Zara Phillips homebred set for debut in bumper

Zara Phillips

Somewhere To Be is the first horse to race in the colours of Zara Phillips

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

UTTOXETER hosts a royal runner tonight when Somewhere To Be, owned and bred by Zara Phillips, makes his debut for trainer Martin Keighley in the bumper.

The four-year-old will be ridden by champion jump jockey Richard Johnson, Phillips’ former boyfriend, although the owner will not be present as she is riding at the Aston-Le-Walls horse trials in Northamptonshire.

“Unfortunately Zara can’t make it to Uttoxeter because she’s competing but she’ll get to see the race on television,” said Keighley, who has had the four-year-old son of Golan in his care since January.

“Richard came up and rode him in a piece of work recently. The track should suit, with a long straight, but whatever he does at Uttoxeter he’ll improve no end because he’s only four and he’s quite big.”

Somewhere To Be, who faces 13 rivals in the 2m bumper, is out of Somethinaboutmolly, an unraced daughter of Choisir. Keighley said: “Zara got the mare from Trevor Hemmings, who owns quite a lot of her eventers. It’s exciting, the first one she’s bred, and he shows signs of being a racehorse at home.”

Racing pedigree

Zara Phillips, although widely known for her equestrian exploits, has had a steep involvement in racing. Besides dating Richard Johnson up until August 2003, she has trained point-to-point winners from her Gloucestershire base in Minchinhampton, including Frankestorm in a maiden at the North Cotswold point-to-point in April last year.

She also played a pivotal role with Monbeg Dude, owned by husband Mike Tindall, in transforming him from a sketchy jumper into a Welsh National winner. He also finished seventh and third in the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Grand National.

Keighley and his wife Belinda are close friends with Phillips, who was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and her husband Mike Tindall.

“We met at David Nicholson’s when Zara used to ride out there and I was a jockey,” the trainer said.

“I’ve trained racehorses for her mum as well. It’s great to have the chance to train for her and let’s hope he runs well.”


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