James Evans – Stable Tour

If you head out of Worcester on the A44 towards Leominster you pass through the quintessentially English village of Broadwas. It is here set in 50 acres of the Malvern Hills district that you will find the base of trainer James Evans. There is a real air of tranquillity about the yard; assorted equine heads greet you from a plethora of windows. Each box has two windows, perfect for the inquisitive horse. Without fail, the first head that you always see belongs to the handsome Neighbourhood. The five year old is one of the funniest horses that I have ever met. Apparently, when he’s at the racecourse, he delights in putting pieces of his bedding over the door of his stable. Intelligent and clearly talented, he has joined my ever growing list of favourite horses. His nickname is “Hoody” and they tell me that is more to do with his behaviour than his name. The enduring impression that you take away with you after visiting chez Evans is the love for and the understanding of each horse. Every inmate shows their true personality; their happiness is plain to see and they get to be just a ‘horse’ as they’re turned out every day. As James talked me through his 17 recruits he informed me of: past races, preferences, characteristics, likes, dislikes, the A plan and even the B plan for each horse. The attention to detail is second to none. Caldercruix powers up the 7 1/2F gallop, surrounded by a carpet of buttercups. An idyllic shot of the gallop, looking back towards the yard. You can just see the stalls in the distance. In brief and in James’s words, the horses and the plans are:- Buckontupence. 5yo b g Brian Boru – Miss Od Recent Doncaster sales recruit. Won maiden point to point in May. Seems tough and genuine, will run in NHF races early October. He’s the type to make staying chaser next year. Caldercruix 6yo ch g Rahy — Al Theraab Consistent handicapper who loves it around Southwell. He got fractious in the stalls at Kempton last time out and was slowly away. We’re hopeful that he can bounce back. Friendship Bay 9yo b g Midnight Legend – Friendly Fairy Bumper winner and lightly raced novice hurdler. Now back in training and will run in novice/handicap hurdles in the Autumn. Glimpse of Magic 4yo b f Passing Glance Half sister to Friendship Bay. Will run in Bumpers at Christmas. Heezagrey 10yo gr g Naheez – Silver Belle Tough staying hurdler/chaser who will be aimed at a staying Conditional Jockeys Chase at Newton Abbot on September 30th. Lateral Thinking 3yo b g Excellent Art – Sumingasefa Another Doncaster Sales purchase. Well bred strong scopey individual, who ran in 3 Irish maidensin July. Second over 7f last start and looks type to get further. Will go for a 1m maiden mid October. Midnight Brownie 2yo b c Midnight Legend Full brother to Friendship Bay and will come into full training at Christmas. Forward type who may start out on the flat next spring, before going jumping. Midnight Choice 8yo b g Midnight Legend – Pearl’s Choice Big strong novice chaser. Will run over fences through the Autumn. Must have good ground and looks well handicapped now Petrus De Sormain 10yo b g Milford Track – Bialystock Winner of French bumper and handicap hurdle. Off for 2 years through injury. Back in light work and will aim for staying handicap hurdles. Phoenix Flight 8yo b g Hawk Wing – Firecrest Talented dual purpose performer who has been lightly raced in recent years due to injury. Will run on the Flat at the end of September then embark on a hurdling campaign. Neighbourhood 5yo b/br g Street Cry – Miznah Winner of 3 staying flat handicaps. Has been schooled over hurdles and jumps well, will go jumping later in Autumn. Well related and type to improve. Runs at Kempton on September 14th. Roc De Guye 8yo b g Video Rock – Kasibelle De Guye Recent Stratford winner. Has lacked confidence but could build on his win especially with step up in trip beckoning. Due to run at Bangor on 13th September. Shakespeare Dancer 4y0 b f Norse Dancer – Sharbasia Poor flat maiden but well bred and jumps very well. Will run in mares hurdle races through Autumn. Softsong 5yo b g Singspiel – Soft Gold Novice Hurdler. Winner on the flat in France. Talented dual purpose horse. Stoneyley Minstrel 4yo b g Big lengthy gelding who was sent home for a summer break. Back in training now and will go hurdling after a bumper run late autumn. Has already shown promise at home. Tanner Hill – 5yo b g Milan Big backward sort. Genuine and likeable who has had 3 point to point runs for experience. Sure to improve with time and will start in novice chases in late Sepember/Oct. Trackmate 7yo b g Muhtarram – Cruz Santa Ran away from a strong field at Aintree in May. 7 yo but relatively unexposed and with reasonable improvement should After summer break will start out in Pertemps Qualifier at Cheltenham Oct18th. James and Phoenix Flight lead third lot back from the gallop. En route to work. I’ll be visiting James’ yard at regular intervals throughout the season so expect the next update after Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting. If the truth be told, I find it so relaxing at Stone Farm that I never want to leave. For more details, please visit: www.hjamesevans.co.uk To follow James on Twitter go to @HJamesEvans (All photos by Barry Preece)