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Veteran Peak Seasons could have his racing career reignited at age of 15

Peak Seasons: looks a million dollars says trainer Michael Chapman
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Peak Seasons and Feeling Peckish, the teenagers who controversially passed through a York sale in March, are to have their racing careers reignited by trainer Michael Chapman.

There was outrage on social media when Chapman sent Peak Seasons and Feeling Peckish to the York Horses Sale, although the trainer explained it was a financial dispute with the owner that necessitated that situation, and he bought them back for £750 and £520, saying there was "never any question of letting them go".

Retraining of Racehorses were present with an emergency relief fund to save the two horses if required, but they were considered to be in good health.


Sale outcry: veterans will be found a good home or stay put says trainer Chapman


Primarily chasers, Peak Seasons has run 167 times, and 14-year-old Feeling Peckish 139, and both are back in training. Peak Seasons was in an amateur riders' handicap on the Flat race at Carlisle on Thursday but was not declared on Tuesday, with stablemate Monzino running instead.

Chapman said: "I'm not the sort of trainer that throws horses out in a field or gets rid of them when they end up in the wrong hands; I had to go to the sales to buy them myself.

"The main sales weren't interested in having them so I had to go to York and it caused a furore, with people getting upset thinking they would fall into the wrong hands. But the intention was to go there to buy them myself and bring them home, which is what I did."

Michael Chapman: "Sometimes I think horses are retired too soon"

He added: "Peak Seasons has been sound all his life, he's been in training many months and he's in very good form. He looks a million dollars, so when the time is right we intend to run him.

"Feeling Peckish is also fine, he's in training, ready to run. The BHA will be checking their welfare before they run.

"Fred Winter used to run his horses until they were 17 or 18, he won over fences with Sonny Somers when he was 18, and sometimes I think horses are retired too soon."

Chapman believes there should be more opportunities for horses like his teenage pair, saying: "One of the problems for older horses is they have these races for ten-year-olds and up, but they're all 0-135. It's a shame they don't have 0-100 races for ten-year-olds and upwards."

BHA head of media Robin Mounsey said: "We expect all licensed trainers to put the welfare of their horses first and we should not jump to conclusions that Mr Chapman is doing anything otherwise. Fifteen-year-olds can, and do, race perfectly safely if they are in good condition.

"However, the BHA carries out veterinary checks as a matter of routine on many horses and we will ensure that Peak Seasons and Feeling Peckish are given a full check-up ahead of taking part in any race to make sure they are fit, healthy and ready to run.”


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We have to start somewhere with him and if he doesn't run on Thursday we'll hopefully run him when the right race comes along
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