Following her memorable win in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, Heartache has become one of the 2017 This Filly Can headline horses.  Here, Hot to Trot Syndicate manager, Sam Hoskins talks to Alice Thurtle about the filly’s background, her career so far and future aims.

Sire: Kyllachy
Dam: Place In My Heart
Year of Birth: 2015
Trainer: Clive Cox
Owner/Breeder: Whitsbury Manor Stud
Leased by: Hot to Trot Syndicate

Heartache is the highest rated 2-year-old daughter of champion sprinter Kyllachy, who is also the sire of Group 1 winners Sole Power, Krypton Factor, Twilight son and Dragon Pulse. She is owned and bred by Whitsbury Manor Stud, who have produced the last 5 generations of her family and she is the first foal out of Listed winner, Place In My Heart.  Her dam also has a yearling by Showcasing, which will head to the sales and a foal by Iffraaj.

She is leased by the Hot to Trot Syndicate, who have enjoyed a successful partnership with Whitsbury Manor Stud, leasing five horses from them, all of whom have been winners.  The stud was reluctant to sell Heartache and so they approached the syndicate about the possibility of leasing her. On viewing the filly Sam Hoskins instantly liked her and noted that ‘she was an extremely athletic filly with a lovely temperament’.

The Syndicate is managed by Hoskins and Luke Lillingston, and aims to promote affordable ownership of racehorses through leasing opportunities.  The mutually beneficial arrangement enables studs to retain ownership of their fillies, whilst not incurring the costs associated with training fees.  Hot to Trot now has 7 fillies and 75 members, from a variety of backgrounds with a common passion for horseracing.

’We are very much filly people, and fillies represent great value in the market’’

The decision was made to send her to Clive Cox, who had trained her dam, Place In My Heart, to win a Listed race and also be placed in the Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges before sustaining an injury.  Despite never going through the sales ring, Heartache was always forward going and loved her work, so connections were quietly confident that she had the ability to be quite useful, but they never dreamed she would turn out to be as good as she is.

Her first race was at Bath in a novice event over 5 furlongs, in which she started off third favourite.  Ridden by Adam Kirby, she settled behind the leaders Gold Filigree and Axe Cap until ridden easily into the lead one furlong out, going on to win by six lengths with Adam Kirby struggling to pull her up.  After the race, trainer Clive Cox commented that ‘For a two-year-old to win like that by six lengths is something special and she has a lovely relaxed attitude so hopefully it’s a case of onwards and upwards with her’.

‘She’s got a big future, she’s very special’ Adam Kirby

After winning her maiden she headed straight to the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.  Coming into the race all the hype had been for the impressive-looking American filly, Happy Like A Fool.  Connections of Heartache were hopeful for a good run but thought they were going to have to settle for second place.  The filly had other ideas, after tracking Happy Like A Fool through the early stages of the race, she bounded to the front a furlong out and went clear to win by an impressive two-and-a-half lengths. The celebration that followed, with most of her 75 owners crammed into Ascot’s tighter winner’s enclosure, was one of the highlights of the royal meeting. Celebrations continued well after the race with a homecoming parade and drinks at Clive Cox’s.

‘’It was an amazing day and so exciting. There are 75 people who have a share in her and many of them told me it was the best day of their lives.’’ Sam Hoskins

The Syndicate celebrating after Heartache’s win at Ascot- Photo courtesy of Sam Hoskins

A month after her memorable win at Ascot, Heartache travelled to France to take on the colts in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte.  Gerald Mosse deputised for regular rider Adam Kirby who was unable to do the weight.  Coming out of the stalls she received a bump from Woodcote Stakes winner, De Bryne Horse and although she managed to regain her position in the last furlong and put up a strong challenge she was beaten a length to finish third behind Unfortunately and Frozen Angel.

‘She’s a very sweet filly, but when she steps on the racecourse she’s extremely tough and has a lot of speed’

It emerged after the race, that she had suffered a pulled muscle over her back but has since recovered well and by-passed the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York, to take on the colts in the Group 2 Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster on 15th September, with her major aim of the season being the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.

‘The Cheveley Park Stakes would be the dream, it would be amazing if she could run in it, but we will take it one step at a time’.

When asked about her aims for next season, Sam Hoskins commented that ‘although Adam Kirby makes her look small, she’s actually quite tall so you’d hope that she’d have every chance of training on next year’.   He added that her major aim for next season is the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot which was won in 2016 by ThisFillyCan headline horse, Quiet Reflection.  Once her 3-year-old campaign is over she will return to Whitsbury Manor Stud to start her second career as a broodmare.


‘She’s be a lovely broodmare prospect and we will look on in delight’

Heartache is not the only exciting filly in the Hot to Trot syndicate.   They currently have 6 other fillies in training with Ed Walker, William Knight, George Baker, Tom Dascombe, David Elsworth and Andrew Balding.  One of which is Golden Salute, a 2-year-old Acclamation filly who is a full sister to Victory Angel and leased from Airlie Stud.  She has won twice this year already, her maiden at Windsor which she then followed up with a win in a Novice event, picking up a Plus 10 bonus in the process.

The syndicate with Golden Salute during a visit to Andrew Balding’s yard-Photo courtesy of Sam Hoskins

For more information on the syndicate please visit  or contact Sam Hoskins on 07791 746119

On behalf of the This Filly Can campaign team we would like to wish the Hot to Trot Syndicate, Whitsbury Manor Stud and Clive Cox and his team the best of luck with Heartache in the future.

All photos courtesy of Sam Hoskins/Hot to Trot Syndicate