Trainer Peter Pritchard cut a happy figure in the winner’s enclosure at Towcester on Saturday and is hoping the experience will be repeated when the Northants track races again on Tuesday.
Pritchard, based at Whatcote near Shipston-on-Stour, has had a dismal couple of years with a below-par string, yet now knows his horses are in the rudest of health once more.
The 10/1 success of Earcomesthedream in the hands of Jack Doyle provided ample confirmation of this as the nine year-old gelding coasted to a six length success in the 3m handicap hurdle and Pritchard hopes stablemate Tisfreetodream can perform a similar task at Towcester on Tuesday.
Pritchard said: “Although 2m 6f is probably the optimum trip for Earcomesthedream he is versatile and the horses are well again.”
He added: “I wanted to run Overton Lad here today so I was gutted when he went down with a bout of colic and I had to take him out of the 3m chase.”
That contest went to Royaume Blue, the 7/4 favourite ridden by Killian Moore, with Northants trainer Alex Hales on hand to welcome home his winner.
Hales said: “It might only have been a moderate race but it is all about getting horses to win in their grade.” Pointing at the happy band of owners in the winner’s enclosure from The Royaume Bleu Racing Partnership he said: “They have had a great day because of this and now they will all go and have a glass of champagne to celebrate.”
Punters had to keep moving on a bitterly cold afternoon, so perhaps a few of threm sided with 3/1 winner Weather Babe in the opener, especially as it was ridden by Hadden Frost for trainer David Pipe.
Next up was Simply Wings (4/1 joint second favourite) in the 2m 3 1/2f beginners’ chase for trainer Richard Lee and up-and-coming conditional rider Michael Nolan.
Armedanddangerous (9/4 fav) was well supported to make all in the novices’ handicap chase while Two Rockers (7/2) took the 2m 5f novices’ hurdle for the trainer/jockey partnership of Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson.
The concluding bumper was won by 11/4 shot Shipton for trainer Brendan Powell and jockey Sam Jones, who came in for a chance ride.