An amateur jockey secures her first win aboard a schoolmaster, while two maidens win on their debut runs
Carmarthenshire, Ffos Las Racecourse
Amateur jockey Flora Guy landed her first win when riding 13-year-old former chaser Tango De Juilley to victory in the INEOS Grenadier mixed open for her employer Venetia Williams.
“He’s been with Venetia since he was a four-year-old and I’ve been riding him this season,” said Flora, who rides out full-time for Venetia and hopes to take out her category A licence.
“I know him quite well and he likes to have a bit of daylight into his fences, so I kicked on a bit in the beginning and we seemed to keep going. I kept looking round to see where everyone else was and they weren’t there and he wasn’t struggling, so I let him carry on. He can get a bit keen so I wanted to get him up there and it paid off.”
Another amateur rider took schoolmaster Tango hunter chasing last year, and he’s made another step down this year with Flora in points.
“He still loves it – he tanks you around and jumps really well,” added Flora. “It was a great experience for her”
So They Say, a five-year-old by Malinas, won the Jockey Club mares’ maiden under Chloe Emsley for Ed Walker on her debut run. Ed has owned the mare since she was a three-year-old.
“She was entered a few times last season, but the ground was never right for her, so they waited until this season,” said Chloe, who rides out for Polly and Ed Walker in the mornings before doing her own pointers in the afternoons.
“She was ready for the run and had been going well at home. The ground at Ffos Las was perfect.”
Chloe describes the mare as “sometimes a bit too chilled, but a very nice person”.
“She jumped very well and won quite easily, so didn’t have a hard race,” she said. “Everything went her way and it was a great experience for her.”
Another maiden winning on their debut run was five-year-old Presenting gelding Soldier Of Destiny, who won nicely under Will Biddick for trainer Mark Quinlan and owner Tom Malone.
“Mark has done a good job because I don’t think he was straightforward – he used to bury the rider and was really sharp, but he gave me a hell of a feel today,” said Will. “He’s quite smart and better than a pointer. I doubt I’ll ride him again.”
The hunt members’ was won by Coquin Mans under owner-trainer Bobby Thomas, while the restricted went to Racing Snake under Tommie O’Brien for owner and trainer Clive Boultbee-Brooks. The conditions (level three) was headed by Oistrakh Le Noir under Kate Gowing for trainer Ed Partridge and The Heads in the Sand Partnership.
Minella Beats the field
Waveney Harriers, Higham, Suffolk
A change of environment is paying dividends for eight-year-old Minella Beat, who landed the owner-trainer conditions (level three) easily under Will Featherstone for his mother Catherine Featherstone.
Catherine took on the gelding 18 months ago after previous yards had trouble with him bleeding.
“He bled twice when he ran under Rules, so we took him on last August and got him fit to see if a change of lifestyle would suit him,” said Catherine. “We’ve got a few ponies here and three pointers, so it’s a much smaller, quieter atmosphere and he goes in the field and on hacks to keep him sweet and relaxed.
“We take him to the Links at Newmarket two or three times a week, so it’s a bit different to a big training yard.”
The family ran him for the first time at Higham last Easter.
“We were worried he’d bleed, but he didn’t, and ran really well, winning easily for us,” continued Catherine. “We keep him relaxed and calm and I think it’s helping his bleeding.”
Will added: “He ran and jumped really well. He slipped on the sharp corners a bit but loved it. On the first circuit round, he was very keen and pulling me a lot, but I let him bowl along and do his thing, and he won easily.”
The PPORA club members’ conditions (level two) was won by Lords Park Star under Sam Lee for Laura Pomfret and owner Sarah McLean.
Trainer Alan Hill sent off two winners, starting with a walkover from Hawkhurst in the mixed open under Izzie Marshall. This was followed up when landing the restricted with a seven-year-old mare by Lecriox, Frank And Honest, also with Izzie.
“I bought Frank And Honest back in the summer and she is a bit of a madam,” said Alan. “She is nappy and will bite and kick. On Tuesday, she double-barrelled [my wife, National Hunt trainer] Lawney as she went to leave her stable and put her in hospital with a lacerated liver and five broken ribs. It will take a lot more than a win for her to redeem herself, but Izzie gave her the perfect ride – she travelled and jumped sweetly. Hopefully Lawney will be home this week.”
On form: Brace for Chadwick
Jockey Alex Chadwick scored a double at Higham, kicking off with a walkover in the intermediate with Fiddler Of Dooney for James Owen and The East Anglian Partnership. He then followed up the win with a victory in the maiden, riding five-year-old Getaway mare Abunchofmemories for Brian Dowling.
Brian bought the mare four weeks ago from Doncaster sales after she was third in a point in Ireland.
“She looked a bit poor but is already really improving,” said Alex. “I schooled her for the first time two weeks ago and she was unreal. I couldn’t believe it. She jumped like a schoolmaster and she was like that today – even at the last, she winged it.”
Owner and trainer Brian, who is in his seventies, rides the mare every day.
“Horses we buy from the sales have to be bombproof for Brian,” said Alex. “She passed the quiet test – she has a super attitude and Brian will breed from her eventually.”
Alongside riding, Alex also had his first tradestand at the meeting, selling his recently launched clothing brand Chad Equestrian.
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