Big things ahead for island’s thoroughbreds

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  • First of many: Castle Harbour, ridden by Frankie Dettori, beats Chief Whip, right, in The Conundrum HR Consulting Stakes York in May last year (Photograph by Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com)

    First of many: Castle Harbour, ridden by Frankie Dettori, beats Chief Whip, right, in The Conundrum HR Consulting Stakes York in May last year (Photograph by Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com)

  • Johnny Barnes

    Johnny Barnes

  • Horseshoe Bay

    Horseshoe Bay

  • Paradise Lakes

    Paradise Lakes

  • Great Sound

    Great Sound


The five horses part of the Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing syndicate are scheduled to return to the racecourse over the next few months.

Harry Herbert, the man behind Highclere — one of the most successful racing syndicates in the world, whose company oversees the BTR operation — shares his thoughts on the horses’ prospects for the new season.

Johnny Barnes

Flat racing

Trainer: John Gosden

Apart from looking fantastic, Johnny Barnes is moving better at the trot than I have ever seen him do.

As his exercise is stepped up this may not be the case for much longer, but it’s a genuinely good sign to see him moving so freely. All being well, we will look to start him at the beginning of the season either at Doncaster [next month] or in a suitable race abroad.

He will be very well entered and I promise that all of us here at Highclere will be on John Gosden’s case to ensure that no opportunity is missed! Personally, I think that seven furlongs is his trip and with conditions in his favour there is another group race to be won with him in 2017.

Paradise Lake

Flat racing

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

This horse looked very well in his skin when I saw him at the evening stables and he continues to grow and develop. However, he is still far from the finished article, in my opinion. The most exciting thing about him is how much he was showing Sir Michael Stoute as a weak horse last year, because looking at him now one can see a very different individual who stands over plenty of ground but who still looks a shade unfurnished.

Paradise Lake has got great depth of girth and quarters to follow, but he still needs time to strengthen over his back and fill out through the middle.

This second son of Siyouni [a sire sensation in France] will be given the proper Stoute treatment, which means starting with a low handicap mark before hurtling up the ranks, hopefully taking big handicaps in his stride at the festival meetings. All of the [Siyouni] family improve with age and so Paradise Lake will definitely be going into my “Five to Follow”.

Great Sound

Flat racing

Trainer: John Gosden

I was really pleased with this horse when I saw him recently as he has, at last, developed into a much stronger and mature individual.

John Gosden is very pleased with his progress and told me how much he resembled the female side of the family which, I think, is a good sign as there are so many top horses that come from it. As a result, he doesn’t have that obvious Galileo [his father — Europe’s leading sire] look to him, but he moved well when I saw him and to my eye is much more forward going and alert. All being well, John Gosden will start him off in April and we will go from there.

Castle Harbour

Flat racing

Trainer: John Gosden

I love this horse and was thrilled to see how well he has done over the past few months.

As a gelding he didn’t look as bright in his skin as Great Sound or Paradise Lake, but his overall physical stature was something to get properly excited about.

When I saw him he was very well behaved and forward going, and, providing that mentally he enjoys the [racing] game, I have no doubt that he will be winning races this season and definitely at tracks where Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing will want to have runners!

Horseshoe Bay

National Hunt racing

Trainer: Dan Skelton

This horse is being given all the time necessary to recover from his tendon injury. He is a standout physically and Dan Skelton is extremely excited to be training him. Hopefully he is next year’s Champion Hurdle winner in the making!

BTR have sold Sir George Somers to a National Hunt racing trainer.

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Published Mar 14, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm)

Big things ahead for island’s thoroughbreds

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