History

Ritchie as a baby with his doting Grandad and horse racing fan , George Easton

As a child, Ritchie spent his weekends with his Grandparents, so it’s of no surprise that he inherited his Grandad’s love of horse racing.

 

Having never being in a financial position to own a racehorse, his Grandad, George Easton, instead enjoyed a daily 50p Round Robin, and he loved to study the form to ensure his hard earned 50p wasn’t wasted.   Saturday mornings involved George and a young Ritchie studying the form in the newspaper and marking their selections before following their progress on television.

Ritchie as a baby with his doting Grandad and horse racing fan , George Easton

As a child, Ritchie spent his weekends with his Grandparents, so it’s of no surprise that he inherited his Grandad’s love of horse racing.

 

Having never being in a financial position to own a racehorse, his Grandad, George Easton, instead enjoyed a daily 50p Round Robin, and he loved to study the form to ensure his hard earned 50p wasn’t wasted.   Saturday mornings involved George and a young Ritchie studying the form in the newspaper and marking their selections before following their progress on television.

Ancient Cross
Ancient Cross winning the Class 2 Totepool Stakes at York Racecourse on the 12th of May 2011

On the 12th of May 2011, Ritchie’s first ever runner as an owner, Ancient Cross, won the Class 2 Totepool Stakes at York Racecourse. Having teamed up with his friends Simon Chappell and Steve Hull to purchase a 50% stake, they brought long-suffering owner Pete Bown some well-deserved luck too. Later that season, Ancient Cross also won the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle, finishing the season rated 101.

On the 12th of May 2011, Ritchie’s first ever runner as an owner, Ancient Cross, won the Class 2 Totepool Stakes at York Racecourse. Having teamed up with his friends Simon Chappell and Steve Hull to purchase a 50% stake, they brought long-suffering owner Pete Bown some well-deserved luck too. Later that season, Ancient Cross also won the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle, finishing the season rated 101.

Ancient Cross
Ancient Cross winning the Class 2 Totepool Stakes at York Racecourse on the 12th of May 2011

This amazing start to racehorse ownership turned a lifelong hobby into a passion. Fiddes Racing was formed in 2012 to professionalise the passion for owning and breeding elite class racehorses.

This amazing start to racehorse ownership turned a lifelong hobby into a passion. Fiddes Racing was formed in 2012 to professionalise the passion for owning and breeding elite class racehorses.

Leading jockey Paul Mulrennan joined the team at the start of 2012

Ritchie strongly believed that to improve horses it was crucial to have the same jockey riding them at home and in their races. The next step in professionalising the operation was the sponsorship of leading flat jockey Paul Mulrennan at the start of 2012. Paul had a breakthrough season in 2011 winning a Group 2 on his flagship horse Dandino. He was on a crest of a wave after a fantastic treble at York Races in June, but only two days later suffered a terrible leg break. During the 10 month layoff, Paul did everything possible to make sure he was in the best shape for his return to the saddle, and it would be April 2012 before he was able to make his return to race riding. As part of the sponsorship, Ritchie made a commitment to Paul that he would buy him a Saturday horse to replace the ride he had lost on Dandino while out injured.

Leading jockey Paul Mulrennan joined the team at the start of 2012

Ritchie strongly believed that to improve horses it was crucial to have the same jockey riding them at home and in their races. The next step in professionalising the operation was the sponsorship of leading flat jockey Paul Mulrennan at the start of 2012. Paul had a breakthrough season in 2011 winning a Group 2 on his flagship horse Dandino. He was on a crest of a wave after a fantastic treble at York Races in June, but only two days later suffered a terrible leg break. During the 10 month layoff, Paul did everything possible to make sure he was in the best shape for his return to the saddle, and it would be April 2012 before he was able to make his return to race riding. As part of the sponsorship, Ritchie made a commitment to Paul that he would buy him a Saturday horse to replace the ride he had lost on Dandino while out injured.

Moviesta wins the Group 2 King George at Glorious Goodwood under Paul Mulrennan on the 2nd of Aug 2013

On the 5th of April 2013, Ritchie purchased the Saturday horse he had promised Paul, when a share was privately acquired in Moviesta, an 83 rated 3-year-old gelding. Moviesta produced an amazing sequence of 1st’s and 2nd’s in his next four runs in valuable 3-year-old handicaps, filling him with confidence and giving him the experience to take on his elders for the first time in his next start. The highlight of his season was his comfortable victory in the 5f Group 2 King George at Glorious Goodwood. A change in tactics proving the key, holding him up at the back of the field, utilising his high cruising speed whilse the lightning fast pace was set up front. This allowed Moviesta to pick off his rivals and burst clear in the final furlongs beating Swiss Spirit by one and a half lengths in his first start against older horses. Moviesta was to finish the season 113 rated improving 30lbs in only six runs.

On the 5th of April 2013, Ritchie purchased the Saturday horse he had promised Paul, when a share was privately acquired in Moviesta, an 83 rated 3-year-old gelding. Moviesta produced an amazing sequence of 1st’s and 2nd’s in his next four runs in valuable 3-year-old handicaps, filling him with confidence and giving him the experience to take on his elders for the first time in his next start. The highlight of his season was his comfortable victory in the 5f Group 2 King George at Glorious Goodwood. A change in tactics proving the key, holding him up at the back of the field, utilising his high cruising speed whilse the lightning fast pace was set up front. This allowed Moviesta to pick off his rivals and burst clear in the final furlongs beating Swiss Spirit by one and a half lengths in his first start against older horses. Moviesta was to finish the season 113 rated improving 30lbs in only six runs.

Moviesta wins the Group 2 King George at Glorious Goodwood under Paul Mulrennan on the 2nd of Aug 2013
Moor End Stud, just outside Ripon is a peaceful haven for horses

December 2013 saw Ritchie purchase Moor End Stud, and the process of transforming the old stables into a world class facility began. Located just outside Ripon, the peaceful quiet location provides the perfect haven for the horses with fantastic grazing for our mares, foals, yearlings and horses in training. Having the facilities at home meant that our horses could be given the time they needed to grow, strengthen and develop physically and mentally. We could also give horses breaks from training during the season and at the end of each year to fix any issues they had developed.

Moor End Stud, just outside Ripon is a peaceful haven for horses

December 2013 saw Ritchie purchase Moor End Stud, and the process of transforming the old stables into a world class facility began. Located just outside Ripon, the peaceful quiet location provides the perfect haven for the horses with fantastic grazing for our mares, foals, yearlings and horses in training. Having the facilities at home meant that our horses could be given the time they needed to grow, strengthen and develop physically and mentally. We could also give horses breaks from training during the season and at the end of each year to fix any issues they had developed.

Golden Spun winning a Class 4 Novice at Pontefract not he 6th of October 2014

2014 saw the start of Ritchie purchasing his own horses at the sales. Having built up his own statistics on flat stallions and their progeny, he put this to the test with 3 purchases from Breeze Up Sales:

She’s a Worldie – bought for £20,000 – won convincingly on her 2nd start at Beverley before running in the Group 2 Lowther at York and Flying Childers at Doncaster. She was rated 91, won over half of her purchase price, £10,942, in prize money and was sold at the end of the season for £38,000.

Fendale – bought privately after he failed to make his reserve – made a dazzling start to his career with two wins in his first two starts which prompted large offers from all around the world. After running in the Group 2 Gimcrack at York, he was very unlucky not to win the Harry Rosebery Listed Stakes at Ayr when trapped on the rail with no way out. He finished his 2-year-old career rated 95, still retained today he is one of our Saturday horses and finished 2nd in the 2016 Ayr Bronze Cup.

Golden Spun – the most expensive purchase of the three at £44,000 – had the look of being a nice 3-year-old, so anything he did as a 2-year-old was a bonus. He won on his third start at Carlisle, then finished 3rd behind Twilight Son at Thirsk, before winning again at Pontefract on his final start as a 2-year-old. He was sold for £65,000 at the end of his 2-year-old career rated 78.

2014 saw the start of Ritchie purchasing his own horses at the sales. Having built up his own statistics on flat stallions and their progeny, he put this to the test with 3 purchases from Breeze Up Sales:

She’s a Worldie – bought for £20,000 – won convincingly on her 2nd start at Beverley before running in the Group 2 Lowther at York and Flying Childers at Doncaster. She was rated 91, won over half of her purchase price, £10,942, in prize money and was sold at the end of the season for £38,000.

Fendale – bought privately after he failed to make his reserve – made a dazzling start to his career with two wins in his first two starts which prompted large offers from all around the world. After running in the Group 2 Gimcrack at York, he was very unlucky not to win the Harry Rosebery Listed Stakes at Ayr when trapped on the rail with no way out. He finished his 2-year-old career rated 95, still retained today he is one of our Saturday horses and finished 2nd in the 2016 Ayr Bronze Cup.

Golden Spun – the most expensive purchase of the three at £44,000 – had the look of being a nice 3-year-old, so anything he did as a 2-year-old was a bonus. He won on his third start at Carlisle, then finished 3rd behind Twilight Son at Thirsk, before winning again at Pontefract on his final start as a 2-year-old. He was sold for £65,000 at the end of his 2-year-old career rated 78.

Golden Spun winning a Class 4 Novice at Pontefract not he 6th of October 2014
Black type filly, Easton Angel, was purchased for only £30,000 at Doncaster Premier Yearling sales August 2014

After the success achieved with his first 2-year-old purchases, Ritchie returned to the yearling sales with a very short shortlist. His research on the stallions had shown that a young sire, Dark Angel, had proven his ability to upgrade poorer mares with his first crop producing the July Cup winner, Lethal Force. With his flag bearer retired to stud, the cost and popularity of Dark Angels fell at the sales allowing Ritchie to purchase a lovely filly for only £30,000. Her dam Staceymac won once and was rated only 51, she had produced five foals – two runners and no winners – but this did not deter Ritchie as he knew the stallion was upgrading his mares. After the loss of his Grandad, George Easton, in November 2014, Ritchie decided to name the Dark Angel filly, Easton Angel, in memory of the person who inspired his love of racing.

Black type filly, Easton Angel, was purchased for only £30,000 at Doncaster Premier Yearling sales August 2014

After the success achieved with his first 2-year-old purchases, Ritchie returned to the yearling sales with a very short shortlist. His research on the stallions had shown that a young sire, Dark Angel, had proven his ability to upgrade poorer mares with his first crop producing the July Cup winner, Lethal Force. With his flag bearer retired to stud, the cost and popularity of Dark Angels fell at the sales allowing Ritchie to purchase a lovely filly for only £30,000. Her dam Staceymac won once and was rated only 51, she had produced five foals – two runners and no winners – but this did not deter Ritchie as he knew the stallion was upgrading his mares. After the loss of his Grandad, George Easton, in November 2014, Ritchie decided to name the Dark Angel filly, Easton Angel, in memory of the person who inspired his love of racing.

Easton Angel finishes 2nd in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes on 17th of June 2015

Easton Angel proved that Ritchie’s belief in Dark Angel was correct as she stormed to victory on debut at Musselburgh, before winning the Class 2 Hilary Needler Stakes at Beverley without coming off the bridle on her second start. Her victory over future Group 3 winner, Opal Tiara, was so impressive that Al Shaqab Racing purchased 50% of Easton Angel prior to Royal Ascot. Easton’s superb 2nd to the enormous American horse, Acapulco, in the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot was a day to remember. Drawn on the wrong side of the track with no pace to follow, Easton Angel produced a gutsy performance that delighted her new connections, Sheikh Joaan al Thani and his racing manager Harry Herbert.

Easton Angel proved that Ritchie’s belief in Dark Angel was correct as she stormed to victory on debut at Musselburgh, before winning the Class 2 Hilary Needler Stakes at Beverley without coming off the bridle on her second start. Her victory over future Group 3 winner, Opal Tiara, was so impressive that Al Shaqab Racing purchased 50% of Easton Angel prior to Royal Ascot. Easton’s superb 2nd to the enormous American horse, Acapulco, in the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot was a day to remember. Drawn on the wrong side of the track with no pace to follow, Easton Angel produced a gutsy performance that delighted her new connections, Sheikh Joaan al Thani and his racing manager Harry Herbert.

Easton Angel finishes 2nd in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes on 17th of June 2015
Newly refurbished stables at Moor End Farm

As the quality of horses constantly improved so did the facilities available at Moor End Stud and significant investment was made in every area that could improve the horse’s wellbeing and race performance. The pasture was tested and fully renovated with new drainage; the stables were completely refurbished with rubber matting to the walls and floors and the new insulated roofing provided lots of natural light and ventilation. Miles of post and rail fencing was installed, along with an indoor equestrian treadmill, massage rug and weighing scales.

Newly refurbished stables at Moor End Farm

As the quality of horses constantly improved so did the facilities available at Moor End Stud and significant investment was made in every area that could improve the horse’s wellbeing and race performance. The pasture was tested and fully renovated with new drainage; the stables were completely refurbished with rubber matting to the walls and floors and the new insulated roofing provided lots of natural light and ventilation. Miles of post and rail fencing was installed, along with an indoor equestrian treadmill, massage rug and weighing scales.

Steel Breeze and her Albaasil foal

The first foal was born at Moor End Stud on the 2nd of February 2016. A stunning filly by Dansili stallion Albaasil out of Steel Breeze an unraced full sister to one of our superstar horses Glen Moss. Having seen the mare in foal advertised online for a private sale, Ritchie did his usual homework on the pedigrees before jumping in the horse box and driving to Wales to secure the purchase in July of 2015.

The first foal was born at Moor End Stud on the 2nd of February 2016. A stunning filly by Dansili stallion Albaasil out of Steel Breeze an unraced full sister to one of our superstar horses Glen Moss. Having seen the mare in foal advertised online for a private sale, Ritchie did his usual homework on the pedigrees before jumping in the horse box and driving to Wales to secure the purchase in July of 2015.

Steel Breeze and her Albaasil foal
Son of Dansili, Albaasil, stands his first full season in North Yorkshire in 2017

After proving his belief that top stallions can consistently upgrade average broodmares, Ritchie looked at the possibility of purchasing a stallion to cover his expanding band of quality broodmares. Having bought Steel Breeze in foal to Albaasil, he was fascinated by his potential. Like his own sire, Dansili, Albaasil had failed to win a Group 1, having had his career cut short by injury after only eight runs. Albaasil had tremendous ability and was considered a superstar by his trainers Sir Michael Stoute, Doug Watson & jockey Richard Hills. Crucially his stallion, Dansili, had become a sire of sires with Zoffany becoming runaway first season stallion in 2015 and Harbinger the leading new stallion in Japan. With Bated Breath, Delegator, Requinto and Famous Name all having their first 2-year-old runners in 2016 there was a huge opportunity for Ritchie to be ahead of the curve again. Albaasil was purchased privately from Longdon Stud on the 2nd of March 2016 and relocated to Moor End Stud.

Son of Dansili, Albaasil, stands his first full season in North Yorkshire in 2017

After proving his belief that top stallions can consistently upgrade average broodmares, Ritchie looked at the possibility of purchasing a stallion to cover his expanding band of quality broodmares. Having bought Steel Breeze in foal to Albaasil, he was fascinated by his potential. Like his own sire, Dansili, Albaasil had failed to win a Group 1, having had his career cut short by injury after only eight runs. Albaasil had tremendous ability and was considered a superstar by his trainers Sir Michael Stoute, Doug Watson & jockey Richard Hills. Crucially his stallion, Dansili, had become a sire of sires with Zoffany becoming runaway first season stallion in 2015 and Harbinger the leading new stallion in Japan. With Bated Breath, Delegator, Requinto and Famous Name all having their first 2-year-old runners in 2016 there was a huge opportunity for Ritchie to be ahead of the curve again. Albaasil was purchased privately from Longdon Stud on the 2nd of March 2016 and relocated to Moor End Stud.

Easton Angel cruising to victory in the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sundown on 11th of June 2016

After spending the winter at Moor End Stud, Easton Angel made her eagerly awaited return to the track at York in the Listed EBF Westow Stakes. Despite not completely being in her summer coat she cruised through the race with ease and won comfortably by three quarters of a length. This was followed by an even more impressive victory in the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sandown. Overcoming a bad draw, Easton blitzed her rivals with Paul Mulrennan waiting to pull the trigger extending to a two and a quarter length victory. Easton took on her elders for the first time in the Listed City Wall Stakes at York, carrying a 3lb penalty. She travelled strongly but there was no pace to lead her to the finish and after idling in front she was headed late on by subsequent Group 1 winner Marsha. However, the finish time on ground softer than good was the second fastest 5f time ever recorded at York. Next Easton finished a very unlucky 4th losing by half a length in the Group 2 King George Stakes; starting slowly she hit lots of trouble in running, before finishing full of running to lose by an agonising margin.

After spending the winter at Moor End Stud, Easton Angel made her eagerly awaited return to the track at York in the Listed EBF Westow Stakes. Despite not completely being in her summer coat she cruised through the race with ease and won comfortably by three quarters of a length. This was followed by an even more impressive victory in the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sandown. Overcoming a bad draw, Easton blitzed her rivals with Paul Mulrennan waiting to pull the trigger extending to a two and a quarter length victory. Easton took on her elders for the first time in the Listed City Wall Stakes at York, carrying a 3lb penalty. She travelled strongly but there was no pace to lead her to the finish and after idling in front she was headed late on by subsequent Group 1 winner Marsha. However, the finish time on ground softer than good was the second fastest 5f time ever recorded at York. Next Easton finished a very unlucky 4th losing by half a length in the Group 2 King George Stakes; starting slowly she hit lots of trouble in running, before finishing full of running to lose by an agonising margin.

Easton Angel cruising to victory in the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sundown on 11th of June 2016
Glen Moss winning the Class 2 Bet 365 Conditions Stakes at Haydock on the 2nd of July 2016

Bought privately in 2015, Glen Moss arrived with a few issues, so we gave him nine months off the track to fix them and build him up physically on our equine treadmill. This paid instant dividends, with Glen finishing 6th in a Listed race at Wolverhampton in the all weather championships, confirming he had retained all of his ability. His next start was in the Listed Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster where he finished a fantastic 4th at 33/1, narrowly beaten by Group 1 winner Maarek, Seudois who went on to be placed in four Group 1’s and Mobsta who went on to win a Group 2 at the Curragh. After another creditable 3rd at York, Glen Moss ran in the 6f Wokingham Heritage Handicap at Royal Ascot. Despite being drawn on the wrong side of the track and having no pace to take him to the finish he finished an outstanding 3rd behind subsequent Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Brando. He followed this up with a very comfortable victory two weeks later, his first since 2014, at Haydock in a Class 2 Conditions race.

Glen Moss winning the Class 2 Bet 365 Conditions Stakes at Haydock on the 2nd of July 2016

Bought privately in 2015, Glen Moss arrived with a few issues, so we gave him nine months off the track to fix them and build him up physically on our equine treadmill. This paid instant dividends, with Glen finishing 6th in a Listed race at Wolverhampton in the all weather championships, confirming he had retained all of his ability. His next start was in the Listed Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster where he finished a fantastic 4th at 33/1, narrowly beaten by Group 1 winner Maarek, Seudois who went on to be placed in four Group 1’s and Mobsta who went on to win a Group 2 at the Curragh. After another creditable 3rd at York, Glen Moss ran in the 6f Wokingham Heritage Handicap at Royal Ascot. Despite being drawn on the wrong side of the track and having no pace to take him to the finish he finished an outstanding 3rd behind subsequent Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Brando. He followed this up with a very comfortable victory two weeks later, his first since 2014, at Haydock in a Class 2 Conditions race.

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