Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Ryedale raids in running for ‘Lester’ award
12:36pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Sport
Danny Tudhope on Doc Hay, far side, wins Doncaster’s Portland Handicap last September and gains a nomination for Flat Ride of the Year at the forthcoming ‘Lesters’ Awards
Victories on Ryedale-trained horses last season have earned three jockeys a nomination for the Flat Ride of the Year at the forthcoming Stobart Lesters Awards Ceremony in Birmingham, writes Tom O’Ryan.
The event, held at Birmingham’s Metropole Hotel on March 28, is the Professional Jockeys’ Association annual get-together and awards dinner and Freddie Tylicki, Danny Tudhope and Michael O’Connell are all challenging Richard Hughes for a coveted ‘Lester’ statuette for the Flat Ride of the Year.
Tylicki has been shortlisted for his win on the Richard Fahey-trained Chapter Seven in a handicap at Musselburgh last April, when he threaded his mount through the field to get a run up the inside to post a thrilling victory.
Tudhope’s nomination comes on the back of a dramatic late charge on the David O’Meara-trained Doc Hay, who came from nearly last to first to win the ultra-competitive Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting in September.
As for O’Connell, his expert handling of the Linda Stubbs-trained Qubuh, a narrow winner at Hamilton in May, has put John Quinn’s regular rider in with a chance of a major award.
Hughes is the other shortlisted rider, the champion jockey having gained his place for a cool and confident waiting ride on The Fugue when she won the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last August.
Amy Ryan, who made history in 2012 by becoming the first woman to win the apprentice championship outright, is one of four nominations for the Apprentice Jockey of the Year. She is up against Harry Bentley, Darren Egan and Sean Levey.
• The nominations for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards have also been revealed and Ryedale teenager Jack Teal figures in the David Nicholson Newcomer Award category.
Teal, who works for Norton trainer Malcolm Jefferson and is an aspiring conditional jockey, is one of 10 nominees for his particular section.
Fingers are crossed in the Jefferson camp that Teal makes it through to the final trio, who will then make the trip to London for the richly-endowed event, sponsored by Godolphin, which will take place at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel on March 4.
• Brian Ellison’s quest to gain his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival was heightened at Musselburgh on Sunday when Viva Colonia gained a thrilling victory under Danny Cook to secure his place at next month’s prestigious meeting.
“He’s in the Arkle Chase, but it’s probably more sensible to aim him at the Grand Annual,” said Ellison, preferring the handicap option for his smart gelding, who was making it two-from-two for the Norton handler over fences.
Having opened his chasing account on the same course with a smooth win, Viva Colonia had to work considerably harder when stepped up in class in Sunday’s Scottish Future Champions Novices’ Chase.
Sent off a 9-2 shot in the four-runner field, he came out on top by half a length from Desert Cry, with the Malcolm Jefferson-trained Attaglance only three-quarters of a length further back in third.
Tap Night, the 4-7 favourite, finished last of the quartet in a two-and-a-half-mile race, which was run at a steady tempo before a dash over the final four fences.
“It didn’t matter how slowly they went before they quickened, because this horse has plenty of speed,” explained Ellison. “Danny gave him a very good ride. He was brilliant over the last two fences when he needed to be.”
Viva Colonia had previously been trained by David O’Meara, who nurtured him into a useful hurdler, before he joined the Ellison stable after one unplaced outing this season.
“He’s a good horse and has always been a good horse,” said Ellison. “I hope to have about five entries for Cheltenham and Viva Colonia will not run again beforehand.”
While the trainer has had near-misses and some desperate luck at the all-important Festival gathering, stable jockey Danny Cook is already on the roll of honour at the meeting.
In 2010, when he was attached to the David Pipe yard, Cook memorably won the Byrne Group Plate on Great Endeavour, wearing the well-known colours of owner David Johnson.
He will be hoping to double his Festival score on Viva Colonia in five weeks’ time.
• Dakar Run is also Cheltenham-bound after his runaway success on his debut at Wetherby last Saturday.
The Richard Fahey-trained gelding beat the odds-on Baltimore Rock by an impressive four and a half lengths in the National Hunt Flat Race under Brian Hughes, who said: “He’s as nice a bumper horse as I’ve ever ridden.”
Dakar Run, who carries the colours of the York-based Wildcard Racing Syndicate, is destined to head to Cheltenham for the Champion Bumper.
• It’s been an up-and-down period for John Quinn’s Cheltenham team.
While Hidden Justice highlighted his Festival chances with a second fluent win at Catterick last weekend, Kashmir Peak, his unbeaten Norton stablemate, who also holds strong claims for Cheltenham’s Triumph Hurdle, came unstuck at Musselburgh on Sunday.
Four flights from home when just behind the leaders, he stumbled badly on landing and unseated Dougie Costello, who had no chance of staying aboard.
At Doncaster the following day, Countrywide Flame, winner of last season’s Triumph Hurdle for Quinn, ran in classy company in a four-runner contest, which had a dramatic and tragic outcome.
Countrywide Flame, having looked booked for third place at the final flight, was gifted second when Christmas Hurdle winner Darlan, who appeared to be cruising at the time, took a fatal fall, leaving Rock On Ruby, last year’s Champion Hurdle winner, to score comfortably.
• Tim Etherington was relieved to see Bailadeira on her best behaviour at Wolverhampton on Monday, which contributed to her gaining only the second win of her 20-race career, under James Sullivan.
“She got herself so wound up at Lingfield last time, she took out 50 yards of rails on the way to the start,” explained Etherington.
“She was much more relaxed this time, which is the key to her. How she runs depends on which head she’s wearing when she arrives at the races.”
• Mick Easterby, who has such a cracking record at Wolverhampton, saw his fortunes turn sour earlier this week.
Desert Vision, a six-times course winner, tragically broke a leg and had to be put down. Jockey Graham Gibbons, who was unseated when the 1-4 favourite suffered his injury three furlongs out when leading the field, was miraculously unhurt.
• Rachel Richardson made her first ride at Wolverhampton a winning one last week when the Ryedale apprentice gained an all-the-way success on sprinter Holy Angel.
The handicapper, trained by Tim Easterby, Richardson’s boss, made all the running and stormed home to a 5-1 success to provide his rider with her third winner, the first of which was gained as an amateur.