No-one should need reminding Towcester can prove a setting for the unlikely and bizarre although a four month break ahead of Wednesday’s meeting meant we all felt a little ring rusty.
However the point was re-enforced by the David Dennis-trained Fled Or Pled which ran out a 40/1 winner of the 2m 5f Agetur UK Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, with 5lbs claiming jockey Jamie Bargary in the saddle.
There may have been an element of fortune as Sam Twiston-Davies was unseated from Song Of Night two flights from home when seemingly going well, but Fled Or Pled got up close home to deny 5/2 favourite Spring Steel by two and a half lengths.
This was the longest priced Towcester winner since Caroline Fryer and Bridget Andrews teamed up with 50/1 shot Doyenne Dream on April 10, 2014 and most punters were understandably aghast as the four year-old Shantou gelding had hardly inspired in his five previous runs over timber, his shortest odds in those races being 28/1.
Dennis said: “Bumpers (National Hunt Flat races) would have wrecked his head. He gets very wound up and we have sent him down to the start early and put a hood on him.”
He added: “We were getting to the stage with him where we were struggling to even get into the handicap. He had a terrible fall at Taunton in March.”
Dennis trains at Hanley Swan near Worcester and with his horses apparently in good order he goes to Chepstow on Sunday with Catskill Mountains in a juvenile hurdle.
Neil Mulholland is based at Limpley Stoke near Bath and after sending out a winner at Towcester’s opening fixture last year he did even better this time round with a double courtesy of two favourites, namely Prettylittlething (2/1) in the 3m 1/2f handicap chase and Pinkie Brown (6/4) in the 2m novices’ chase.
Prettylittlethink won the Lane Wealth Management Handicap Chase with James Best on board, scoring by a length from Red Penny, while Pinkie Brown, named after one of the central characters and notorious gang leaders in Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock, galloped to an impressive, virtual all the way success under Tom Scudamore.
Innocent Girl (1/4 favourite) was always holding Pretty Rose in the opening mares’ contest having won over fences just two days earlier while the grey Moonday Sun (3/1) took the Toast To Mick and Sheila White Handicap Hurdle.
On a day that saw blue skies but also penetrated with a strong wind, it was appropriate that the bumper went to Dans Le Vent (3/1 joint favourite) for Paul Morgan and Denis O’Regan.
The next Towcester jumping fixture is on Thursday November 24.