A hop to Hereford on Halloween looks like being the next outing for the Ben Case-trained Pretty Rose, a runner-up to the handicap blot Innocent Girl in Towcester’s first contest of its 2016/17 season last Wednesday.
Pretty Rose, a winner at Uttoxeter in June, fared well to get within a length and three-quarters of Harry Fry’s mare which had won over fences two days earlier at Southwell before scoring at the skinny odds of 1/4 in Northamptonshire.
Innocent Girl turned out again at Huntingdon on Tuesday, where she unseated Kieron Edgar at the 10th flight when still travelling comfortably.
Pretty Rose, which had to give away 18lbs to the winner, is one of four horses running in the colours of the Case Racing Partnership this winter, the others being Lilly Of The Moor, Vesuvhill and Wish In A Well.
Edgcote handler Case said: “It is a mares’ race at Hereford with exactly the same conditions, although she may go up a pound or two in the mean time. She is a summer horse but we will keep her going a while longer by which time at least one of the other Partnership horses will be ready such as Lilly Of The Moor who will probably now go over fences on softer ground.”
Pretty Rose’s jockey Kielan Woods had a more than satisfactory week, riding Beneficial Joe to victory for his retainer Graeme McPherson at Hexham on Saturday before being beaten by a head on Harry Hunt in a flat race for National Hunt jockeys at Goodwood on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Case is waiting for a spot of rain before running Graceful Legend, which was twice placed in sizeable fields at Towcester last season, in both a bumper (National Hunt Flat race) and novices’ hurdle, as well as finishing third in a heavy ground Uttoxeter bumper on New Year’s Eve.
However, his game mare Midnight Jazz could be seen in the opener at Stratford on Saturday when the opposition could include Katie Gale, twice a winner over timber at Southwell in the last two months for his Orlingbury owner Geoff Goodwin.
ALEX Hales, who trains next door to Case on the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire countryside, sent half a dozen of his horses down to Lambourn last week for a fitness gallop and believes his string are close to readiness.
Certainly if Ganymede is a reliable yardstick to the likes of Barenice, Minellaforleisure, Coco Flower and Crafty Roberto, Hales will soon be among the winners. Ganymede was due to return to Uttoxeter today (Thursday), where he was successful in early September.
Sam Twiston-Davies rode a winner at Towcester’s opener on board Moonday Sun in the 1m 7 1/2f handicap hurdle for his father Nigel but the rapid pendulum swings of a jockey’s fortunes were demonstrated once more as he resigned himself to spending a week in hospital after damaging his spleen in a fall at Chepstow on Sunday.
The 40/1 success of Fled Or Pled in the 2m 5f novices’ handicap hurdle was the longest priced Towcester winner for almost two and a half years.
The David Dennis-trained runner reeled in favourite Spring Steel on the run-in to score by two and a quarter lengths for jockey Jamie Bargary.
The winner paid £51.70 on the Tote.
It was on April 10, 2014 that Doyenne Dream won at 50/1 for Caroline Fryer and Bridget Andrews and you have to go back to May 2005 for the last 66/1 Towcester winner, when Nautic scored for Robin Dickin and Wayne Hutchinson in a novices’ hurdle. This turned out to be the only win of a 24-race career!
We are are rapidly approaching the 13th anniversary of Towcester’s last 100/1 shock as the Renee Robeson-trained Cetti’s Warbler was victorious at the track on December 15, 2003.
RISK assessment has never been far from the thoughts of Northampton financial advisor Edwin Lane whose company – Lane Wealth Management – sponsored the 3m handicap chase on last Wednesday’s card.
Owner Lane, also a keen Cobblers fan as demonstrated by a trip to Scunthorpe on Saturday, entertained 30 guests at Towcester and reported on an excellent afternoon.
The most complicated part of the exercise turned out to be finding jockey James Best (the winner on board Prettylittlething) for his presentation after he was delayed in the weighing room.
Lane said: “My clients have decided I should produce an investment risk guide to assess how much they should take out pre-betting!”