Point-to-point rider Tom McClorey clinched the Midlands Area jockey title at Dingley on Saturday.
McClorey, a Kingsthorpe lad, works as assistant to Caroline and Gerald Bailey and finished on 41 points after the final Midlands Area fixture where he was nudged to his final total by a third place on Richard Pringeur’s Deemood behind Singininthevalleys in the second division of the 2m 4f open maiden.
McClorey said: “I have always aimed at winning the Midlands title but this has been the first year I have had the suitable ammunition to give it a good crack.”
Runner-up some 15 points adrift was Tom Chatfield-Roberts while Tom Strawson, the winner for the last two years, finished back in third.
The Gerald Bailey-trained Thetalkinghorse proved the most valuable point supplier with McClorey reflecting: “He won four this season with a hunters chase at Wetherby and should be an exciting prospect stepped up to Open level as he is only eight.”
Highlight of the Dingley card saw John Russell return from injury to win on board Gunmoney, a sixth Men’s Open triumph for the Bailey runner this season.
Caroline Bailey’s National Hunt team sent Fearthedark and High Ron to Southwell on Wednesday, and were due to run Gold Ingot at Worcester on Thursday.
ALDERTON trainer Anna Brooks sent out her final runner Vinegar Hill at Southwell on Wednesday evening.
Although always operating on a modest scale, 12 years of training brought a steady stream of winners, notably at Towcester with the likes of Devil’s River and Drombeg West. Brooks was known to remark she could see her local track from her bedroom window.
Vinegar Hill was hoping to sign off Brooks’ training days with a winner having already scored twice at the Nottingham track in the last two months.
Brooks said: “I broke a hip in the summer when a horse dumped me and it’s time to stop.”
FORMER county handler Michael Chapman sandwiched a trip to Huntingdon on Tuesday night between two visits to Wembley Stadium this week.
Chapman, now 78 and once based at Clipston, is a director of Grimsby Town and saw the 3-1 National League play-off final win over Forest Green Rovers on Sunday, and will return seven days on for the FA Trophy final with Halifax Town.
Both Chapman’s Huntingdon runners The Society Man and Duc De Seville took fourth spot with the latter a particularly pleasing effort as the 100/1 rank outsider in a 12-runner field, running on stoutly under 7lbs claimer Ross Turner. Duc De Seville is owned by Chapman’s wife Mary and county racing enthusiast Stephen Richards whose Dealing River with Caroline Bailey ran a pleasing return in unsuitable ground after a lengthy absence at Worcester last week.
Fourth place was also the Huntingdon berth for the Stuart Edmunds-trained Reyno in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle and Tracey Leeson’s Blackwell Synergy in the 3m 1f handicap hurdle. The latter finished powerfully and is next expected to return to Uttoxeter where he won twice last summer.
GIVEN the current example of Leicester City’s footballers no-one needs reminding the art of dipping beneath the radar to hit targets can still be a potent weapon, and on Monday evening the city’s racecourse certainly achieved the first part.
A crowd which fluctuated between sparse and extinct preferred a balmy, beautiful evening and watching a surreal six race card to the significantly more upbeat tempo provided by a crowd in the region of 250,000 people, just a couple of miles up the road in Victoria Park.
However, I definitely prefer my own more sedate manner of toasting the exploits of Claudio Ranieri’s men: an each way menu of Duck A L’Orange (second at 12/1 in the concluding 1m 3f handicap) and a delicious ice-cream sundae at Gallone’s in Northampton the next day. Appropriately it was labelled ‘On Claudio Nine’ and the enterprising firm have always branded a Cobblers equivalent.
Towcester business man Steve Brown will be hopeful Allnecessaryforce can bring him a winner in the 1m 4f handicap at Chepstow on Saturday. Brown has hit the crossbar twice of late, with this Alex Hales-trained grey and the Julia Feilden-trained Harry Bosch.
TOWCESTER stages its final National Hunt card until October a week on Tuesday, May 31, when the action is due to get underway at 2.30pm.