Breeder: M W Easterby|
Foaled by: Norton Grove Stud
Owner: T Dewhirst, L Folwell & S Hull
Trainer: MW Easterby (Sheriff Hutton)
Flat Rating: 78
2nd: 3 3rd: 1
|Flat form: ||505443/ 02111120 -1046269|
Black Grass was foaled at Norton Grove Stud on 2nd April 2013. A son of Monsieur Bond, he was the latest in a long line of home bred winners out of the Emarati mare Alustar. Alustar had previously foaled nine times winner Know No Fear, seven times winner Alluring Star and sixteen times winner Thoughtsofstardom.
Black Grass was known at the yard as 'Ally', after his dam, and he quickly established himself as a yard favourite. He loved a cuddle, but unusually he didn't like polos!
Running in the colours of Steve Hull, Black Grass raced six times as a juvenile, his best placing being a third at Redcar in October 2015. Gelded in the Autumn of 2015, Black Grass headed for his winter break.
Like the rest of the family he was likely to be a better horse at two and three years old, and the expectations proved correct. In April 2016, and now wearing the colours of co-owner Linda Folwell, it was apprentice jockey Nathan Evans who was the pilot on board when Black Grass won his first race at Catterick. Following up a second placed effort a fortnight previous, he was sent off 3/1 co-favourite and hitting the front half a furlong out he stayed on nicely to beat Fumbo Jumbo by a length. After a short break Black Grass was to head back to Catterick, this time tackling good-firm ground in the Lionweld Kennedy Sprint Handicap. We knew the race well, having won it several times, notably by old favourite Blessingindisguise in 2002, the race that was to be Blessing's final victory.
The outcome at Catterick in June had a sense of deja-vu about it, as Nathan Evans and Black Grass defeated Fumbo Jumbo again by a length! However, tactics were a little different as the pair made all and held on at the post.
Redcar was the next stop and the hat-trick came up in style as Nathan Evans and Black Grass ran out ready winners over Tim Easterby's Midnight Malibu by three lengths. A six pound penalty did little to stop him and two days later the in-form sprinter clocked up a four timer at Wolverhampton. Cam Hardie was the rider on this occasion and the odds on favourite obliged again over the minimum distance.
Now rated 78, the bid for a five timer was foiled at Newcastle four days later, and after running at York Black Grass was given a break.
Black Grass made his 2017 debut at Ripon in April. In a thrilling finish he passed the post locked together with Foxtrot Knight, and the verdict took a while to declare. Scenes of jubilation were to follow and after a tense wait a dead-heat was announced to give yard apprentice Harrison Shaw his first winner. Rated 81 Black Grass ran respectably in defeat in his next few races with Harrison and Nathan Evans sharing the riding duties. In July 2017 Black Grass lined up in what was to be his last race, finishing ninth for Harrison Shaw.
Given a summer break, Black Grass was about to come back into work when an unexpected tragedy struck. Black Grass had unexpectedly died in his box.
Black Grass will be sorely missed by his owner, to whom he had become a real favourite, and by the staff, especially Harrison Shaw who had ridden his first winner on 'Little Ally'.
His final career statistics showed 21 races, five wins and three places, earning over £23,000 prize-money.