Tuesday 15th of June 2021
The Bloodstock Blogger

Sophie Buckley: First win, sales countdown & film crews

It’s all go at Culworth Grounds as Sophie Buckley celebrates her first win plus there’s hours of yearling prep and an encounter with a film crew.

We had great excitement this month with the first yearling that was produced and sold at Culworth Grounds running. He was bought by Sackville Donald for the trainer Tom Dascombe. He is called Spud which I thought was rather apt. I was wondering if being sold by an Irish farmers daughter who has done many hours potato sorting had anything to do with it! It turns out he is half owned by a potato farmer who is not Irish!

Spud showed that he was a force to be reckoned with and won by 15 lengths. He was a highly intelligent horse and a very fast learner so I will be surprised if he doesn’t go on to better things. It was great off the mark and produce the first winner. It was a brilliant result for all connections and I can say have 100% runner to winner ratio, for now!!

Rory the Requinto was the first yearling to be sold in 2017 at the new Ascot yearling sale. He went well and was very popular. He didn’t quite make the price that I thought but he was still in the top 10% of the sale so it was just the market on the day. He did have faults but I really liked him at home and thought that he was an athlete with a fabulous temperament.

I will be surprised if he doesn’t win races. He was bought by the Spear family who were very busy patting him and feeding him apples after the sale. When you are in a commercial industry it is nice to feel that owners can take the time to bond with their horse and it will hopefully make their experience in racing so much more than a day out at the races.

The countdown is on for the other yearlings. There are four yearlings going to Tattersalls this week. Two fillies in Book 2 and two more in Book 3. So it is girl power for Culworth Grounds this year. They are by Sepoy, Slade Power, Bated Breath and finally Fast Company, the sire of Spud.

I have been very lucky so far this year and the yearlings have been a lot less stressful. Suicide attempts are definitely down but there is still time! There  have been some positive updates for all the fillies since I bought them last year so that will hopefully help. They have been a great bunch to work with and I have really enjoyed them and I think they will be runners.

On the farm it has been a good Summer. All the harvest is in but there are a few tetchy men around the place as it has been very wet and we are behind with the drilling. The place feels like it is covered with pheasants and partridges especially when you are walking around the place with yearlings. They jump less than I do when one fly’s up from the undergrowth!

We had a fun day filming with Kingdom Creative last week. They are on a mission to help me produce a short promo film to show the best of Culworth Grounds and what it has to offer. I certainly slept well that night and decided that being a film director was not something I fancied doing.

The horses were all great actors and Hottie the Hot Streak foal is definitely keen for life in front of the camera. He put on a fine display of speed on cue for the camera. I am hoping he is just practising for running very fast on ITV in the Derby in three years’ time!



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