Middleham Park reached another big milestone yesterday, when El Kaldoun won the Lingfield opener, notching up 1000 winners for the syndicate.
Racing on the AW in the starsports.bet Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, the Nicky Henderson-trained 4yo, gradually asserted up the straight from both Millers Bank and Colonel Miller, and ran out a readily winner.
Having been formed well over twenty years ago by Tim Palin, Middleham Park now have more than 100 horses in training, and have some of the most recognisable colours on the flat scene; light blue jersey with orange epaulets.
To date, they have achieved three Group One wins, and accomplished much success with the likes of Ventura Storm - 2nd in the 2016 St Leger, G Force and Toormore. However, founder Palin, along with partner Mike Prince, want some more success in the National Hunt season.
(Credit: Racing UK) Palin said: “There’s a bit of symmetry there, with our first winner coming on the all-weather as well as our 1000th.
“I always describe this as a hobby that has just got out of hand, and that is exactly what it is – it never feels like work when you are on a racecourse.
“We’ve had Cheltenham Festival winners, Royal Ascot winners. One thing we’d really love is a Classic winner, but we’re really trying to expand our National Hunt section," he said.
His son, Tom, manages the National Hunt operation and believes El Khaldoun looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
(Credit: Racing UK) He said: “He’s still a big baby, but we’ve always liked him. He’s probably only had one piece of work at home, but he’ll come on a ton.
“He’s a horse Mr (Nicky) Henderson holds if not in the highest regard, certainly highly, and he’s got a bright future. Whether we go over hurdles next or stay in bumpers, I’m not sure.
"The path is almost written for us because Didtheyleaveuoutto won this race last year and went for the Listed bumper at Ascot - which he went onto win, so that is an option – or we might stick eight flights of hurdles in front of him," he finished.
Didtheyleaveuoutto won on his first start over hurdles at Fakenham on Halloween, before impressively scoring at Ascot once more on Saturday just gone in an Introductory Hurdle, thus throwing his name into the Supreme Novice hat.