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Cape Tribulation poised to return
Cape Tribulation, who pulled off a notable double for Malcolm Jefferson last season by winning major handicaps at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals in successive months, is poised to return to his jumping career at Wetherby on Saturday.
Ryedale’s high-achiever is set to contest the Grade 2 John Smith’s Hurdle on a top-notch card at the A1 course, highlighted by the £100,000 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase.
Cape Tribulation confirmed his well-being on the Flat at York recently when just coming off second-best in a long-distance handicap. That outing should have set him up perfectly for a tilt at Wetherby’s big hurdle prize.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” reports Jefferson. “He’s come out of his York race in smashing form and is on course for Wetherby.”
The eight-year-old hit the heights earlier this year. Not only did he win the Pertemps Hurdle Final at Cheltenham in March, he obliged again the following month at Aintree in the Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle. Remarkably, Jefferson completed a double-double at the same two Festival meetings with Attaglance, who also won back-to-back handicap hurdles.
“It didn’t surprise me that Cape Tribulation progressed so well in the spring,” said Jefferson. “He had started the season running over fences, but it didn’t work out for him. He ran well and finished fourth over hurdles at Haydock in February, so we then decided to stick to the smaller obstacles and it paid off.”
The Norton trainer is still considering giving Cape Tribulation another stab at fences at some stage, and an option of contesting the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
“He is very well handicapped over fences, so he’ll probably go back over them at some point. We’ll give him an entry in the Hennessy and see how we go.”
More immediately, Wetherby beckons on Saturday and a £32,000 race to be aimed at on a card which is guaranteed to bring jumping fans in their droves to the Yorkshire course.
The Charlie Hall Chase is a renowned early-season target for top performers and is sure to attract a high-quality field, while there is also racing at Wetherby on Friday with two Listed races on the menu.
• Ryedale apprentice Laura Barry is in pole position to clinch a sizeable prize when the Flat turf season draws to a close on Saturday week.
While Amy Ryan is heading the overall standings in the first-ever Prolinx Lady Jockeys’ Championship and has a great chance of clinching a £5,000 first prize in the Gold division of the three-sided awards, Barry, a 7lb claiming apprentice, who is attached to Richard Fahey’s Musley Bank yard, is leading the field in the Silver section and has her sights set on a winning purse of £3,000.
Unlike other titles when winners only count, the Prolinx Championship is based on winning percentage, allied to achievement. Amy Ryan, daughter of Hambleton trainer Kevin, is the season’s leading apprentice and has partnered more than the 30 winners she requires to bid for the Gold prize. Furthermore, she is narrowly ahead of Hayley Turner, by virtue of having a better win percentage this season than her principal rival.
With 10 winners from just over 60 rides, Barry has a striking percentage in the Silver award and is in a clear lead from Amy Scott and Natasha Eaton. “I have already had a great season, but to win this prize would be the icing on top,” said the Irish-born rider, whose highlight to date was riding Mary’s Daughter to a 33-1 victory at York’s Ebor Festival in August.
In the bronze award, Newmarket-based Hannah Nunn is in an unassailable lead over Nicole Nordbland.
• Congratulations are also in order for other Ryedale apprentices who have been in the news lately.
Daryl Byrne and Adam Carter, both attached to Tim Easterby’s stable, have been among the winners. Byrne scored at Lingfield on the Mark Tompkins-trained outsider Lady Beatrix, courtesy of a well-judged pillar-to-post ride, while Carter won on Dream Vale for his boss at Redcar earlier this week, and was likewise seen to good effect on the half-length winner.
At the same meeting, Eva Moscrop gained a stylish victory on Neville Bycroft’s Fama Mac, while David Bergin, in his first season in Britain, took his tally to 16 winners since mid-summer when skilfully overcoming a wide draw on Maltease Ah, trained by Alan McCabe, at Southwell.
• Norton trainer Brian Ellison boosted his score to a best-ever 85 winners in a calendar year, under both codes, last week following an across-the-card Flat-jumps double.
The versatile Ellison, who churns out winners all-year round, scored with Secret Destination in a juvenile novice at Southwell, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, and was also on the mark with selling hurdler Rano Pano, the mount of Danny Cook, who won by nine lengths at Ludlow.
Ellison has soared onwards and upwards in recent years under both spheres and can boast a Grade 1 hurdles win (Marsh Warbler) and an Ebor Handicap (Moyenne Corniche) among his major achievements.
He moved on to 86 winners for the year at Aintree last Sunday when Simonside, given an enterprising front-running ride by Aidan Coleman, landed a big-priced success in the handicap hurdle.
“My aim is to get to 100 winners, Flat and jumps, before the end of the year. I think we’ve got a fighting chance of doing it,” said Ellison.
Typically, he is at Newmarket Horses-in-Training Sales this week searching for more ammunition in his quest to further his ambitions.
• AS plans for the proposed Jack Berry House are unveiled to local residents this weekend, champion jockey Paul Hanagan has added his weight to the support of the jockeys’ rehabilitation centre by claiming the new development “will be a major boost for Malton and can’t come soon enough”, writes Tom O’Ryan.
Hanagan added: “Racing is what Malton is all about – it’s the one thing that makes the place tick – and having a facility like Jack Berry House will cement it even more firmly on the racing map.”
Warrington-born Hanagan has close links with Ryedale. Although he moved to Newmarket earlier this year to take up a job as retained jockey to Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum, he spent 13 years living in Malton, still owns a house in the town, and continues to ride regularly for Musley Bank trainer Richard Fahey, his long-time employer.
“Malton means a lot to me and always will,” said Hanagan. “The racing industry in the area is doing well and we need a facility that will serve those who work in it, and which will also help lots of other people in the north of England, not only in racing.”
The Injured Jockeys’ Fund is holding a two-day public consultation on Friday and Saturday when plans for Jack Berry House – named in honour of the famous trainer who has since worked tirelessly as a fundraiser for the IJF, and whose brainchild it was to aim for this development in the north – will be on show at The Yard, Market Place, Malton.
The impressive single-story building, subject to planning permission, will be built on land near Malton & Norton Rugby Union Club on a site identified, after a painstaking search, as the best location in the area for the multi-million pound rehabilitation centre, available not only to members of the local racing industry, but other sporting participants, particularly local residents.
Jack Berry House, although not as large, will mirror Oaksey House, which was built by the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and opened by HRH The Princess Royal, in 2009 in Lambourn in Berkshire.
That facility has since become a focal point in the well-known racing town and numerous jockeys, equestrians, and sports participants, including some from this area, have received specialist treatment there.
Hanagan said: “Oaksey House has proved a spectacular success by helping so many people.
“For the north to have a similar facility like Jack Berry House in Malton will be brilliant.”
The public consultation will be held at The Yard on Friday between 4pm and 7pm and on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.
Interested members of the local community and those connected with racing, riding and other sports are encouraged to drop by, view the plans of the development and offer their support.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hanagan.
“In my opinion, it will be a major boost for Malton and can’t come soon enough.”