Derby Festival News
|Friday 6th & Saturday 7th June 2014|
Woodcote Stud Has High Hopes for Investec Derby Festival
The 70-acre Woodcote Stud, a stone's throw from Epsom Downs Racecourse, has seen lots of winners since Barry and Fiona Reilly took over management 25 years ago and 2014 could be the year of their dreams if Inchila and Kingston Hill do well in the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby respectively at Epsom Downs this weekend.
Inchila, bred and owned by Woodcote Stud, is set to carry the stud's distinctive black and yellow colours in the Investec Oaks, worth a record £525,000, on Friday, June 6.
"It's a big weekend for us, as it would be for any farm in this position," said Barry Reilly. "We are really, really excited and it's a massive occasion for myself, Fiona and our team.
"We have a small broodmare band and a small farm, so it's nice to get lucky and have representatives in both Classics because so much can go wrong. We just hope that both horses put their best foot forward and come back safe and sound."
Inchila, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, caught the eye when capturing a 10-furlong maiden at Newbury on her reappearance in April, but did not run up to expectations when a close fourth to Volume in the Listed Swettenham Stud Trial over the same course and distance on May 16. She is priced at 40/1 by Coral for the Investec Oaks.
"Inchila was in season at Newbury so that's what we put that run down to," said Reilly. "Pete (Chapple-Hyam) was very disappointed that day because he thought she could win the race.
"She did her final piece of work last week and is very, very well. She has always worked like a nice filly. The Investec Oaks has been the plan for a long time and we are hoping that a step up to a mile and a half will be right up her street.
"Her auntie, Inchberry, was fourth in 2003 and, although she had better form on paper having been Listed placed at two, we think Inchila is a really nice filly.
"The trainer will tell us but I think she will be ridden a bit more handily than she has been in the past. We think we have got a really good chance of finishing in the first three and I know Pete thinks the same because he wouldn't waste our time."
Kingston Hill was bred by Perry's entity Ridgecourt Stud, which is named after his Epsom home, and consigned by Woodcote.
Bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson, acting on behalf of owner Paul Smith, bought the grey colt for 70,000 guineas (a guinea is worth £1.05) at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. The son of Mastercraftsman went unbeaten through his two-year-old campaign and was Cartier's Champion Two-Year-Old Colt of 2013 following a four and half-length victory in the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.
"It has been a great 12 months with Kingston Hill," declared Reilly of the Roger Varian-trained colt. "We always liked him - his nickname was Milo - and he was born in the same box here as his mother.
"My local pub is the Amato, but I promise I didn't have anything to do with what was written on the well (Kingston Hill)!
"All things considered, it was a decent trial in the Guineas but when we planned the mating, we didn't think he would be a mile and a half horse. We thought he would be a good miler who would get 10 furlongs in time because, although his dam (Audacieuse) did her winning on soft ground over middle distances, she wasn't a plodder and had plenty of gears.
"Ironically, we don't want the ground too soft for Inchila, but soft ground would be ideal for Kingston Hill as we know he handles it well.
"I have been having a day-to-day conversation with Peter Stanley (manager of Stanley House Stud, which bred Australia) because they obviously don't want soft ground for their horse.
"Having said that, Fiona and I walked the course on Tuesday and it was in great condition - I don't think the ground will be an excuse for any horse."
Now they need some luck on Friday and Saturday and, if all goes to plan, the connection between two of world's most famous Flat races, the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby, with the local area will be even stronger.