Dean Ivory has enjoyed his best year as a trainer in 2013, with 39 winners as of 17 December.
The 51-year-old took over the licence from his father Ken in 2002 and has a lot to look forward to next year, starting with All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, 18 April, 2014,
Ivory, based just to the north of London in Radlett, Hertfordshire, has made a positive start to the championships, sending out five winners and saddling Sirius Prospect to victory in the Listed Winners Are Welcome At Betdaq EBF Hyde Stakes at Kempton Park on 20 November.
“I think the All-Weather Championships is a very good idea,” said Ivory. “It will hopefully keep some good horses in this country rather than them going abroad and it is something you can target your better horses at.
“It is still a new concept to everybody, but I think it’s very good for racing. More prize money is always good and it brings a bit of life back to the racing on the All-Weather.”
Sirius Prospect has been a grand servant to Ivory, winning on nine of his 34 starts, and victory at Kempton Park has guaranteed him a berth in the £150,000 Ladbrokes Mile on All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
“Sirius Prospect is on his break now and won’t run him before the Ladbrokes Mile,” reported Ivory. “He hung on really well at Kempton and proved he got the mile well.
“He is very competitive and found more when the other horse eyeballed him. He is a stronger and better horse this year and I think there was more left in the tank.”
All-Weather Championships Finals Day is also the target for rapidly improving sprinter Lancelot Du Lac, who finished third behind Valbchek in the Listed Best Odds At bookmakers.co.uk Golden Rose Stakes on 16 November before a decisive success in a six-furlong handicap at Kempton Park on 27 November.
The three-year-old is set to contest the rearranged £45,000 Compare Bookmakers at bookmakers.co.uk Handicap at Lingfield Park on 18 December. The six-furlong contest was originally scheduled to take place on 11 December, but the fixture was abandoned due to fog.
“In some ways the extra week between this race and his last will help, but it also means his winter break will be a week shorter,” said Ivory. “I would have knocked him off by now, but we want to get a third run into him so he will be eligible for the sprint on Good Friday.
“After his run on Wednesday, he will have a break and come straight back for Good Friday. I know he´s pretty strong already but he´s only three and has got some developing still to do, so the break will do him good.”
Ivory is debating whether or not to target his stable star Tropics at the £150,000 Bookmakers.co.uk Sprint on All-Weather Championships Finals Day. The progressive five-year-old gave the yard a first Group success when a hugely impressive three and a half length winner of the Group Three John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot on 5 October.
“If I bought Tropics back, I would have to target him at one Fast Track Qualifier and win it. The only race there is for him is a six-furlong Listed race (Compare Bookmakers at bookmakers.co.uk Cleeves Stakes) at Lingfield on 22 February.
“The only problem is that if he wins that, I would have to sit tight for two months because there are no other races between then and the final due to his handicap mark.”
Exciting two-year-old Golden Amber, purchased out of Willie McCreery’s yard following an eye-catching success at Naas on 23 October, and impressive Redcar winner Duchess Of Gazeley are also possible contenders for All-Weather Championships Finals Day.
“I have got some other horses, who I would like to target at the other races on All-Weather Championships Finals Day,” revealed Ivory. “I have a staying filly called Duchess Of Gazeley, who ran really well when she was beaten by Tweed at Newmarket, and I am very keen to get her qualified.
“Tweed was beaten at Wolverhampton next time out but that wouldn’t have suited her and, for what it’s worth, I think she is a good horse.
“If I run Duchess Of Gazeley once, hopefully she will run well and go up in the ratings because then she will be able to get into one of the Fast Track Qualifiers.
“I bought another filly, Golden Amber, from Ireland and she is a nice horse for six or seven furlongs. She is only rated 81 and, although it’s a longshot, it will be interesting to see how I get on with her.”
Ivory has enjoyed a fantastic year, accruing over £360,000 in prize money, and is excited by his string of horses for next year.
“I am really looking forward to next year because I have got some nice horses that I am carrying over from this year and I’ve got some nice horses to add to what we already have.”