Alcala’s Famous Five

The likes of Kauto Star, Denman and Big Buck’s are just some of the names that have landed five wins in a row under Paul Nicholls.

It’s a feat that is far from an easy one to achieve, and although Alcala might not be the best horse the 10-time champion handler has ever trained, he’s certainly moved up the pecking order after landing a famous five of his own.

Regular readers of my blog will know all about my association with Alcala by now, and if you don’t, have a flick through my blogs over the past 12 months and you’ll soon see.

Big thanks to Jake (@JakePriceTips) for allowing me to use his picture of Alcala as my main image. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter.

I’ve always wanted to be involved in owning racehorses, much more than I have ever wanted to bet on them. That was always the magic of a day at the races for me, dreaming of one day being able to have one of my own.

That’s not quite the case with Alcala, but the share I hold is certainly good enough to give me all the excitement without the costs.

When I got my share late in 2016, little did I expect that it would have been such a memorable 10 months to follow.

I’ve had friends with involvements in racing syndicates, but the majority with low-class horses and less recognised trainers.

That wasn’t something that tickled my fancy. If I was going to get involved, then I wanted to do so with a trainer that knew a thing or two about training winners and ideally National Hunt winners.

Me (left centre) with Paul Nicholls (centre) at the Owners Group Open Day at Ditcheat earlier this year.

That was certainly my thinking with Paul Nicholls, a trainer I have always followed since my interest in horse racing began. But that wasn’t to say that I was banking on seeing Alcala put a string of victories together.

I was getting involved with Alcala for the experience of being a racehorse owner. Just seeing him at the races would have been more than enough to whet my appetite.

But as I write this in the opening week of September, Alcala has just wrapped up a fifth win on the spin and his sixth in seven races.

The scene of his fifth victory was back at Newton Abbot, a course he has become pretty familiar with in recent months. He’s made all four visits there this season winnings one’s,  claiming victory over 2m 5f and 3m 2f.

This time around he faced up to just two opponents, one of which he had met before in Exxaro. Alcala got the better of him by 33 lengths the last time they raced, but this was a much tighter affair with the third runner in the race having his first run over fences.

Alcala though, put in what was perhaps his most fluent round of jumping to date over fences. He barely put a foot wrong all the way around, before quicking up nicely for Sam Twiston-Davies who was eventually able to ease him down in the final half-a-furlong.

It was as routine a victory as you could hope for in a race that he was clearly the standout runner. It also keeps him well enough to continue running while the ground is genuinely good and the plan seems to be that he’ll target another Listed chase at Market Rasen later this month, before assessing his options at Cheltenham’s Autumn meeting.

But for now, at least, it’s time to enjoy an incredible feat of five wins on the spin. Some owners aren’t lucky enough to see their horse win once!


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