Extreme heat conditions have rarely if ever been an issue at Towcester, a point from which county based trainer Alex Hales may draw a few crumbs of comfort this week.
Hales is poised to unleash his eight year-old Oscar mare Indian Native on Towcester’s twilight meeting on Friday, a card which gets underway at 4.40pm. Indian Native has a choice of entries: namely the 2m 4f Northamptonshire Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase at 6.15 or the Call Star Spreads On 0808 2349709 Condition Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Chase over 2m 51/2f at 7.20pm.
Hopefully she will run and win one of them, a blessing for a frustrated Hales who had her all wound up and ready to go at Cheltenham last week when the sudden mini-heatwave caused her race, a marathon 3m 2f contest, to be abandoned on safety grounds.
Promising conditional rider James Bowen had been booked to ride that day and again looks like being in the plate on Friday.
Indian Native has Towcester experience, having chased home The Bay Birch on heavy ground last month and has been placed in four of her five chase starts to date.
Eleven year-old Towcester specialist Riddlestown is another booked runner with a choice of Friday entries and it could be that the Caroline Fryer-trained gelding will be re-united with jockey Jack Andrews, who partnered him twice to victory here in May last year, the horse’s last victories.
In all, Riddlestown has run 13 times at Towcester, winning four of those races although it should perhaps be pointed out he has run at Southwell on 25 occasions, winning seven.
Andrews popped up in the county on Sunday, riding a winner of the Pytchley point to point meeting at Guilsborough when he teamed up with Teeton Power for trainer Lizzie Harris and owner Joan Tice in the opening Billing Finance Members Race.
Followers of local stables will be keen to discover how the Caroline Bailey-trained Malapie fares in the second race on the card (5/10), the 2m 5 1/2f beginners’ chase. Malapie is not the biggest horse in training and has been successful over timber and is now being given a chance over the larger obstacles.
Towcester’s Friday meeting gets underway at 4.40pm and following the final race at 7.55, the onus switches from horse jockey to disc jockey as former Spice Girl Mel C takes charge of a DJ set.