlisle might have looked disappointing but he wants softer ground. He’s in very good order at the moment.


6g Westerner – Autumn Beauty

Trevor Hemmings


RPR 107c OR 120c

Won three novice hurdles last term and made his chasing debut at Carlisle over a trip probably a bit short. He needs to get his jumping together and it might take a bit longer to educate him but hopefully we’ll be able to step him up in class in time.

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


Cracking Find

7g Robin Des Pres – Crack The Kicker

Mrs A Ellis


RPR 136c OR 129c

A consistent horse who is not overly big but is a fantastic jumper. He ran his heart out at Wetherby last time and hopefully he’ll be one for the better handicaps later on. His breeding suggests he wants good ground and his ideal trip looks to be 2m4f.


8g Mahler – Olivia Rose

Mcgoldrick Racing 3


RPR 148c OR 140c

Pulled up in the Grand National but that’s not his cup of tea. He likes to bowl along in smaller fields and is at his best on a flat, galloping track. He’s a difficult horse to place due to his rating but is set to start off over 2m3½f at Wetherby on Friday. We might then look at the Anne Duchess of Westminster Chase at Bangor in two weeks.

De Vous A Moi

10g Sinndar – Dzinigane

Mrs J Morgan


RPR 141c OR 132c

The old boy has been a great servant, winning races every year. He loves Newcastle – he won there on his last start back in January – so we’ll look to head back there. We’re just waiting on the ground turning for him.

Dark horse

Hill Sixteen

5g Court Cave – Chasers Chic

Trevor Hemmings


RPR 90 (ptp) OR –

An exciting horse who won a point in Ireland. He’s a lovely model, a big scopey type who is going to be a stayer. We’ll run him first time over hurdles over 2m and he has entries at Wetherby and Carlisle this week, but we just need some rain.


5g Maresca Sorrento – Isarella

Mrs J M Gray & G R Orchard


RPR 124h OR –

We were pleased with his first run back at Hexham when just beaten by a good horse in Simply The Betts. We’ll look for softer ground and find another novice hurdle over a similar two-mile trip. The penny has dropped and we’re looking forward to him.

Joke Dancer

5g Authorized – Missy Dancer

Mrs Aafke Clarke


RPR 128h OR 128h

Had a wind operation and won’t be out before Christmas. He won three times last season and you couldn’t ask for more from a horse that needed his wind doing. A big scopey type who jumps well, he should be a good horse to go novice chasing.

JOKE DANCER Ridden by Danny Cook wins at NEWCASTLE 24/2/18
Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723

Rival to watch

Dan Skelton. He goes everywhere in the search of winners and means business whenever he comes up north.

Just Georgie

8g Kayf Tara – Just Kate

Mrs M B Scholey


RPR 124c OR 117c

Won only one chase and has been a bit disappointing. He’s a full-brother to useful mare The Govaness, but hasn’t come to the fore quite like he could have done. He has got to have very soft ground.

Lough Derg Farmer

6g Presenting – Maryiver

Mrs S Smith


RPR – OR 128c

A lovely horse from the sales who showed good form for Nicky Henderson. I spoke to Nicky about him and he’s been A1 to train and jumps particularly well. He made his first start for us over hurdles but we’re switching to fences at Sedgefield today.

Lough Legend

4g Watar – Gibboghstown

Broadway Racing Club 15


RPR 111h OR –

A big horse who finished third in both his bumpers and returned with a good run over hurdles at Carlisle in a warm novice. He’s a big horse who looks sure to win this season.

Midnight Shadow

5g Midnight Legend – Holy Smoke

Mrs Aafke Clarke


RPR 141h OR 141h

I think he’s very special. He won the Scottish Champion Hurdle having not long come out of novices and we were delighted with his comeback at Wetherby on ground that was possibly a bit fast for him. He’s come out of it very well and his next target is the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham where we’re hoping for some rain. The idea is to keep him over hurdles and see if he can improve again. We’ll see how he fares in the Greatwood and then decide whether to stick to the plan or go chasing as he’s a very good jumper.

MIDNIGHT SHADOW Ridden by Danny Cook wins at Ayr 21/4/18
Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723


11g Dushyantor – Daiquiri

Neil Taylor


RPR 92c OR 85c

An older horse for our conditional Kane to ride – he belongs to his family. He returned with a corking second at Hexham and then finished fourth at Bangor on Tuesday, where Kane said the trip was on the sharp side.

Oscar Wilde

4g Oscar – Deep Supreme

Formulated Polymer Products Ltd


RPR 72 (ptp) OR –

A huge horse for a four-year-old – he’s 17 hands. He has no form in his point-to-points but is coming along lovely. If he can run well over hurdles then he’s going to be a nice prospect for chasing next season.

Rare Clouds

4g Cloudings – Rare Vintage

Trevor Hemmings


A full-brother to Vintage Clouds bred by Trevor. He’s a feisty type who will bully his way through. We haven’t schooled him yet as he will possibly run in a bumper. He’s only four but we like him a lot.


4g Multiplex – Lemon Queen

Mrs S Smith


Related to Son Of Flicka – a good horse for Donald McCain – and looks the type to run well in a bumper. We’re very pleased with him and he’ll be ready soon.

Sharp Response

7g Oscar – Lambourne Lace

Formulated Polymer Products Ltd


RPR 140c OR 135c

A smart horse who has won over hurdles and fences. Everyone was very pleased with his win at Carlisle last week. Danny said he’s a lot more relaxed this year and he jumped particularly well. We’ll see what the handicapper does before deciding his next target, but he’s one to look forward to.

Silva Eclipse

5g Multiplex – Linen Line

Mrs S Smith


RPR 124h OR 122h

Bred similarly to Stagecoach Pearl and Rattlin, who both did well for us. He’s a stayer who should take to fences but we’ll stick to hurdles for now. He’s in grand order and just wants some rain.

Race in focus

The Grand National is the target for Vintage Clouds, who narrowly missed the cut last season. We’ve won it once and we’d like to win it again.


9g Medaaly – Sue’s Song

Mrs M B Scholey


RPR 142c OR 135c

Pulled up for the third time in the Scottish National and I doubt we’ll go for that again. He’s a sensitive horse who is not suited to big fields. You can take him anywhere but he does love Catterick – he’s unbeaten in four starts there. He’s in good form and will be out soon.


5g Fruits Of Love – Brass Neck

Mrs J Morgan


RPR 93h OR –

A new purchase from the Doncaster sales, he’s a lovely, big horse who will be a chaser in time. He won a point-to-point over 3m but we started over 2m at Kelso last Saturday. He acted well on the better ground and jumped pretty good, so we were very pleased with him.


5g Gold Away – Didn’t I Tell You

D G Pryde & D Van Der Hoeven


RPR 125c OR 121c

An exciting horse to go over fences with. He was in need of his run at Carlisle last week but performed well and jumped great. He’ll come on an awful lot for it and should improve next time out. He’s a big, bold jumper and we think quite highly of him.


10g Kendor – Village Rainbow

Mrs A Ellis


RPR 136c OR 130c

Coming back following an injury after he struck into himself when just beaten by The Dutchman in a novice chase at Wetherby in November 2016. Danny’s keen to continue chasing and he’ll definitely win some races if the old legs stand up.

Star quality

Vintage Clouds

8g Cloudings – Rare Vintage

Trevor Hemmings


RPR 149c OR 143c

Missed the Grand National by one spot but it could be a blessing in disguise as I think he’s really ready now to go and contest the big one. A grand jumper who always gives you his very best, he did us proud last season finishing placed in most of the major staying chases. He just gave a cough or two but he’s back into full work now and we’re waiting for some softer ground. Trevor likes to go to the Welsh National so that is a possibility but we need to find a nice race for him beforehand. Hopefully he can win a good staying handicap and go up the weights, and then it will be on to Aintree.

VINTAGE CLOUDS with Sue & Harvey Smith at Craiglands Farm Stables , High Eldwick, Bingley 14thOct16
Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723


9g Westerner – Chanson Indienne

M B Scholey & The Late R H Scholey


RPR 157c OR 148c

A tiny horse with a big heart. Finds life hard as everywhere he goes he has to lug around topweight. A cracking jumper, he likes flat, galloping tracks and won the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster last term after just being beaten in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby. He’ll have a similar campaign and we’re waiting for softer ground.

What’s The Scoop

8g Presenting – Dame D’Harvard

Mrs S Smith


RPR 119c OR 123c

Harvey paid a goodly sum [£32,000] at the sales and he came from Nicky Henderson’s yard. He’s known for trying to run off the course at Sandown but he ran lovely for us back in February. He picked up a little knee injury but is back now. He’s a cracking prospect.


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