Farmer Chris is up for the chase

Chris Green and his stallion Abzu
Chris Green and his stallion Abzu

LIGHTCLIFFE sheep farmer and horse breeder Chris Green is looking to breed a succession of chasers.

He reckons someone out there in the fields of England has cracked the breeding of those type of horses with the success of the likes of Best Mate, Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Commander.

His stallion goes by the name of Abzu and was bred by Sheik Mohammed Al Maktoum and put into training with Luca Cumani but suffered sore shins and never set foot on a racecourse.

Abzu, out of good stock himself, is now 19 years old but is still up to the task when called upon.

Chris, 65, who has 300 sheep and 25 horses just off Till Carr Lane, adjacent to Wakefield Road, was brought up on the farm which was then a milk producer until the early 70s.

His grandfather, Arthur Green farmed cattle right down to Low Crow Nest and his father, Ernest took over the farm and 200 acres that also stretched across the old Eastfield School (Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High) and out towards Finkil in 1920.

Recently Chris has purchased a French Percheron horse, equivalent to our shire horses, and were used by the old knights in shining armour.

It has produced a foal to Abzu and now Chris is looking to cross that with a sprinter to hopefully come up with the formula for a top quality chaser.

“Somebody out there is coming up with the answers for breeding chasers and I am hoping my theory will work,” he said.

“I’m not really into two-year-old sprinters, they run far too green, I want to be looking for mature horses over more than five furlongs on the flat racing side of things,” he said.

Married to wife, Sue, he has named his stud farm after their late daughters Melanie, who died aged 22 and Louise who passed away aged 12, both from cystic fibrosis.

“It’s been very hard for us, particularly Sue, as I have thrown myself into the farm work and the breeding, but that’s life for you.”

He has four horses in training, two on the flat with Westow, near Malton, trainer Paul Midgley and two for National Hunt racing with Claire Dyson near Worcester.

“I have sent those two down south as there are less meetings cancelled in winter than up here and in Scotland,” he said.

On Saturday August 13, at Ripon, Polish World comes out again after already winning £19,000 in prize money.

“After winning at Ripon and Beverley recently, I wanted to run at Glorious Goodwood last month but the seven furlong race we were in saw us balloted out from 90 entries.

“We missed by just four, we were told.

“So, we go again at Ripon and I am taking a coachload of friends on the day and we are then calling at Crow Nest Golf Club for a meal when we get back, hopefully with the prize money for the one mile race and drinks to celebrate.”

Chris picked up Polish World for £800 at the Doncaster Sales last year when nobody else wanted to know.

“The horse certainly had the pedigree with top stallion Danzig being involved and Sadlers Well, so I thought why not, and forked out.

“I am delighted with the way things have gone and hope jockey Micky Fenton can repeat the business on Saturday week,” added Chris.

He likes his sport and is a former Lane Head CC cricketer and a footballer with Hipperholme United and Sun Inn, Lightcliffe.

Chris, who gets so worked up on race days that he can’t eat or drink until after the race, also has high hopes of breeding from two mares, one from Erhab, a Derby winner, and Tikkanen, who won a race on the Breeders Cup day card in America.