Thursday, 5 March 2020

Is Bill Turner the Brocklesby Stakes King?


Anyone who enjoys two-year-old horse racing will be familiar with the name Bill Turner.

Turner has trained at Sigwells Farm, Corton Denham, Sherborne, Dorset for over 40 years.

A gently-spoken man, knowledgeable, and a grafter who has seen his share of gifted horses, especially sprinters. This talented trainer of two-year-olds is known for his success in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes

The Brocklesby Stakes dates back to 1875, the most famous winner being Donovan (1888), trained by George Dawson, owned by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland. Sire by Galopin, this bay colt won 18 of his 21 starts with 9 major wins including the Derby & St Leger. 

The Brocklesby Stakes is the first two-year-old race of the Flat turf season, taking place at the end of March or early April, at Doncaster racecourse, over the flying five furlongs. 

In modern-day history, dating from 1984, a number of very talented two-year-old have won this contest. 

1984 - Provideo, trained by Bill O'Gorman set a 20th-century record for a British-trained two-year-old winning 16 of 24 race and awarded British Horse of the Year (1984) & Timeform Horse of the Year (1984).

1994 - Mind Games, trained by Jack Berry, went on to race at the highest level, winning at Group 2, competing in the Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1).

2009 - Hearts Of Fire, trained by Pat Eddery. This son of Firebreak went on to win the Gran Criterium (Group 1) at San Siro, Italy. 

2016 - The Last Lion, trained by Mark Johnston, raced at two, concluding his career winning the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) before retiring to stud. 

Bill Turner is synonymous with the Brocklesby Stakes 6 times. 

His triumphs include:

1996 - Indian Spark, this son of Indian Ridge raced an incredible 143 times winning 14 times. 

2002 - The Lord, this son of Averti was probably the best of Turner's Brocklesby winners if not one of the best sprinters he ever trained. He won at Listed class and achieved an official rating of 105. 

2006 - Spoof Master, won the Brocklesby Stakes on his second start, with the race taking place at Redcar. 

2008 - Sally's Dilemma, is one of just three fillies to win the Brocklesby Stakes since 1988. She raced just 11 times in her career and this was her only victory. 

2011 - He's So Cool, raced in the familiar silks of E A Brook, a loyal patron of Turner, who won the Brocklesby Stakes on his second start.

2013 - Mick's Yer Man, is a horse with a story. He won the Brocklesby by five lengths and took his second race in style. However, this son of Bahamian Bounty must have been plagued with injury and raced infrequently. However, in 2014 he won a Listed race at Ascot. Later sold by Turner to race in Hong Kong where he won prize money of over £300,000. 

In recent years, Turner has struggled to capture those past glories. Recent runners include: 

2015 - Just That Lord 7/2J 4th 

2016 - Crucial Moment 5/1 8th 

2017 - Hollofaqueen 10/1 4th 

2018 - Arthur's Spirit 10/1 8th 

2019 - Hell Of A Joker 10/1 14th 

Good luck to the stable for future Brocklesby Stakes entrants.