Stable Tour with Andy Crook
Name Andy Crook
Training Location: Ashgill Stables, Middleham
Dual Purpose licence
Training facilities: Middleham gallops
High Moor: A 12 furlong carpet gallop and grass gallop plus a five furlong grass gallop.
Low Moor: Three furlong all weather gallop which once a week gets brush hurdles put on and roll on starting stalls; a seven furlong all weather gallop; a seven furlong grass gallop, a two-year-old grass gallop, all weather schooling lane and grass schooling facilities. We also have an all-weather ménage, an all-weather lunge ring and a horse walker on the yard.
We have 18 horses, a mixture of flat, jump and dual purpose so not all in training at the same time. We have the capacity for 25 horses.
Background/ introduction into racing: I left school at 15 and went into racing working for Frank Carr and had my first ride for him. I went on to ride on the flat for Dick Hern and Steve Nesbit. While working for Steve, I looked after and rode to win one of the all-time worst rogues, Ubedizzy. He was such a rogue he actually bit off my finger end! Later I went on to be head lad for George Moore, Neville Crump, Roxy Wharton and Micky Hammond. I left Micky to start up as a trainer in my own right.
Favourite horses trained:
Ryalux, who gave us our biggest winner when landing the Scottish Grand National in 2003. He was also placed in many other high-class races and is still enjoying his retirement as very much part of the family at the grand age of 27.
Matmata De Tendron won 10 races for us and was one of the best jumpers I have ever seen. He was only small but had a massive heart and was very brave. We also kept him in retirement until we sadly lost him three years ago.
Other horses who have been great flag bearers for us in high class races were Jonny’s Lass and Bocamix and most recently Racemaker who is a winner of four races for us until sadly getting an injury last season. We hope to see him back out again soon.
Favourite horses seen in your lifetime: Brigadier Gerard
Which Jockeys do you use: John Kington and Danny McMenamin ride our jumpers. We use various jockeys for the flat depending on who’s available.
Horses to watch for the season and why:
Donald Dux landed the first win of his career at Market Rasen just before the shutdown in March. Although he’s won around a right-handed sharp track, I think a more galloping track like Wetherby would suit him better. I think he will improve again when he matures some more, gets a wind op and goes novice chasing over two and a half miles.
Zara’s Universe is one of our home-breds out of the mare I mentioned earlier Jonny’s Lass. She has had two runs to date in bumpers around Wetherby but we have been waiting for the better ground and now it’s here unfortunately we can’t run her. She’s a lovely big filly who I’m sure will improve for age and hurdles possibly even fences over two and a half miles on galloping tracks. You will probably see her again around Wetherby next season.
Veshenskya, another nicely bred bumper filly who is half-sister to Us And Them, who was placed in grade 1 company and at the Cheltenham Festival. She has stayed on very well in her two runs to date and looks like she will also improve for the step up in trip to two and a half miles and probably the miles in time. She is another who has enough size to suggest she may go chasing in time. She would be suited better by good to soft ground and on galloping tracks and is another to watch out for around Wetherby.