Staff at top Malton yard don onesies to raise cash for cancer charity

Gazette & Herald: Trainer Richard Fahey, left, and assistant trainer Robin O’Ryan watch morning work  in their fancy dress Trainer Richard Fahey, left, and assistant trainer Robin O’Ryan watch morning work in their fancy dress

WHEN was the last time you saw a Group 1-winning trainer, surrounded by horses, dressed as a pink pig?

Never, probably, is the answer. But, in the name of charity, Richard Fahey did his stuff to boost funds for Macmillan Cancer Support at last Saturday morning’s Onesie Challenge when staff at his Musley Bank yard clocked in for work and rode out in a huge variety of all-in-one pyjamas.

The event was the brainchild of amateur rider Alyson Deniel, who works for Fahey and who was bowled over by the support it received. “It was just brilliant the way everyone got involved,” she said.

That included “the boss”, who, having opened a Justgiving site and stated that he would join in and dress up if donations exceeded £500, was promised extra bonuses to don a pink suit by owners in the yard.

Steve and Glen Clayton, owners of Yorkshire Cup hero Glen’s Diamond, pledged £400 for a pink show, a sum that was matched by Ganton-based Nicholas Wrigley.

Wrigley, Britain’s senior steward and the former chairman of York Racecourse, went one step further.

He dressed up in a kangaroo costume on a fun morning during which his wife, Venetia, who won the York Charity Race last summer on Fahey’s Extraterrestrial in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, rode out suitably attired in a red and black onesie.

“Fair play to Nicholas and Venetia,” said Fahey. “They are great sports and, like so many, they really got behind the morning.”

So, too, did everyone else.

While Fahey’s pink pig costume, stole the show, his assistant Robin O’Ryan wore a lion suit and pupil assistant Jess McLernon was in red and white spots.

Yard staff, jockeys and apprentices also took part. Lee Topliss, Paddy Mathers and Sammy-Jo Bell all dressed up as did Tom Eaves, who raised sponsorship from his weighing room colleagues, while the stable secretaries, Mandy Corner and Katie Cooper, also put on a colourful show in their onesies.

It was, of course, all in an excellent cause.

Fahey’s sponsorship soared to more than £3,500, while Deniel raised in excess of £1,400.

She said: “It all started out as a way of having a fun morning and getting a few quid for a cause close to most of our hearts. Who would have imagined it would have taken off like it did?”

Deniel added: “It’s impossible to say an exact figure of how much was raised for Macmillan until we’ve got all the money in, but it will be a lot more than was originally expected, which is brilliant.

“A big thank you to everyone who took part and who sponsored and supported us.”

As for Fahey’s pink pig, it is anyone’s guess when, or if, that will make another appearance at Musley Bank.

 

• Ifandbutwhynot, who took top honours at Newbury last month, is set to make another journey south this weekend in a bid to gain a notable encore in the final major race before Christmas.

The David O’Meara-trained gelding has the £150,000 Ladbrokes Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday in his sights after his latest Listed race success in Berkshire.

A highly-talented horse, as he proved last season until taking a tumble in the Scottish Champion Hurdle, Ifandbutwhynot repaid jockey Timmy Murphy for breaking his wrist in that fall by making all the running in last month’s Gerry Fielden Hurdle, nowadays known as the bet365 Intermediate Hurdle.

An even tougher task awaits Nawton-based Ifandbutwhynot at Ascot, but the Ryedale raider heads south with strong credentials as he spearheads the local challenge, which is likely to be completed by Norton trainer John Quinn’s Recession Proof and Totalize, trained by his town colleague Brian Ellison.

 

• Racing Pulse quickened the pulse of observers when making a sensational debut for John Quinn at Newcastle to put himself in the Cheltenham Festival picture.

Previously trained in Ireland by Michael Winters, the gelding had won a point-to-point and a bumper in his two outings before switching to Quinn, who last week ran him over hurdles over two and three-quarter miles with James Reveley in the saddle.

Sent off the 8-11 favourite in a ten-strong field, Racing Pulse made mincemeat of his rivals. Moving through on a tight rein to lead at the third-last flight, he went effortlessly clear and won by a massive 17 lengths.

Leading bookmakers immediately installed him into the ante-post betting for two major events at the Cheltenham Festival in March by pricing him at 16-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and 25-1 for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.

While Reveley described him as “an absolutely gorgeous horse”, Quinn added: “He’s got speed and he’s got stamina.

“We’ve got the option of dropping him back in trip to two and a half miles, because he’s not slow.

“But he’d stay three miles if we wanted him to.”

There are no firm plans in place at present for Racing Pulse, with Quinn keen to discuss possibilities with owner Carl Hinchy before making a decision.

“We might stay up here in the north for his next run before we head down south with him,” explained the Highfield-based trainer.

Whatever way Quinn chooses to go with Racing Pulse, the signs are that he’s got a very useful hurdler on his hands.

In the meantime, Quinn may run another of his rising stars, impressive Wetherby winner Rutherglen, at Bangor on Sunday.

 

• Barry McHugh left himself just one winner shy of equalling his total score for 2012 when Tukitinyasok sprang a 25-1 shock at Wolverhampton last Friday evening.

The Ryedale jockey, boosting his tally for the year to 41 successes, gained a comfortable victory on the Clive Mulhall-trained gelding, who provided Wakefield owner Carl Chapman with his first winner after a two-year wait.

Mulhall, who describes Tukitinyasok as “a lunatic at home”, said: “He’s had a few problems we’ve had to sort out and he deserved to win one.

“We’ll give him a break at some stage, but he’s in good form at the moment and we’ll keep him going. He just might be able to win another race, the way he won at Wolverhampton.”

 

• Gary Lavery, with one winner under his belt over jumps, doubled his score at Bangor, but had to sweat on the outcome.

Attached to the Norton stable of Brian Ellison, Lavery partnered Kayfrou for his boss in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. The gelding started the 15-8 favourite and duly won – but only by a short-head in a driving finish.

The success enabled Lavery to add to his initial victory, achieved on It’s A Mans World at Cartmel in August.

As for Ellison, he followed up on the Flat at Southwell the next day with Pravda Street, the mount of Dale Swift.

 

• Sun Cloud is the latest success story from the Malcolm Jefferson yard in Norton.

The gelding, a previous winner over hurdles, opened his account over fences at Hexham last week with a decisive success, which saw him seven lengths clear at the line in the hands of Brian Hughes.

“He stays well and he’s just getting his jumping together now,” said Jefferson.

 

• Jack GarritTy is proving a chip off the old block.

A son of former crack Ryedale jumps jockey Russ Garritty, the teenager has enjoyed a good first season as an apprentice and took his tally to five winners from 73 mounts with a stylish display at Southwell last week.

Garritty, who is attached to the Kingsclere stable of Andrew Balding, rode the Charles Smith-trained Alpha Tauri to an 8-1 success in the claiming race, in which he took the scalp of the hot favourite Spitfire, ridden by Joe Fanning.

Smith said: “That was Jack’s first ride for me and I was very impressed. He listened to what he was told and rode the horse exactly as instructed.”

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