HORSE RACING: Caroline Bailey strikes Gold once again
The Caroline Bailey-trained Gold Ingot ensured the stable's steady run of early summer form continued, when winning the 2m 3f handicap chase at Market Rasen last Friday.
The former Alan King-trained nine-year-old was scoring just his second win for current connections, although he has been placed second or third on half of his 14 outings since moving to the Holdenby North Lodge stables.
Jockey Andrew Thornton was in the saddle, another notable landmark for him as he closes down on his ambition to ride 1,000 National Hunt winners, leaving him six short of his target.
Meanwhile, the connection between Bailey’s base and that of Wiltshire trainer King is set to continue next season as one of the latest recruits to Northamptonshire is the five-year-old Elkstone who ran nine times for his previous yard without getting on the scoresheet.
However, the son of Midnight Legend has never been campaigned over further than 2m 1f and it is believed a step up in trip with greater maturity will pay dividends in the autumn.
Other ex-King horses to have run for the county base in recent times have been Denali Highway and The Laodicean, both of which won three times for the yard, the latter also twice being placed at Towcester.
Retirement was looming for Denali Highway before his third place in a 2m 4f handicap chase at Southwell on Tuesday evening. Although he was backed into favoritism, perhaps he will now get another chance.
Another recent purchase for the Bailey yard is a four-year-old from last week’s Ascot Sales. Appropriately named, Reckless Behaviour has had one run in a point to point and includes county man Richard Lloyd among his owners.
STARTING them young is a proven strategy in attracting race goers for life and the policy is already paying dividends for five-year-old Evelyn Labrum-Eggleton who last week proved an able assistant in the task of handing out a trophy at Towcester’s final meeting until October 5.
The Spratton Hall pupil made the most of the half term break in company with a family party of six which included her mum Danielle, who happened to be celebrating her 32nd birthday on that day.
This landmark proved the catalyst to an invitation to enter the winner’s enclosure along with race-day guide Shona Supple after the Henry Daly-trained grey Upbeat Cobbler warmed the cockles of the hearts of locals by making all the running to land the 3m handicap chase.
Despite the fact Evelyn was only attending her second race meeting (her debut coming at Huntingdon on Easter Monday) her ever expanding thirst for knowledge is already showing an alarming swing away from the achievements of the great 19th Century civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and onto the intriguing lists of trainers, jockeys and horses.
Shropshire trainer Daly currently has his string in good order and he was only denied another winner on Tuesday evening when Queen Spud fell at the last fence at Southwell when two lengths clear.
However he seems sure his mare Upbeat Cobbler will return to Northamptonshire in the autumn, saying: “She is owned by a Cobbler (John Timpson) and the track suits her very well. She looks to be turning into a typical course specialist and Towcester is the last refuge of the truly slow horse!”
Sadly, school responsibilities mean young Evelyn’s racing headwear will be missing from next week’s Royal Ascot jamboree, but there seems little doubt Towcester has attracted a new supporter and our local racecourse must continue to do all it can to encourage the next generation.
It is not unusual to see school parties dressed in jockey silks being given guided tours of the racecourse before action starts, while the quest remains to beef up the number of dates in the diary...
ROYAL Ascot will hopefully beckon its beguiling finger next week for retired Northampton bookmaker Brian Goodyear whose recent course scorer Taurean Star will be bidding for a third victory at the track in the Britannia Stakes over 1m on Thursday.
HARPOLE racing enthusiast Mick White may no longer have the chance to cheer home his recently retired favourite Rylee Mooch but he was at Brighton on Monday to cheer on a fresh interest in the Dean Ivory-trained Roman Legion which showed a degree of promise before finishing fifth in a 6f contest.