We catch up with Lambourn-based Ed Walker who guides us through his team of horses gearing up for the resumption of racing in 2020.
Ed Walker Stable Tour
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Stable star: Stormy Antarctic
Horse to follow: Glorious Caesar
Handicapper to follow: Dreamweaver
He's a bit of a yard favourite, one of those horses who is just shy of being a really good horse, but we really feel there's going to be a big day in him. He'll pop up in a big race I'm sure, he was quite unlucky not to finish closer at Ascot. He always finds an excuse but he's getting better I think and he's still only five. His work has been good and we need to get him up in the weights a bit even more to get him into the best seven furlong handicaps. He wants fast ground and a good gallop.
Came From The Dark
He's an exciting horse, he's going in the right direction and looks progressive. He had a bit of an in-and-out year last year, starting well before dipping and then coming back to form again. We're not convinced he's a mudlark as he works well on fast ground, but he goes on soft. I think he can do better as a four-year-old as, looking at him, he's an absolute monster of a horse.
He's a funny one, he had a disappointing season after his seasonal debut. I think ultimately he didn't stay, I probably just really wanted to run him in the Derby and the way that he finished so strongly over 10 furlongs at Epsom (in the trial) left me thinking he was going to be a mile and a half horse, no question. So we stepped him up at Lingfield but in hindsight he didn't stay on the soft ground after looking like he was coming to challenge Anthony Van Dyck and then cutting out. After that he didn't run badly at Ascot back at 10 furlongs on soft ground. But then we went up in trip again and while it was too bad to say it was just trip, I'm quite excited about bringing him right back in distance this year. He looks great and is going very well. Pre-coronavirus I was actually dreaming about getting him into something like the Royal Hunt Cup, a flat-out stiff mile might just really suit him.
He's a lovely horse and is getting better and better. We could make him into a smart international horse for later in the year so we're not too bothered he hasn't been able to be out yet. He'll stay a mile and a half as long as he switches off and settles, but he's a progressive horse and I think there's plenty more to come.
He is an all-weather horse through-and-through really. He's run well on turf but his all-weather form is better. He's currently in a field here chilling out and we're in no rush with him, he won't be out before York time in the autumn.
He'd be a lesser light but a progressive four-year-old handicapper for this year. I trained the dam (Livia's Dream) and she just got better and better with age. I think he'll stay well this year, he's been lightly raced and we've looked after him. Aside from not liking the ground at Newmarket he had quite a successful campaign last year. He's rated 80 but I wouldn't be surprised if he could continue to climb the ladder this year.
He's a talented horse. To stay as well as he did at two suggests he's going to be a real stayer this year. He's not slow but I think a mile and a half would be well within his reach, I'd love to think he'll be a Derby horse but it's all going to be a rush to find out whether you've got a Derby horse or not this year. He's from a great family and might get a handicap mark now but we're not totally sure and will have to see what's open to him when racing starts. He'd be one of our more exciting three-year-old colts, we've some exciting unraced ones, but he's shown real promise.
All his form's on the all-weather from the winter but I think he'll be much better on grass and he'll stay well stepped up in trip. I think he's a well handicapped horse on his revised mark of 78.
Tom Dascombe did very well with him as a two-year-old and he's new to me. He's a big horse and if we're able to recapture some of that two-year-old form then he's well-handicapped. It's hard for sprinters at three so we're hoping he can do quite well as a four-year-old. I think we'll bring him back in trip to six furlongs.
She's a soft ground filly and as soon as racing got suspended we decided she'd be on holiday and will be geared up for a campaign later on. She'll be looking for some valuable black type as she's a smart horse.
She's a bit of a favourite in the yard too and is getting better with age as she's such a big filly. She had a really good year last year and she is another soft ground filly who went out in a field when there was clearly no sign of racing in the spring. She'll skip the summer and be prepared for the autumn. She's rated in the high 80s and I don't think she's done yet, I hope seven furlongs will be well within her reach.
He's such a cool horse and owned by some great people. He actually holds the track record over five furlongs on the July Course at Newmarket which is quite impressive. He's very fast and the ground can't be quick enough for him. We'll have him ready for the summer and he'll go where the ground is fast.
She was disappointing in her last couple of runs of the year. She's quite a spirited filly to say the least, a bit over-enthusiastic, and that cost her on soft ground in France. Newmarket was a disaster as she took off before the start and wasted far too much energy early on. Previous to that she was only beaten narrowly by a good horse in a Group Two in France. She's smart and has done well through the winter. We were going to start her in the Fred Darling but we'll have to see what happens as she has a huge amount of natural ability. If she can relax and stay then she's a pretty exciting filly.
She's rated 106 and has done absolutely nothing wrong. She's in the Commonwealth Cup and other than Group One form she ticks every box. She's a Group Three winner at York and won a Group Two in Germany in August. We took her to Saudi Arabia which was a bit of an experiment and it's the only time she's missed the break in her life so it back-fired really. We've tried seven furlongs with her and it resulted in probably her worst two runs, I think she's probably all speed and I will be aiming her at the biggest races out there and hoping for a bit of luck.
He's an absolute favourite and he's been a legend of a horse. He turns up every year with loads of enthusiasm. He had a strange setback last year when he had a cyst on his epiglottis which made him quite sick. He ran too bad to be true behind Danceteria in a Group One, he was shocking, and he came back clearly ill. We couldn't get him right but eventually found this cyst and that's why his season came to an early end. So he had a light campaign in the end last year after making a perfect start with wins in a Group Three and a Group Two. Things didn't pan out at Ascot but he's a star, I'd love to run him in a Lockinge if the ground was right and he could maybe do a bit of a Lightning Spear and almost fall in in a Group One if everything was right for him. He's getting older and you can't expect him to maintain form forever but I'd love to win a Group One with him somehow. There'd be a proper party if he did.
She means a huge amount as she's the first filly we bred. She was very exciting at two, obviously getting her black type when third in the Oh So Sharp Stakes. I probably made some bad calls last year as we were convinced she'd stay seven furlongs and even a mile but it wasn't panning out and we brought her back to six and it worked. We were then trying to get that Listed win with her but she looks stronger now and I still think she'll stay seven. The key with her will be to try and win a Listed race and I do think she's in a much better place than last season and will have a really good year.
He's unbelievably talented and loves Ascot. We were really working back from the Wokingham but we might have to try and run him in something like the Palace House Stakes if it goes ahead. We're desperate to try and get him into the Wokingham, that's our aim and he's a very, very talented horse. He won comfortably at the end of last season.
She's a very fast filly and is an unbeaten daughter of Nathaniel. We're just going to see what the programme's like but she's only rated 88 and I think she's better than that. We could go straight into stakes company to be honest.
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