That Winning Smile!

As we approach the end of January it’s fair to say the start of 2024 has been a successful one for horses carrying the silks of James and Jean Potter Ltd with winners up and down the country.

Dancing for Joy

Call The Dance was our first winner of the year when scoring in style in a Maiden at Wincanton. Nicky Henderson trains the daughter of our wonderful broodmare, Hora, and this beautifully bred mare, by Kayf Tara, who has now won two of her four starts, will hopefully develop into a smart hurdler.

James Bowen was suitably impressed with the manner of her victory at the west country venue and suggested that while she would get further in time, she’s not short of pace and displayed a good turn of foot after jumping the last, so we have plenty of options going forward.

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Call The Dance bolts up at Wincanton

Keep Smiling

We were absolutely delighted with Smiling Getaway who followed up her impressive victory on hurdles debut at Ludlow by scoring in fine style at Warwick last Monday. She was given a no-nonsense ride by Sam Twiston-Davies who pretty much made all of the running aboard the daughter of Getaway, and she drew clear to score by a decisive eight lengths – under a penalty we might add! That was over just short of two and a half miles, but there’s no doubt she stays further, as her success in an Irish Point to Point will testify, but for the time being, she’ll stick to this distance and has been given an entry in the G2 Jane Seymour Mares Novice Hurdle at Sandown on February 15th. She more than warrants stepping up in grade and, after a slow start to her career, we’re hoping our patience will be rewarded. Nigel Twiston-Davies, and all the team at Grange Hill Farm, have done a fantastic job keeping her sound and healthy and all being well, we could have plenty of fun with her.

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Smiling Getaway makes it two from two over Hurdles

Bert Bounces Back

Our final winner of the month came up at Doncaster on Saturday when Egbert bounced back from a poor run last month to collect in fine style. He is a son of Yorton sire Pether’s Moon who certainly makes his jockey earn his riding fee, but did appear to travel much more sweetly in the first time visor, and despite losing ground three out, he responded to Tom Cannon’s urgings and put four lengths of daylight between him and the second, who was in receipt of 3lbs.

The handicapper will obviously have his say, but when Egbert is good, he is quite good, and with Saturday’s confidence boosting success under his belt, we are optimistic he can continue on a winning curve.

Egbert has now won twice over fences.

Winners in Waiting

Moonlit Potter is another exciting prospect who ran a great race on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon earlier this month and she looks a very capable mare. Henry Daly has given her plenty of time, because she’s not been the easiest to train, but we have been particularly encouraged by what we’ve seen so far.

It was a similar story to Spring Gale who shaped with great credit when staying on third on her first run since a wind operation and there is no doubt, she will be seen to much better affect once stepped up in trip. She’s a huge filly, who will jump fences, for sure, but fingers and toes crossed she can pick up a hurdle race or two en route to going chasing next season.

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Spring Gale shaped with promise at Warwick

Guard The Moon has been a superstar, and after winning two bumpers at Bangor, Potterman’s half brother showed he has plenty of raw talent himself when putting up a fine effort to finish third on hurdles debut at Chepstow last week. He’s not the most exhuberant in his work, which makes assessing how good he actually is pretty difficult, but he clearly comes alive on the track and jumped for fun at Chepstow. Winning a Novice should be a formality.

You couldn’t help but be pleased with Range’s performance in the G2 River Don at Doncaster on Saturday where he finished a gallant fifth under a lovely ride by Tom Cannon. He’s not the biggest in stature but has plenty of ability and looks a smart stayer in the making. Sam Thomas has done a wonderful job with the son of Shantou, who isn’t the simplest to train, and it will be interesting to see how the handicapper assesses him.


Alfie’s Princess has been given an entry in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday and, at this stage, is an intended runner.

Strong Belle has entries at Ffos Las and Wetherby, and after suffering a ‘fall’ at Catterick last month, when looking the winner, she deserves to get her head in front.

Dancing In Brazil is going to be gelded this week and, following a set back after her eyecatching run at Newbury, Dance The Moon, has started walking again and will hopefully be out in the spring.

Reforme has come out of his Bumper run at Musselburgh in fine shape and has options back at the Edinburgh track on Sunday or Kelso a couple of weeks later.

Our Power and Stolen Silver, both owned by Potter Group, have taken a long, long time to get over their exertions in the Coral Gold Cup and are still on the easy list, but hopefully they’ll be back towards the springtime.