Ben Pauling hopes to come out this season as he puts the finishing touches to a new yard built on an active golf course in Gloucestershire.
The Cheltenham Festival winning coach has developed a new facility at Naunton Downs Golf Club, now run by his wife Sophie, which includes a 95 box stable, gallop and owners area.
After something of a “year of nowhere,” which included a Grade Two hit with The Cob in the River Don Novices’ Hurdle in Doncaster in January, Pauling is eager to get off to a flying start in this campaign.
His squad includes many potential novice pursuers, featuring Your Darling and Shakem Up’arry owned by Harry Redknapp.
Pauling said Sky Sport Racing: “Last year, for many reasons, it was a bit of a nil year. We’ve had enough winners, but without the owners it was hard to go.
Ben Pauling – last five years
2020/21 – Wins: 33, Runners: 338, Prize money: £ 265k
2019/20 – Wins: 18, Runners: 203, Prize money: £ 229k
2018/19 – Wins: 44, Runners: 313, Prize money: £ 614k
2017/18 – Wins: 36, Runners: 243, Prize Pool: £ 396k
2016/17 – Wins: 32, Runners: 199, Prize money: £ 294k
“I am very excited for the season ahead. We are in the final stages of building our brand new yard and it is an exciting time with some very cute horses.
“We purchased a golf course in January 2020 and the construction site is integrated throughout the course.
“There are some rules, for example if the horses are on the course, you have to wait to play your shot. It will be fun to have the two at work side by side. “
the corn on the cob
(7 years, novice hunter)
“He was an amazing horse last season, he just didn’t look back. In the Don River he was very intelligent indeed.
“Cheltenham [Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle] it was probably too far a race. I don’t think he was out of his mind, just that nothing went right for the English in Cheltenham this year.
“He is studying well beyond the fences and we will try to get him out in early November.
“He’s a pretty hateful horse as he doesn’t really respect obstacles, but he’s always jumped over kids’ paddocks with more respect, so hopefully that’s his game.
“He looks very good and is valued in the mid-1940s, so if he converts he could be very useful.”
(7 years, novice hunter)
“He was beaten by some very nice horses and only won one race, which is pretty extraordinary.
“He’s a real jumping machine and his entire career has been aimed at getting him over barriers.
“His education was absolutely perfect and I think he is very well handicapped by his sign of obstacles.
“I hope it will be a really nice chase because Harry Redknapp [owner] and I am really very fond of this horse. “
(6 years, novice hunter)
“He entered Huntingdon on Tuesday on a beginner handicap hunt and is similar to Shakem Up’arry in that he is a hunter through and through.
“We have always thought a lot about this horse and it shows a lot at home, but we only showed snippets of it on the track.
“It’s probably three miles, so the fact that it was won over two miles is a bonus.
“I hope he can progress through handicaps and become a good horse by spring.”
(5 years, novice hurdler)
“He went out of his way to start with last season but improved a lot to win a Newbury bumper.
“It probably wasn’t himself at Aintree, it certainly wasn’t his best performance by any stretch of the imagination.
“He is electric on his obstacles, a real class hurdler and not without speed. We will start it from more than two miles. “
Others to watch
“There is a very cute horse called Look at them who won a bumper at Kempton and came from the Irish point-to-point circuit. We barely trained him for Kempton and he went halfway there but still managed to win.
“He’s back a lot more relaxed and he’s a novice hurdler which I think will be fine.
“From La Mar Rocket won a very impressive bumper in Exeter. It will be a mud lark, but I think it’s an appropriate type.
“Harper’s Brook And Much more they were both pretty good at fenders last season and are horses that I think, having had some nice newbies in the past, can become real horses.
“Global citizen he didn’t have a season at all last year, but he seems to be much better. We will probably dive between obstacles and barriers throughout the season, but just to get him back on track would be fantastic ”.
Read more here SkySports | News
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