Saturday 1 April 2017

Bill Turner Is Hellovaqueen for Brocklesby 2017

When it comes to the first two-year-old race of the new Flat turf season - the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes springs to mind.

A trainer, too.

Bill Turner. 

Training from Sigwells, Somerset, this canny handler has made his name defying the odds, especially at Doncaster. 

Saturday April 1st heralds the start of the new Flat turf season at Doncaster. A card sponsored by Betway. While the focus of most punter's attention will be the Betway Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) over 1m. 

For those who love their two-year-old racing, take a look at the 4:10 Doncaster - Betway Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (Plus 10) Class (2yo) over 5f. At present, the going is good to soft with forecast scattered showers. 

28 horses have been entered at the first declaration stage. 

A mix of trainers - large to small - including: Mark Johnston, Richard Fahey, Clive Cox... 

Bill Turner has a sole entrant. 

Hellovaqueen, a grey daughter of Hellvelyn, out of a mare called Regal Quest who achieved one win in her career for Sylvester Kirk at two. Bill Turner's charge is a homebred racing in the silks of Mrs A F Horsington. 

Turner has excelled in this race winning over the years:

  • 1996 - Indian Spark  
  • 2002 - The Lord
  • 2006 - Spoof Master
  • 2008 - Sally's Dilemma 
  • 2011 - He's So Cool
  • 2013 - Mick's Yer Man

The Last Lion (pictured) won for Mark Johnston in 2016, while Turner's Crucial Moment proved to be a disappointment back in 8th at odds of 5-1. In fact, he has achieved little in six runs to date with an official rating of just 58. 

The Last Lion gave prestige to the Brocklesby Stakes, racing at the highest level and concluded a tremendous year winning the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) from Godolphin's favourite Blue Point. 

The Last Lion is now a stallion after one season as a racehorse. 

Here are a few quotes about this great talent:

From Brocklesby to his rousing triumph in the G1 Middle Park: a precocious and tough talent who improved from race to race

Never out of the first three in ten starts at two and rated the equal of Caravaggio and Churchill as the joint best colt of the crop after his G1 win

By the sire Starspangledbanner out of a G1 juvenile. Rated higher than Dark Angel, the last Middle Park hero to retire to stud at two      

This year, Mark Johnston has one horse entered for the Brocklesby Stakes at the first declaration stage - Faithfull Promise. This son of Acclamation is owned by Saeed Manana.


The Brocklesby has been a talking race for many trainers who have early two-year-olds flying up the gallops. It had a period where winners were limited not achieving a great deal thereafter. However, it is worth noting a number of exceptional horses have won this race. 

It will be interesting to see how this new crop of two-year-olds will fair and what the future holds for this year's Brocklesby Conditions Stakes 2017. 

Bill Turner, as all trainers, will be hoping his filly can shine on the big occasion. In truth, the debut run is the start of a story which may tell of a horse which achieves greatness. 

It is usually the case Bill Turner sends his best two-year-old to contest this race. In recent seasons, his prominence in the Brocklesby has been all the more challenging. A comment he has mentioned.   

Turner quoted on ATR said: "I hope to have something for the Brocklesby. It's a race that we've always had one ready for in the past, but we are down to just five two-year-olds this season. It is a struggle," he said.
"We think we have a nice filly, but we are finding we can't compete against bigger yards, like those of Richard Hannon and Mark Johnston. We need a few more owners.
"The reality is me and the wife are both 70 now and my wife has not been well. However, while we know we have had to cut back a bit, there is always room here for a few more - I'm as enthusiastic as ever."

Hellovaqueen will be there battling with the best. 

The race has split into two divisions.

4:45 Doncaster - Pointers: Jurisprudance