Royal Ascot glory and success in three other countries were the highlights of a memorable 2022 which saw Archie and the team send out 95 winners across all codes from Saxon Gate in Upper Lambourn.
Star two-year-old Bradsell sent the champagne corks popping when he won one of the most coveted races at the Royal Meeting in June, the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, for his Bahrain based owners Victorious Racing.
Ridden by Hollie Doyle, the son of Tasleet overcame a high quality field including subsequent dual Group 1 winner Blackbeard and Group 2 July Stakes hero Persian Force. Unfortunately he sustained an injury on his next start in Ireland which ruled him out for the rest of the season but is back in training and will be aimed at the Commonwealth Cup and the sprint division this coming season.
Bradsell wasn’t the only star juvenile at Saxon Gate, as Eddie’s Boy established a big reputation of his own with wins in the valuable Super Sprint at Newbury in July and a Group 3 at Chantilly in Paris in September.
Middleham Park Racing’s grey, a 45,000 gns capture by Tom Biggs of Blandford Bloodstock as a yearling, also took his syndicate to Royal Ascot, finishing a gallant third in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes and missed out by only a short neck in a Group 2 back at Chantilly in October before being sold for 320,000 gns to race in Qatar.
Another successful ownership group Hambleton Racing kicked off their year in style when Outbox scooped them over £400,000 by winning The Amir Trophy in Qatar in February with Hollie again in the saddle.
In September, the globetrotting son of Frankel came within a nose of securing another notable international victory when he was second in the Group 3 Stockholm Cup at Bro Park in Sweden for the second year running.
Hambleton’s owners also enjoyed top level success with their progressive miler Tempus, who confirmed the promise of his third in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot by claiming a valuable handicap and two Group 3s in the summer.
Tempus demonstrated his liking for Ascot when speeding to victory in the Porsche Handicap at the King George meeting in July and then took the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in August, but that wasn’t the limit of his progress.
With regular partner Hollie on board, he went on to win another Group 3 at Deauville in France and was third in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket the following month – a testament to his resilience after winning a Fast Track Qualifier on the All-Weather in early January.
Whilst Hambleton enjoyed the exploits of Tempus and Outbox, they said goodbye to their flagbearer Glen Shiel who was retired in the summer. Glen won eight races, including the Group 1 Champions’ Sprint and the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes in Ireland, as well as finishing second three times at the highest level in the Sprint Cup at Haydock, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the Champions’ Sprint at Ascot, and amassed over £730,000 in prize money.
Archie’s star performers contributed to 79 winners domestically on the Flat and the All-Weather but further success was also achieved overseas with Hambleton Racing’s Manitou scoring at Bro Park in Sweden and Lone Star Investments’ two-year-old filly Way To Amarillo landing a fillies’ maiden at Deauville under Mickael Barzalona just before Christmas.
Archie and his wife Brodie (Hampson), who were married in the summer, continued to enjoy growing success in the National Hunt sphere with Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle winner Stag Horn for Ben and Sir Martyn Arbib and also two Hambleton Racing horses making a big impact over hurdles.
Al Zaraqaan underlined his class on the Flat by going down by just a nose in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park in March but rattled off a four-timer over timber. The second of those was achieved under Gavin Sheehan at Bro Park in Sweden when Archie celebrated a high-profile double completed by Manitou.
Two further successes in novice hurdles at Carlisle and Hereford propelled Hambleton’s exciting Grove Road into the Cheltenham Festival picture, with a step up to Graded company on the cards for him early in the new year.
Brodie, who does most of the work with the jumpers, also conjured two wins out of Throne Hall whose victories at Uttoxeter and Wetherby contributed to 10 National Hunt winners in a year that also saw her crowned the champion lady amateur rider on the Flat.
It was a productive year for our tough miler Excel Power who, together with Tempus, Al Zaraqaan, and former inmate Watermelon Sugar, became our winning most horse with four successes. Excel Power proved as useful on the All-Weather as he was on turf, netting over £50,000 in prize money for his owner Mohammed Rashid, and continues to enjoy a profitable winter season.
Meanwhile, December brought such a memorable year to a fitting close with a raft of winners including Colors Of Freedom, who gave Luke Morris his 100th win of the year in a Newcastle nursery. It was the 12th consecutive year that Luke had reached that impressive milestone.
By Simon Mapletoft