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Bish Baasha Bosh!

Fri 04 January 2019


Shall we stop now!? La Grange Stables has emerged from the gloom of a poor end to 2018 with a winner at the first attempt in 2019 – let’s hope it is a portent of things to come!

It was a thrill for all concerned to see Baasha get his head in front at Chelmsford last night, as he is a likeable and handsome horse, with a definite level of ability, but coaxing it out of him has not always been easy. The man who has got the most out of him time and again has been Rab Havlin, and the Scotsman could not have been more skilful in his handling of the four-year-old son of Havana Gold yesterday.

Settled towards the back of the pack in the mile and a quarter 0-60 handicap, Baasha raced exuberantly enough in second-time blinkers, without over exerting himself, but was crucially buried behind rivals to get some cover. Rab followed Adam Kirby on the favourite Hard Toffee for much of the race, and entering the home straight both riders spied the same gap. This led to a little bit of bumping, but that probably delayed our challenge even longer, which was no bad thing. Inside the final furlong and both Baasha and Hard Toffee were in the clear and setting down for a sustained duel, which Baasha mastered only in the final few metres.

It was a wonderful waiting performance from the jockey, described on Racing TV by James Willoughby as a ‘miracle ride’. It certainly made all the difference to get Rab back aboard the horse, and hopefully they can maintain the partnership.

Baasha’s future prospects probably lie in the hands of the handicapper. Since wind surgery corrected his breathing problems midway through last year, he has proven himself to be a consistent performer on flat tracks in 0-60 or 0-65 contests around a mile and a quarter. Provided we are able to stick to a similar formula, then it is hoped that he might be able to sneak another race before the AW season is out.

Hearty congratulations to Baasha’s owners, the MHS Partners, and all the staff in the yard for their continued hard work during the long cold months. This is the perfect start to the New Year, and we hope it is a sign of an upturn in fortunes for La Grange Stables in the year ahead.

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