Photos & Video
There were many highlights of the 2023 season, but perhaps one of the great stories was the continual improvement produced by a 2YO named Kaaress. This youngster was bought in Ireland and after a race to find her feet, she took off - running well at York and then recording a second placing to a quality youngster and then banging in three wins on the trot when stepped up in trip.
So when we discovered that her mother had a colt going to the Irish sales in September 2023, we were interested! In fact, it was a full brother - also being by Kessaar. Trainer of Kaaress, Ollie Pears, was dispatched to see what he was like, and we were delighted to learn that the colt was well conformed that Ollie had managed to buy her at the Goffs Sale for a little over £10,000.
Smithy is a fine specimen, and whilst his sister was quite small when she arrived, he is a lovely big, statuesque individual. Ollie was very pleased to be bringing him back with him.
'He's very well set, is a good size without being massive, and is a very nice shape,' Ollie commented when the colt arrived back at Malton, 'He has been well handled and appears to be an incredibly relaxed and kind individual.'
Ollie added, 'One of the main reasons we wanted to buy this lad is because Kaaress has proved to be a very robust and genuine type. She isn't afraid of anything in her races and will bust a gut to get to the front. That's what we want from him next season.'
This colt has a good head, is clean-winded, and has plenty of bone on his legs, which is a sign that he could be like his sister and his mother - be able to take his racing in his stride.
Ollie Pears commented, 'There is a long way to go, but this chap has everything in the right place and has bags of scope. I will settle for him being as good as his sister, but looking at him now he's in Malton, I am very hopeful that he can be even better than her.'
Kaaress’s mother won a total of eight times, racing exclusively in Italy despite being born in the United Kingdom. She earned almost £40,000 in prize-money, from the age of two to five over distances from five to eight furlongs. The dam's full sister was also a very decent racehorse and was taken to race in Italy, winning over £50,000 and finishing second in a premier 1500 metres Listed race in Rome (just under a mile).
'Smithy certainly has the pedigree to match his good looks,' Ollie noted, 'I'm just amazed I managed to get him to be honest, I thought he would go for much more than he did.'
'But that's the key to buying horses well at the sales - you have to be there. And it certainly helps if you know something about the family you are buying into,' added Ollie.
If everything goes to plan, and this colt is far enough forward both mentally and physically, he will start racing in May/June when the 6f races start and will race right through the spring and summer of 2024. We expect between 4 and 7 runs from this youngster this season, and he will most likely race around the Yorkshire, Lancashire, and North Eastern racetracks. The family acts on both the All-Weather and turf, so he may make the odd visit to Southwell, Newcastle, and Wolverhampton if his preferred ground isn't available on the turf.
We really like this colt and it will be fascinating to see how he develops physically and mentally over the winter and into spring. Given the success of his sister, we fully expect he will sell out of shares before the start of the new flat season.
Please note that Smithy may be gelded before he runs. We believe in giving our horses the best possible standard of life and being a gelding means this youngster will get far more paddock time and be much easier to handle for the stable staff. Many trainers geld their horses during the season, however, we prefer to do this before the season starts, so there is no interruption to the horse’s campaign.
Form & Race Plans
The race plans for Smithy will be determined by his level of ability shown at home and on the course in 2024. On breeding he should be a 6f to 1m horse, and will certainly start at six or seven furlongs. But he should get seven and if he's like his sister, anything up to eleven furlongs in his 2YO season.
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, as we believe, he shows that he will be a 6f to 8f horse as a 2YO, then there are plenty of races available for him from late May onwards, including a race we regularly target each year, the £25k Rous Stakes for 2YO's at York in June. We will assess this colt's progress and if Ollie believes he has the right level of ability he may get entries for some of the more prestigious races in the racing calendar.
Your online Racehorse Manager will provide full details of all developments in terms of this youngster's progress and race planning as the season progresses.
Smithy 2024 Guarantee
We expect to get 2-5 runs and sometimes more from all our 2YO horses per share period, however, you should expect periods of no racing as a result of recuperation from injury or training setbacks. This share period starts properly at the start of the turf season on April 1st 2024 and runs through the turf season until November 1st 2024, however, we will be reporting on the filly before the share period starts (from January 2024) 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 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 2YO 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. Prizemoney may not be available to be paid on any replacements, but all other benefits such as yard visits and race day badges are 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 simply because they are not ready - either physically or mentally.
As a shareholder you must understand that we cannot guarantee your horse's 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 that finish early due to injury or retirement - as training 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 build-up to the season.
These risks are the chance all shareholders take, as we do ourselves when participating in the ownership of racehorses.