Latest news

Perla Defends Her Doncaster Crown

Fri 12 July 2019

Perla Blanca took the staying amateur riders' handicap at Doncaster yesterday for the second year in succession, under a very well-judged ride from her young jockey Sophie Smith. The Dalakhani mare was following up a victory at Ayr earlier in the season and she looks to be better than ever at five years of age.

Having planned to get a position in the midfield, a slightly slower than anticipated break meant that Sophie and Perla had to take their medicine and sit last during the opening jousts of the two-mile 0-70 contest. This allowed the Archie Watson-trained Percy Prosecco – our main market rival – to get an easy time of things up front, but Sophie shrewdly crept into the contest around halfway to ensure that the leaders did not get the jump on her.

By the entrance to the home straight, Sophie had moved Perla up to the heels of the leaders, and could be seen travelling strongly. Perla loomed up to Percy Prosecco four-furlongs from home and Sophie began to get to work. By the two pole they had mastered the long-time leader, and the challenge of Duke Of Yorkshire was also readily brushed aside. After a couple of taps with the whip Perla Blanca surged into a clear lead inside the final furlong, and ran on resolutely to score by two and three-quarter lengths from the running on St Andrews.

It was another triumph for patience and perseverance. Perla’s stalls issues have been well documented previously, but Craig Witheford was on hand once again yesterday to ensure no mishaps and Perla was as game as they come once the race got underway. A switch to a career as a broodmare had been mooted for Perla in the run up to yesterday’s race, but surely such plans are on hold and Perla will seek a hat-trick in the coming weeks?!

We send our warmest congratulations to Sophie, who continues to build a fine reputation for herself as a talented young rider, and her mum Kate who continues to put so much into helping Sophie’s career. We must also pay tribute to our staff, those on course and those working away in the yard, whose hard work is central to all the success we are enjoying.


< Back