San Cassiano aka as Stan or Stanley has been with us since 2010 and won 12 races for the team at Mowbray. Here is his story.
At Royal Ascot in 2010 I spoke to Peter Savill (former chairman of the BHA) who owned (and bred) many good horses including Celtic Swing and Chaplins Club trained by my Grandfather, David Chapman. He said he had a horse that needed a change of scenary as he was just going through the motions since winning first time out as a two year old. The horse was San Cassiano who was to run in a claimer at Redcar and if he wasn't claimed I was to take him home from there.
Stan ran mid division in the claimer, wasn't claimed so I took him home with me. We gave him a month of what we do here at Mowbray; lunging, turnout and ridden exercise a couple of times a week. After four weeks I was happy he was ready for a trip to the races and took him to Ripon for mile handicap. Phil Makin rode him, sat handy and won by two lengths at 25-1! Stan followed up in another mile handicap at Newmarket then ran as well could be expected at the weights in a listed race at Goodwood before disappointing at back at Ripon when my horses had gone off the boil.
Stan was entered at Tattersalls Horses In Training Sale in the October but didn't get much interest and I bought him back for £12,000. Grandad and I got our wires crossed as he thought I'd bought Stan back for him but at the sales I'd already sold half to Robin and the Bottom Liners with who we'd had a great year with Dubai Dynamo having bought him for only £6000 at the same sale the previous year.
Stan came home, spent the winter getting muddy, wooly and scruffy and ran again the following Spring. It took at bit of time for him to come right and he was placed four times before winning at Ripon and Leicester.
Again Stan went to the sales, this time at Doncaster in September, he didn't reach his £30,000 reserve so again he came home but this time Ferdy Murphy came along and bought him after the sale. Sadly we waved goodbye to Stan, racings a hard game but we had more than doubled our money so it had to be.
Stan wasn't sighted on the racecourse for over a year, ran in four hurdle races and for whatever reason didn't make any sort of impact. At this time Ferdy had decided to move his business to France and suggested to Stan's owners that they sent him back to me and tried him again on the flat.
So Stan came back complete with a new bunch of owners! It took a few runs but later that year he won at Ripon, a track he was starting to show a real liking for, and later in the year he won another race at Redcar. Some of the original owners he came with dropped out but Stephen Jackson and Les Shaw and his gang always kept the faith.
The following year was probably Stans best. He was placed 2nd at Musselburgh and Ripon before winning a gentlemans amatuer riders race at York under Ryan who looks after him and then went on to win at Ayr and Newcastle on Plate Day both under Jimmy.
Poor Stan was now well up the handicap and it took a good deal of time for him to come back down. He won at Redcar the following year and was placed a couple of times but seemed to need to be in the right mood to put his best foot forward!
Despite his advancing years, at 9yo Stan won another two races this year taking his total to thirteen - twelve for us. One at Beverely and the other at Redcar a track that he's also enjoyed, in both races he was ridden by lady amatuers. My good friends from my old amatuer days Serena Brotherton and Carol Bartley!
It was decided at the end of the season to retire Stan. He's won at the top tracks; York and Newmarket. Provided Ryan with the best day of his racing life. He sold well, (which is very rare for me!) came back and brought new owners with him who have reinvested. He's been a fantastic horse for me and everyone that's been involved with him.
So what for Stan now? Stan is having a career change and is going to try his hoof at Team Chasing. Joe Stephenson and his girlfriend Sophie ride in Dad's team Ride Away. Joe is an experienced and gifted rider, is used to throughbreds as has ridden as an amatuer under rules and in point to points so is the perfect partner for Stan.
We wish them lots of luck and look forward to following their progress!