Photos & Video
We are absolutely delighted to be offering our small-share shareholders this Group 2 winning six year old for his racing campaign over hurdles through the autumn, winter and into next spring.
There is quite a story attached to this fellow, as it has been a long and winding road which eventually saw him have his first run in almost four years at Stratford at the start of September 2019.
Painted Cliffs, or 'Clifford' as he is known in the Tommy Gretton yard, was originally bought out of the Aidan O'Brien yard as a 4YO after winning at Group 2 level as a juvenile. He had been with Aidan for three years, racing as a 2YO with success in the 6f Group 2 Railway Stakes over at the Curragh, but for the rest of his juvenile career and as a 3YO he became a pace-setter for the top 2YO's in the yard - Air Force Blue (who ended up winning the Dewhurst) as well as Carrivagio, Order Of St George and Churchill.
We bought this lovely looking individual in late 2017 with the intention of racing him through 2018. Unfortunately, he never graced the track, as almost as soon as he started into full training he started to have problems with his lungs, even a wind operation didn't really see him recover. The prognosis was that the colt needed to be gelded and a lot of time off. Given his quality, we decided to invest in giving Painted Cliffs the time he needed, and so he was sent to trainer Tommy Gretton and spent another ten months being cared for and slowly being brought back to full health. In July he did a piece of work which really excited us, as he managed to do his first bit of proper hard work without coughing or showing any issues with his breathing. From that moment on, the gelding has done nothing but improve.
With a horse with such a big gap in his career, we wanted to be sure he would be able to have a full season before we syndicated him again - which is why we ran him without any other owners taking part for his opening run of the 2019-2020 jumps season.
In early September Painted Cliffs made his debut over hurdles. We decided hurdling would be better for him, rather than being highly tried on the turf. Also, he showed a really great attitude when schooling and impressed his jockey David Noonan, who did all his prep work. The waiting was over and we were extremely nervous about how he would get on after four years off the racecourse, but in fact, we had little to worry about!
He ran in a Class Three Novice Hurdle against horses rated highly on the flat and two horses rated 130 and 140. The winner of the race was the 140 horse, who has been the top rated novice through the summer. However, Painted Cliffs managed to get within just over eighteen lengths of the winner, and was only run down for third in the latter stages of the race. David Noonan said afterwards the gelding had given a great feel, had jumped impeccably and just got tired in the last two furlongs - almost certainly due to the fact it was his first race for such a long time. He had a good blow afterwards and returned home fit and well, with no sign of any respiratory issues.
He will race again in late September, and then go right through the winter in Novice and then handicap hurdles. We are keeping him to hurdling as the gelding seems to love jumping and has no issues at all with racing over two miles. As you can imagine, Tommy Gretton is delighted with the 6YO and is really looking forward to racing him again. Even the Racing Post commented on Painted Cliffs' return to the track, stating he was a horse who would be winning races this winter.
"Canford Cliffs is a sire who is getting a reputation for producing quality National Hunt horses. He had a 47% win rate with his progeny over jumps, which is going some!" - Tommy Gretton.
We are aiming to win a Novice Hurdle with Painted Cliffs and then move into handicaps. If he continues to improve then the longer-term plan is to have a shot at one or two Class 2 hurdles. Based on his opening run, we believe he may be capable of reaching a level where he could be competing for very decent prizemoney. The race in early September was worth £9,000.
Prospective shareholders should be aware that with any racehorse which has not run for four years, there is a risk involved. That said, he was bouncing at home after his first run and trainer Tommy Gretton reported that Painted Cliffs was really excited to be at the races on his first outing. we have always thought a lot of this son of Painted Cliffs, and it was wonderful to see him beating a fair number of race fit horses home on his belated debut.
"He will love 'Good' going and we'll try and find him nice ground through the winter. The winters have tended to be dry the last few years, so we should have no problem finding races for him." - Tommy Gretton.
We fully expect demand to be very high for this 6YO so you must expect that he may sell out, and therefore there will be between 50-60 shareholders in him for 2019-20. But try finding a horse like this available for a season of racing with prizemoney paid in exact proportion to the share you own for this sort of price - we'll save you the time - you won't! We also have some bigger 'Private Service' shares available in him at great value prices.
There will be a chance to come and see Painted Cliffs at our Autumn (October) and Spring (March/April) yard visits to Tommy's stables in Inkberrow, Worcester.
We also have some great value Private Service shares from 4% to 25% available in this rather special gelding.
Form & Race Plans
Trainer Tommy Gretton is keen to keep this gelding busy once he starts racing. He needed that first outing, but still ran a really promising race and we will be keeping him to two mile Novice races until he gets a handicap mark.
Tom believes the gelding could be a 130+ rated horse, as his proximity to a 130 and 140 rated horse on his debut points toward this sort of quality. He also believes there will be improvement to come from him! Ideally, we will be able to win a Novice race with him and then see how he fares in a couple of decent handicap hurdles
Painted Cliffs 2020 Guarantee
We expect to get 3-5 runs and possibly more from this racehorse in his share period, however, you should expect periods of no racing as a result of recuperation from injury, training setbacks or inappropriate winter ground. This share period starts Sept 9th 2019 and runs through the winter jumps season finishing on May 1st 2020.
During the season the horse may be rested or have time away from the track to recover and it is quite normal for a racehorse to have periods of 3-6 weeks rest between races. Some horses are particularly susceptible to sore shins, bone chips and growing pains, and can need a greater time to recover between races.
For this 6YO we offer the following guarantee: If due to injury or retirement, his season is cut short and he will not race again, and he has not raced at least twice, we will replace him with a similar horse for the remainder of the 2019-20 jumps season. Please note that we are unable to pay prizemoney on any replacements and the replacement will be a horse of our own choosing. It will be impossible to replace this horse with another of the same quality - so shareholders need to understand that we will simply try our best to provide days at the races in such circumstances.
As a shareholder you must understand that we cannot guarantee your horses performance, a specific volume of runs (beyond our minimum guarantee) or that runs will be evenly spaced throughout the share period. This is the chance you take when owning any racehorse and participating in this ownership experience. If you will be disappointed with only 2-3 runs from your racehorse during the season, then please DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THIS OR ANY OTHER RACEHORSE. We believe in being crystal clear with our shareholders - any participation in racehorse ownership is extremely high risk. We are unable to make any refunds because of share periods which finish early due to injury or mid-season retirement. This is the chance all shareholders take, as we do ourselves, when participating in the ownership of a racehorse.
If you are unhappy with any part of this statement then please DO NOT purchase a share - you need to enter racehorse ownership with an acceptance that in a sport which depends upon animals, things can, and on occasion, will, go wrong.