Sunday, 6 October 2019

Stable tour - Gillian Boanas

I enjoy the history of this great game and there’s plenty of it at the Reveley Farms, where Gillian Boanas has some 20 or so nice horses under her care in Lingdale, not far from Saltburn-by-the-sea.

Gillian has been part of the furniture here for longer than she cares to remember (25 years and counting) but while any riding ambitions were quashed by a broken back in her late teens, a desire to train under rules was never really part of the plan.

However, when Keith Reveley – who had taken over from mother Mary in 2004 – decided to call it a day in the summer of 2016 she took the decision to rent a section of the yard and turn a part-time hobby into something more serious.

“I was training a handful of horses for Point-to-Points down the road in my spare time but then Keith dropped a bit of a bombshell when announcing he was going to quit that following January," she said.

Gillian with recent purchase Generalisation

"So I thought rather than doing that I might as well try to keep it going here, and the vast majority of the owners were happy for me to take over,” she said.

“Tees Components have been brilliant down the years and the horses they breed come here, while Richard Collins has been very loyal, giving me Brave Spartacus and now Bestiarius as well as keeping Crixus’s Escape with me. 

“So I did the necessary training courses in short time and we were soon up and running. There are 22 boxes and we have 19 in training including a couple of Flat horses that will soon be turned away, with another four elsewhere.

“There are four of us that work here although one is about to give birth so we are going to be snowed under for the next few months!

“Joe (Williamson) is attached to the yard and will keep riding a lot of them, he’s coming on all the time and has been helped by Phil Kinsella.

“Ross Chapman comes in once every week or so to get to know the horses and is a really good young rider.”

With Gillian’s number of winners increasing exponentially each season I thought it was a good time to see what she’s got going on at a yard where little has change over the years.

The legendary woodchip gallop has been rebuilt through the humps and hollows and is now a good six furlong pull from bottom to top, while there remains an indoor barn and a furlong round loop for warming up and slow work.

With a small team Gillian is out with most of the five lots including the galloping and schooling, and seems to be enjoying her time at the helm. With no plans at the moment to expand, she has a really nice bunch of horses to go to war with this season having replaced the likes of the now-retired Brave Spartacus with some cheap buys at the Doncaster Sales.

The famous gallop at Lingdale

The day after this interview took place Gillian celebrated her first winner of the winter campaign – her third of the season – when Sweet Vinetta battled to victory at Hexham at rewarding odds of 14/1.

There will be plenty of value to be had backing horses from a small ‘unfashionable’ yard like Gillian’s this winter and she is well on the way to beating last season’s tally of eight. She has set her own goal of 15 and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if she achieved it. I wish her well.

Teescomponents Lad
A little star, he was the first to run under my name and only just got beat in a bumper. I’m still waiting for my first bumper winner now! He’s so consistent and I don’t feel we’ve seen the best of him yet. We took him to Kelso in March but he reared up in the lorry and suffered a nasty cut that required surgery, but he’s fine now and will go to Wetherby over 3m first time out.

Bestiarius
Started out with Keith before moving to Nicky Richards, but he suffered a bad tendon injury and he came back and I gave him plenty of time off. Got tired on his first run back at Perth and it might take him two or three runs to reach his peak as he’s a big lad and came in heavy enough. He’ll run again over hurdles before we think about fences, but he’s a brilliant jumper.

Loch Linnhe
We gave him a wind op after he arrived from Mark Walford’s and it seemed to have helped. Finished last season by winning at Southwell when I decided to ride him more patiently and he got there just in time. He’d been ridden forcefully most of the time and I think he enjoyed having an easier time of it. He’s back after a niggle and I think he’s best with cut in the ground.

Teescomponentstrig
A nice big four-year-old by Black Sam Bellamy out of a mare that was bred here called La Calinda. He’s a brilliant jumper, a natural from day one, and we’ll be looking at races over 2m4f with some cut in the ground.

Just Call Me Al
‘Alan’ has always worked like a good one and he’s an easy horse at home but is very keen in his races and hasn’t been getting home. He hasn’t had any luck at all and had a tired fall at Southwell the other day, but when things fall right I’m sure he’s a well-handicapped horse.

Generalisation
Picked up for £8,500 at Doncaster last month, he’s a lovely big chasing type and I’m just finding out about him. He was ridden quite aggressively over 2m in Ireland but he’s by Arcadio and I can see him running over 2m3f at somewhere like Market Rasen. We’ll see what mark he gets as he’s still a maiden over hurdles as well.

Crixus’s Escape
A good looking son of Beneficial, he broke rib when winning at Hexham so he went into his second season over hurdles a very inexperienced horse. He finally came good, winning at Ayr when he got his ground, and he’ll start back at Carlisle before we think about going over fences. 2m4f looks like his trip for the time being.

Sultans Pride
From a family we know very well but he’s been pretty disappointing after showing a fair bit in bumpers. He’s always been a bit backward and didn’t really take to hurdles before getting a tendon injury. I’m hoping he’s going to be a better chaser.

Sweet Vinetta
Another home bred, she’s not very big but showed promise at Hexham before winning her novice at Catterick. I probably shouldn’t have run her in a decent race at Newcastle and she struggled a bit after that, but she’s come in looking and feeling stronger so hopefully we can find another race for her on soft ground on a left-handed track, as she hates going the other way. *Won at Hexham on Friday

Leading in Sweet Vinetta at Hexham

Lady Vinetta
A Sulamani half-sister to Sweet Vinetta, she may be a little more straight forward but will be even better next year. Ran okay in a bumper the other day and I’ll ease off her now for a while. There’s a mares bumper at Wetherby at the end of November before she goes over hurdles, and she jumps brilliantly.

Baby Jane
One I picked up at the spring sale for £4,000, a four-year-old by Oscar that goes nicely, she schools really well but she’ll start off in a bumper and if I think she can win one she might have another go. I’ve also got her half-sister by Milan and she’s another nice sort.

Noble Rose
A half-sister to Floral Bouquet who I used to train (now with Jamie Snowden) by Sholokov, a lovely big mare who has schooled really well, but she's had all sorts of little niggles and we've also had her wind done.

Arcadio x Arequipa
A lovely three-year-old I picked up at the May sale for 10k who is a half brother to Better Getalong, a nice horse that used to with Nicky Richards. He's a laid back sort I'm in no rush with but he's an absolute dude and one we can look forward  to.

Presenting x Northern Native
A full sister to the Reveley’s Dance Of Time and also Teescomponents Lad, she’s a nice big mare who we’ll hopefully get a run into in the New Year. I also have her half-brother by Shirocco.

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