The name Grace Harris will be unfamiliar to many Towcester regulars but that state of affairs is now rapidly changing after the rookie handler sent out Distant Sound to take the 2m 3f handicap hurdle on Monday night.
Distant Sound (5/1 jt fav) landed the amateur riders’ handicap hurdle by four and a half lengths from Lombardy Boy, jockey Robert Hawker sending the nine year-old Luso gelding to the front before the second last flight of hurdles.
The victory means Harris, who is only 25 and in just her second season as a trainer, has now had winners at Towcester’s last two fixtures following the success of Grams And Ounces in a 2m handicap hurdle back on March 17.
Based at Shirenewton, near Chepstow in Wales, Harris had 10 winners in her first season as a trainer also operating on the Flat.
In fact Grams And Ounces has contributed to the tally under both codes and briefly looked like scoring again in the following race, a novices’ handicap chase, before the Tom George-trained Valseur Du Granval turned what looked a competitive five way battle before the second last, into a 17-length rout.
Still, Grams And Ounces still ran a respectable second and no doubt Harris will once more pointing the horse box towards Northamptonshire with horses from a yard which has also had flagnearers such as Paddy The Oscar and Living Leader.
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is a trainer to also note carefully when he sends out horses at Towcester from his local base and Orby’s Man further enhanced his reputation in the 3m handicap chase with Aidan Coleman the successful jockey.
Orby’s Man (11/8 fav) has come back from the brink as last year he survived an operation to remove 8ft of intestine from his stomach but he looked a healthy animal as he bounded to a six lengths victory from Brook for owner Tyrone Hanlon.
The Losing Control Partnership were not represented for the victory of the Evan Williams-trained Jinsha Lake in the 2m handicap hurdle so it was left to jockey Connor Orr, a late replacement for Paul Moloney, to take all of the plaudits.
Jinsha Lake was a 16/1 chance and contributed to a frustrating evening for trainer David Pipe as runner-up Perspicace as worn down in the shadow of the post nd Pipe was also responsible for Brook.
Lillian (6/4 jt fav) took the opening 2m 5f mares’ maiden hurdle, Tony Star (1/4) won the two runner hunters’ chase while the bumper went to Graeme McPherson’s best in the Cotswolds with Skipthecuddles (15/2).