Stillington trainer Marjorie Fife, pictured here with stable star Mandalay King, is looking forward to this year with confidence, having now trained both Flat and jumps winners. She is based next door to the yard now in the charge of Ruth Carr and formerly that of her grandfather David Chapman, whom Marjorie used to help.
She used to do eventing and point-to-pointing and prepped racehorses who were soured or sick of the job, until owners pressed her to take out her own licence to train, which she did in 2007. Marjorie had one winner in her first year – Splendidio, who came from Mick Channon’s and who landed a five furlong Folkestone race for Marjorie. She then went on to take three on the level last term, all thanks to Mandalay King.
He joined the Fifes from Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Newmarket yard, and Marjorie told the D&S Times: “The pint sized little pony came as a colt and had his own ideas on how to do things! He’s got a heart like a lion, but is not an easy horse to do at the races as he can’t be left on his own in a box as he flies round and round getting himself wound up into black sweats.
“He has to be saddled on the move in the stable yard before he runs as he a little terror in a confined space, throwing himself on the floor and standing on his back legs. But as soon as the saddle is on and jockey on board, he’s an absolute star settling into the job in hand.”
He won three times last summer for his new trainer, all ridden by apprentices: at Redcar under Kelly Harrison, at Hamilton under Michael Dods’ lad John Cavanagh and at Carlisle under Patrick Haslam’s claimer, Paddy Donaghy.
Marjorie’s other promising horse which she tipped for readers to follow is Lawgiver, who was short-headed but awarded the race at Catterick a month ago today (CORRECT 16th).
He also has his own ideas about racing, she told us, but he gave jockey Kyle James his first winner over jumps. Marjorie’s other jumps wins came from Physical Force and Munnawesh.
With a string of just six horses, she is looking for more owners, who will find her fees very reasonable at £160 p/week: anyone interested can contact her on 0789 0075217.
From Darlington & Stockton Times Racing Week correspondent, Jo Scott