Photos & Video
Trainer Adam West (based at Epsom) was brimming with excitement when he was able to purchase this son of Cityscape at the Ascot Sales in August on our behalf. He was expecting this colt would be out of our spending bracket and couldn't believe the sort of value for money the horse represented. Adam was even more delighted on getting the yearling home and lunging him for the first time.
He moves really well," Adam told us, "He has been well handled by his breeder. We lunged him when we got him home and he strikes me as a proper racehorse with plenty going for him. He has a good stride on him and is correct in every way. He is a great mover and is a rangy sort that should grow into a really good size by next spring."
This yearling was given the stable name of 'Gilbert' when he first arrived, and Adam liked the name so much he checked with the BHA and was delighted to be able to make this his racing name too.
As Adam pointed out, this colt is a good size and whilst he will change dramatically over the winter, he is already very forward in terms of maturity. He behaved impeccably at the sales and Adam noted that he seems to have a really good attitude and is at home with people around him. He has already settled nicely into the yard in Epsom, eating and sleeping well. He has no vices and has a striking head on him.
"I couldn't be happier with this chap,' Adam admitted, 'I think we stole him at the Ascot sales and given the fact he is three-quarter related to a quality handicapper he is one to look forward to next season."
Adam pointed out that this colt has a proven three-quarter brother called Merry Banter. This gelding has won seven races, and been placed in an amazing 23 races, earning over GBP 75,000 in prize-money for his connections - and is still only a six-year-old!
Adam said, "The breeder has replicated the pedigree of our colt along almost exactly along the same lines as Merry Banter, using a sire (Cityscape) who was a brother of Bated Breath. Merry Banter is rock hard robust, is a quality performer, and a perfect horse for a syndicate looking for plenty of competitive runs. I'm hoping we have struck lucky and this chap will be a similar sort - everything is certainly looking like that - in the way he works, and his character."
Gilbert is trained in Surrey by Adam West, who is a young, aspiring trainer based in a famous racing yard - Loretta Lodge in Epsom.
"I think he's my steal of the yearlings for 2021. He has already shown me a lovely trot and I can't wait to get him broken and see how he carries himself at canter." Adam West, trainer.
This youngster will probably start at a distance of six furlongs and could be going up to seven furlongs or a mile by the end of his first year in training. He is bred to be a miler on his father's side, and both his mother and father won as 2YO's. We are hoping he will be similar to his brother, and be a robust and competitive sort that will provide his shareholders with plenty of fun.
"He is very likeable, and has a good eye. I expect he will not be super-sharp, but I'd expect him to start at six furlongs and be racing through summer as he's already proved to me in the lunging pen that he is likely to be a horse that wants ground on the firmer side," commented Adam.
We are really hoping Gilbert will see a racetrack early in 2021. However, potential shareholders should be aware that you can never legislate for how a horse may grow, develop or indeed have setbacks. Adam tends to bring his 2YO's along in their own time, but isn't afraid of racing them against top-class animals. So shareholders are likely to see a couple of runs before the true potential of this youngster is realised.
This colt is a really interesting sort and certainly has the credentials to be a winner. He will be broken and ridden away before Christmas and then brought on in the new year before heading to a racetrack in the south for the first time sometime between April and June. Your Racehorse Manager account will keep you up to date with any major milestones the youngster reaches and of course we will be reporting regularly from March onward, when we will get a feel for the type and quality of racehorse he is likely to become.
Covid-19 restrictions allowing, we will be holding a spring yard visit, ideally before the colt runs his first race. We managed to hold socially distanced visits to Adam's yard in September 2020 which proved very popular with our shareholders.
Form & Race Plans
The race plans for this colt will be determined by his level of ability shown at home and on the course in 2021. On breeding he should start at six furlongs and then will perhaps get further as he develops physically and mentally during the year.
Please note that this horse may be gelded, either before the season starts or during the season, should his trainer feel it's in the best interests of the horse.
The standard route of a horse of this type will be to start in Maiden (races for horses who have yet to win a race) or Novice/Auction or Selling/Claiming races (2YO only races where previous winners get extra weight) and his performance in these first three of four races will determine whether he goes into nursery handicaps, or is good enough to tackle conditions races or even step into pattern races (high value, prestige races).
If he shows the need for longer distances at home, he may have to wait for the seven furlong races a little later in the season. However, we will assess this colt's progress and if Adam believes he has the right level of ability he may get entries for some of the more prestigious races, including valuable sales races, in the racing calendar.
Your online Racehorse Manager will provide full details of all developments in terms of the horse's progress and race planning as the season progresses. However, being southern based, we do expect this colt will race at tracks like Kempton, Sandown, Lingfield, Newbury, Bath, Chelmsford, or Windsor.
Gilbert 2021 Guarantee
We expect to get 2-5 runs and sometimes more from all our 2YO horses per share period/season, however, you should expect periods of no racing as a result of recuperation from injury or training setbacks. This share period starts proper at the start of the turf season on April 1st 2021 and runs through the turf season until November 1st 2021, however, we will be reporting on the horse before the share period starts (from January 2021) should we have anything of importance to share with shareholders.
During the season the horse may be rested or have time away from the track to recover and it is quite normal for a flat horse to have periods of 3-6 weeks rest between races. 2YO's are particularly susceptible to sore shins, bone chips and growing pains, and can need a greater time to recover between races.
We provide guarantees with all our racehorses. If this horse has a season-ending injury and has not already raced twice during the share period, we will replace him with an alternative horse for the remainder of the season. Replacement horses may not be of the same quality, are provided with no further guarantees and no alternative choice can be provided. Prize-money cannot be paid on any replacements, but all other benefits such as yard visits and race day badges are made available.
2YO's are the most risky of racehorses to own - and you should be aware that there is a chance that your 2YO may not race at all. Around 20% of 2YO's will not reach the racecourse during their 2YO season because of setbacks or simply being too backward.
As a shareholder youmust understand that we cannot guarantee your horses performance, a specific volume of runs (beyond our minimum guarantee if injured) 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, as you could be disappointed. We believe in being crystal clear with our shareholders - any participation in racehorse ownership is a risk, and we are unable to make any refunds because of share periods which finish early due to injury or retirement - as training, vets and livery fees for the horse still remain whether they are racing or not and part of your lease payment covers the five months of pre-season training.
This risk is the chance all shareholders take, as we do ourselves, when participating in the ownership of a racehorse.