Franz Klammer is rejuvenating the fortunes of Whatcote trainer Peter Pritchard, completing a hat-trick in the Erin, Anya & Joe Brewer Handicap Chase yesterday at Stratford. The nine year old won going away after a tussle between the second last and one hundred yards from the post when the match was settled. Despite a 20lb hike in the weights, he appears at his best around his local course, and who is to say he may not run up a fourth? For a stable livinbg in a winner drought these past five years, it must seem like a trip to the Promised Land.
Third – placed for trainer Gary Brown is worth following next time around at this level. He was running on like a train, and only missed the runner-up slot by a neck.
Alan King has become a man for the big occasion with his Flat team, picking off big winners regularly, the most recent of which has been a Glorious Goodwood double with Trueshan in the Goodwood Cup and Asymmetric in the Group II Richmond Stakes. However, the man who started out over the sticks hasn’t eschewed the Jumps game by any means and flat recruit Caramelized fairly bolted up in the Join Stratford Racing Club Juvenile Maiden Hurdle. The ex-Hannon three year old asserted quite readily in the straight to win by 7l with plenty in hand. It might seem fanciful to talk of the Triumph still 8 months hence, but there are certainly plenty more races to win with this youngster.
The most valuable race of the day saw 5 novice chasers draw swords in the SAige Fencing Novices Chase. Turning in, it looked a straight fight between Jamie Snowden’s Some Day Soon and Rebecca Curtis’ Welsh raider Ruthless Article. Page Fuller had pushed Some Day Soon into a 2l lead at the last before Ruthless Article crumpled on landing, and ran on to put 17l between him and eventual runner-up Forecast. Fuller’s 6th winner of the season cements her partnership with Snowden who provides the lion’s share of her rides.
Jamie Snowden doubled up in the concluding National Racehorse Week 12-19th September Novices Hurdle with Guinness Affair under Gavin Sheehan, denying Fergal O’Brien’s Our Colossus, and precipitating a rare winnerless day for the Ravenswell team.
The We Are IDP Mares Handicap Hurdle saw the finish of the day and an example of two of our top riders at their most forceful. Tom Scudamore and Brian Hughes are near perfect exponents of their craft, and a driving finish from both on respective mounts Lady Reset for David Pipe and See The Sea for Donald McCain was only decided yards from the post, when Scudamore gained a head advantage. It really was not a race for those with weak hearts!
Time was when the Pipe yard under Martin’s leadership would farm the summer races, but nowadays, David is more focused on quality runners rather than the quantity that created the Pipe reputation.
Another of our top riders, Nico de Boinville, also had to be at his most persistent as French-bred Tel’Art scored a third win over the smaller obstacles for Ben Pauling in the longer 3m 2f handicap hurdle. It was Hughes who lost out again by 1/2l in second place despite a strong challenge from Oscar Montel, trained 15 miles further east along the Cotswolds from Pauling, by Charlie Longsdon.
Devon – based Chris Down notched his second winner of this term in the opening handicap chase with Fat Sam, whose previous form figures of 54F gave no immediate indication of latent talent pressing to show itself. Bookmakers were rubbing their hands as the 25/1 shot took up the running turning into the straight, and maintained his advantage to the line under James Davies. Small stables like these, operating on a wing and a prayer, are, in reality, the bedrock of this sport.
Laura Morgan’s Leicestershire stable is another small yard but one with a strike rate right up there with the best. At 24%, her runners are a force to be reckoned with, but even she might acknowledge Beautiful Ben was a lucky winner of the other remaining chase, over 2m 3f, after Tom Gretton’s Bagan unseated at the last. The two had picked up the lead going into the home turn, with the rest of the field going nowhere, and Bagan was arguably going the better before stumbling on landing and sending Robbie Dunne out of the side door. Take nothing however from the winner, picking up his eighth career victory.