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Ryedale racers eye jackpot
IT’S jackpot stuff on both sides of the English Channel for Ryedale horses this weekend.
Tim Easterby’s Body And Soul spearheads a host of local juveniles heading to Redcar on Saturday for the £150,000 totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy, while, the following day, attention turns to France where Ryedale’s only Group 1 winner of the season, the Richard Fahey-trained Mayson, is set to contest the prestigious Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.
Redcar’s feature race, which has attracted entries from the Aidan O’Brien yard in County Tipperary, is one of the richest juvenile events in Britain, and Easterby, who has won it in the past with such classy performers as Pipalong and Somnus, has a huge chance of striking it rich again with Body And Soul.
The Great Habton trainer’s best two-year-old has already proved herself star material. Successes at Ripon and Thirsk were followed by a bumper-sized win in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury and she has since gone down fighting in third place when stepped up to six furlongs in the hotly-contested DBS Yearling Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival.
Hototo, winner of the Knavesmire race, is likely to be in opposition again on Saturday, representing Kevin Ryan, who sent out Bogart to win last season’s Redcar showpiece, after also winning the self-same York event.
North Yorkshire trainers have a remarkable record in the Two-Year-Old Trophy, with Geoff Oldroyd (Ladies Are Forever), Neville Bycroft (Danum Dancer) and Bryan Smart (Misu Bond) all successful in recent years.
Easterby, though, also knows what it takes to clinch this prize and in Body And Soul he has a filly capable of hitting the jackpot.
Saturday also promises plenty for Ryedale trainers at Ascot, where the £150,000 Betfred Challenge Cup has attracted a strong raiding party from this neck of the woods, headed by Nawton trainer David O’Meara’s recent Haydock winner, Set The Trend, and also including stablemates Anderiego, Smarty Socks and new recruit Louis The Pious.
Norton’s Brian Ellison has Global Village in the reckoning for this valuable prize, while Musley Bank-based Fahey has given himself the option of running Lincoln winner Brae Hill in an Ascot challenge which is also likely to include his exciting juvenile Garswood, a recent Listed winner at Ayr, who is poised to step up to Group 3 company in the BMW Cornwallis Stakes.
Twenty-four hours later, Fahey will be revisiting Longchamp where two years ago he won his first-ever Group 1 race with Wootton Bassett in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Since then, the Malton trainer has gained his first Group 1 victory in Britain with Mayson, whose resounding wide-margin success in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket also provided Wootton Bassett’s jockey, Paul Hanagan, with his first top-notch triumph on home soil.
Come Sunday, horse and jockey will be reunited in the ‘Abbaye’. It will be the 12th time Hanagan has ridden Mayson – an association which has already resulted in five wins and three seconds.
“He’s in great form and worked very well on Sunday,” reports Fahey, who trains Mayson for his breeder David Armstrong and Cheveley Park Stud, who bought the majority share in the four-year-old after the July Cup with a view to sending him to stud at Newmarket at the end of the season.
Opposition on Sunday will be fierce and will include Robin Bastiman’s ultra-popular Borderlescott, who will be partnered by Freddie Tylicki, who steered him to victory in the Beverley Bullet.
All eyes, however, will be on Mayson, who may well be making his final appearance on a racecourse. Hopes are plainly high that he will go out with a bang.
“The best horse does not always win the Abbaye – you need luck with the draw and the pace. But if he gets that, he’ll take a bit of beating,” says Fahey. “He’s in great order.”
• NOMINATIONS for Ryedale’s Flat Horse of the Year would surely see Penitent high in the pecking order.
The six-year-old has proved an absolute revelation this season for David O’Meara, who has placed him to win three races – a Listed event and two Group 2 events, the latest coming at Newmarket last weekend in the Nayef Joel Stakes.
Given an enterprising ride by Danny Tudhope, who stuck to the far rail on the gelding, Penitent ran on strongly to win by a neck and land a first prize of £56,710.
Also the winner of the bet365 Stakes at Sandown in April, having previously landed the Doncaster Mile, Penitent, previously trained by William Haggas, and the winner of the 2009 Lincoln Handicap, was bought for 40,000 guineas at Newmarket Sales last autumn.
Now owned by Middleham Park Racing, Penitent was returned to Newmarket Sales in July, but, fortunately for his current connections and regrettably for any would-be purchasers, he was led out of the ring unsold at 60,000 guineas.
An admirable horse, Penitent has really clicked under the guidance of O’Meara, who continues to go from strength to strength. The Nawton-based trainer has now saddled 63 winners this season and, remarkably, has won prize money in excess of £1.2 million since starting up in the summer of 2010.
• DAVID BERGIN, who came from Ireland to Ryedale in mid-summer to join the David O’Meara yard, has never looked back since.
The 7lb claimer, who had only a solitary success to his credit in his native Ireland from 37 mounts, took his British score to 14 winners from 87 rides at Beverley last week when winning the feature event for his boss on sprinter Kool Henry.
“Things have gone great, better than I could possibly have expected,” said Bergin, who revealed he was unlikely to ride on the all-weather over the winter after taking advice from O’Meara to look after his claim. Who knows, he could be bidding for next season’s apprentice championship.
It was a memorable week for three other local apprentices, plus one amateur. Kenny Corbett, who is attached to Mel Brittain’s Warthill stable, rode his first winner on his very first ride aboard Gosforth Park at Pontefract, just 48 hours after stable-mate Cottam Donny had scored at Beverley and provided Ryedale amateur rider Laura Wilson with her first winner.
As for Jake Butterfield and Adam Carter, they continued successful associations with regular mounts.
Butterfield scored for his Norton boss, Ollie Pears, on Last Sovereign at Wolverhampton, the 7-4 favourite, who was notching his fourth win of the year and his third with Butterfield aboard.
Carter has an identical record on No Poppy, riding her to three of her four seasonal wins, the latest coming at Musselburgh last Sunday when the 8-1 shot trotted up by six lengths for Tim Easterby, who has placed her to win six of her 40 starts. She has also finished second no fewer than a dozen times.
• ANYONE who believes you’ve got to pay fortunes to buy a money-spinning Flat horse should take note of two Ryedale-trained fillies, who have done their connections proud this season after being purchased out of the bargain basement of the bloodstock sales.
Lady Ibrox, who changed hands as a foal for a mere 1,300 guineas, was bought for only £3,500 as a yearling at Doncaster last November by Alan Brown, who skilfully placed the juvenile to gain her third win of the campaign at Chester last Saturday, a victory which boosted her prize money earnings to £24,651.
And at Pontefract, 48 hours earlier, Mad Jazz, who was secured for only 1,500 guineas as a yearling at Newmarket last October, boosted her earnings to £11,479 and won her third race of the season for Norton trainer Tony Coyle.
“She’s a sweetheart, a cracker, and as tough as old boots,” said Coyle, after seeing Barry McHugh force home the two-year-old to win by a nose in a thrilling finish.
“That’s it now,” added Coyle. “It’s shoes off and a field awaits. She’s earned herself a holiday.”
Lady Ibrox produced a superb performance at Chester, carrying top weight to victory under Dale Swift, who knows her so well.
She contributed to a fine weekend for Yedingham trainer Brown, who was also also successful with 7-1 winner Red Shadow, the mount of the in-form Robert Winston, who scorched home at Wolverhampton the previous evening.
Particularly worthy of note is another juvenile, a filly called Winning Express, who was shrewdly bought by a yearling last autumn for 5,500 euros by former Ryedale jump jockey Anthony Ross, who runs a livery yard at Great Habton.
Re-offered by Ross at the two-year-old breeze-up sales earlier this year, Winning Express returned a handsome profit when sold to Tamworth trainer Ed McMahon for £16,000.
Since then, the talented daughter of Camacho has won two of her three starts, including a Listed race at Salisbury and, at Newmarket last Saturday, she finished second in arguably the most prestigious juvenile fillies’ race of the entire season, the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, to the unbeaten Lowther winner Rosdhu Queen.
Quite what Winning Express is worth now is anyone’s guess, but it will certainly be a substantial six-figure sum.
• MALCOLM JEFFERSON, limbering up for the growing momentum of the jumping campaign, has a useful mare on his hands in Aneyeforaneye, who made it two wins from three starts over fences when scoring at Perth last week.
Given a tremendous ride by Harry Haynes, the six-year-old, also a dual-winner over hurdles, produced a telling late burst to win the Centenary Silver Plate from the highly-rated Carlito Brigante for a 12-1 success.
“She jumps well and has a good turn of foot,” said Jefferson. “She’ll be a nice sort for mares’ novices’ chases this season.”
• ALL OR NOTHIN, who promised plenty in his two races last season as a juvenile, has fulfilled that potential in no uncertain terms this season under the guidance of John Quinn.
The Highfield trainer placed the son of Majestic Missile to gain his third win of the campaign at Chester last Saturday when he ran out a half-length scorer under Mick O’Connell.
Another Ryedale horse currently beginning to fulfil his potential is the Geoff Oldroyd-trained Bond Club, who came good under Tom Eaves at Haydock last Friday on his fourth career start. There is surely more to come from the Reg Bond-owned juvenile.