Trainer Stuart Edmunds deflected the plaudits after Vinegar Hill gave his Tyringham yard a seventh winner of the season at Kempton on Monday.
The seven year-old gelding owned by Theshouldhavehadabiggerbudgetgroup ran out a three length winner from Jennys Day in a 3m handicap hurdle at the Sunbury track.
Having his first outing for the Fences Farm team, Vinegar Hill, named after a battle of 1798 where Irish rebels were routed by a British army in County Wexford, had previously been trained locally by Ben Case and Anna Brooks.
The son of Kayf Tara had won three of his final four starts for Brooks and gave her a perfect send-off winner before she retired from training in May.
Monday’s contest concerned only two of the eight runners once they turned into the straight as Vinegar Hill sailed merrily home under jockey Joshua Moore.
But modesty prevented Edmunds claiming the plaudits as he said: “When Anna retired the owners sent the horse to me and thank God they did.
“She told me what to do and all I have done is listen.”
Trainers rarely feel advantaged in recruiting a horse with solid recent form and Edmunds feared beforehand he might end up with egg on his face.
Yet the result means he currently has a 24 per cent strike rate from his 29 runners this season and with Pine Warbler due to run in the novices’ hurdle at Towcester today (Thursday) while Chandos Belle was engaged on the flat at Wolverhampton yesterday with Molly Childers, likely to tackle a Doncaster bumper on Friday rather than an earlier Wetherby option, the picture for Edmunds’ team is looking rosy.
Edmunds’ star to date this season is Apasionado which has won all three starts since arriving from Ireland in the summer and following his recent Huntingdon success in a novices’ hurdle the five year-old could now be stepped up in trip to 2m 4f and the Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot next month.
Meanwhile, Cloonacool returned from a lack-lustre run at Ascot with a bit of colic but will continue to mix fences and hurdles on right-handed tracks over distances of between 2m – 2m 4f.
Wolf Of Windlesham should not be forgotten despite his recent Cheltenham fall and may have a preparatory run on the Flat before tackling the old Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot with the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival his long term aim.
Pine Warbler ran three solid races in heavy ground at Leicester under Ciaran Gethings at this time last year which made today’s Towcester entry entirely logical.
EDGCOTE trainer Ben Case boasts a solid 15 per cent strike rate with nine winners to his name this season after the victory of Lilly Of The Moor in a novices’ handicap chase at Warwick last Wednesday.
She was dropped significantly in trip to 2m 4f but outstayed the opposition for The Case Racing Partnership.
“There is a good programme for mares but she needs soft ground and we might look at Haydock towards the end of the season,” said Case.
THE Caroline Bailey-trained Crosspark, which made a pleasing return after six months off when second at Uttoxeter recently, has Saturday chase entries at Doncaster and Newbury on Saturday.
FORMER county jockey David Bass has ridden 18 winners this season but faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering multiple fractures to his cheekbone after falling from Duelling Banjos at Ascot on Saturday.
BRACKLEY construction firm Agetur UK sponsored two of the contests on today’s Towcester card which adds added flavour to an already enticing event. which has attracted plenty of entries.
Rob Rexton, the Australian born managing director of the Brackley company is also a major backer of Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard in the Cotswolds and the Naunton handler had entries for both the 2m 5f handicap hurdle and the 2m 5 1/2f handicap chase carrying the Agetur name.
While nothing in horse racing carries a cast iron guarantee, especially at Towcester, both Verygoodverygood and Yanmare went into their races having won their last two contests and were attempting to make the party go with a swing for Rexton and his company staff and guests.