Richard Rowe has good prospects for the season

On the downs, Richard Rowe heads the string with Near The Water

On the downs, Richard Rowe heads the string with Near The Water

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LOOKING ahead to a promising season is Sullington racehorse trainer Richard Rowe, who has some strong entries in top races in the coming weeks. In addition to existing good horses, he has some quality newcomers to his string.

Now in his 20th year of training, Richard had an ideal base at Ashleigh House Stables, nestling at the foot of the downs.

As well stiff uphill gallops, horses have the advantage of varied terrain around their stables, which means they are never bored.

The string had a late start to the season because of the unsuitably firm ground, but recent rain has seen runners back in action with encouraging performances.

Richard said: “The aim is always to try and improve on the previous season and to ensure that the horses run well. This year, as well as some new horses, I have a few new owners and additions to my stable staff. Good staff are a key factor here and my horse’s get individual attention they need. I use Leighton Aspell, Andrew Thornton or Tom Cannon as jockeys whenever possible, as well as Brendon Powell Junior as a claimer. They are all very good horsemen as well as being jockeys.”

The stable made a good start when High Oscar, well ridden by Brendan Powell Junior, was the runaway winner of a chase at Fontwell this month after being off the track for more than 200 days. It was an excellent start for the Richard Rowe Racing Partnership- all local owners, who have several horses at the yard.

Other horses owned by the partnerhip include Bishops Baby, a tough mare who was in great form last season, and new horse, I No Understand, a winner of a point-to-point, who will be out over hurdles. Horses which can handle smaller tracks like Fontwell and Plumpton are handpicked for the group, so that they can run locally for members.

Marble Walk, owned by Winterfield Farms at Pulborough, had made a striking debut this autumn at Fontwell Park, finishing a good third in a strong field at an unbelievable price of 100-1.

Waiting in the wings for a reappearance is top class horse Tatenen, which along with Watergate and French import Aikideau, is owned by the Stewart family. Tatenen won the £60,000 Victor Chandler Race by a big margin for Richard last season, when ridden by Andrew Thornton. He has had a long summer break and his first run this season is expected to be in the December Gold Cup, an £80,000 two mile five furlong chase on December 10 at Cheltenham.

For full feature see West Sussex Gazette, Equestrian News, November 23 2011