Ego Trip was bred by my good friend, the late Ken Hodgson. His dam, Boulevard Rouge, was purchased out of Mark Johnston's yard in 1998. She'd been placed, but she did little on the track after joining us. Despite her loss of form on the track she was nicely bred and we had an eye on her for the paddocks.
Boulevard Rouge's first foal was born in 2001, by Irish Derby runner up Deploy. Ken named him 'Ego Trip', I forget where the name came from.
Ego Trip was steady horse, unspectacular but the sort of horse that could spring a surprise, often popping up at long odds.
We started him at Beverley in May 2003, an early two year old. Terry rode him and he didn't show a lot, although five furlongs was always going to be on the sharp side for him. He went off at 50/1 and ran like a 50/1 shot.
He finished a close third on his second outing, Gibbo riding him at Catterick, and after the race he said that he thought we had something.
He was handed a mark of 65 when we entered him for a nursery at Ripon in August, but he showed little for the rest of 2003 and when he made his three year old debut at Newcastle he was running off just 54.
Ego Trip surprised us all back at Newcastle the following month, Gibbo rode him again and couldn't believe the difference! Sent off at 20-1 he came home in front, the trip being the same mile he'd flopped over last time.
Stepped up to a mile and half he won again, this time at Thirsk. He maintained his love affair with the northern tracks, winning over 14 furlongs at Catterick. His Catterick victory was the only time he ever won when he was favourite.
By the end of his three year old career he'd recorded three wins and had become a 65-rated horse. An entire colt as well, although in January 2005 we decided to geld him as, like mnay an adolescent boy, he was showing a bit too much interest in the ladies and not paying attention to his real job!
Summer 2005 saw him win at Ripon for Paul Mulrennan. Then, after a quiet spell it was Adele Rothery who found the key to him in June 2006, before handing the reins over to future husband Paul Mulrennan at Southwell the following month. Paul went one better and finished second, beaten a head.
However, it took an older and experienced head to get Ego Trip home and Dale 'The Dictionary' Gibson was the man in the plate when the son of Deploy won his final race. He had had a little holiday and came back fresh after a three month break. Racing at Southwell in October 2006, Ego Trip this time won as he pleased in a five length rout. His form figures from his final three races read 321.
Ego Trip was retired in 2006. In a total of 32 races he had won five times and placed a further eight. He'd popped up at 20-1, 12-1, 10-1 and 9-1, he wasn't a horse to back that was for sure. But he did give us some good days out. He was a moderate horse, but won his share, and it's the unsung heroes that keep the racing yards ticking over. And of course, we do love to see a home bred winner!