TOWCESTER RACES: Messenger hoping fortunes are on the up

UP AND OVER - action from the Haygain Hay Steamers Clean Healthy Forage  Novices Hurdle Race (Class 4) at Towcester on Tuesday (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
UP AND OVER - action from the Haygain Hay Steamers Clean Healthy Forage Novices Hurdle Race (Class 4) at Towcester on Tuesday (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Rather like the Towcester hill, Creaton jockey Tom Messenger hopes his Tuesday success on board L’Eldorado is a clue that his fortunes are on the climb.

Messenger gave an almost flawless performance on board the Chris Bealby-trained seven year-old who played his own version of ‘catch me if you can’ in the 2m 3 1/2f handicap chase. The upshot of this was that they couldn’t... It has hardly been a star-studded season for Messenger to date, but hopefully L’Eldorado’s success will trigger plenty more of the same.

“That’s only my fourth winner of the season unlike last season when I had 12 by the end of August, but only went on to 16. This time round Chris’s horses have all needed their first run. Hopefully that means we will have more to look forward to in the New Year. Last season, although they started well, that was practically it after Christmas.”

There must be a chance L’Eldorado will come back to Towcester as he has won on both his visits to the start, having landed a bumper in Northants three years ago, while his other successes have been at Hexham and Market Rasen, the Northumbrian track also featuring a hill.

Messenger said: “He normally bounces out in front but he is probably a bit one-paced and we would need to step him up to 3m on a flatter track.

“In the past he has never finished a race tired but at the same time has felt empty.”

L’Eldorado ran in the colours of Camilla Radford who has owned Somersby and Racing Demon for Henrietta Knight and trainer Bealby said: “I am pleased for the owners as they are close friends of mine and Mick Channon (who has taken over training the jumpers from Henrietta Knight) has been having winners.”

THE effortless performance of Earcomesthedream at Towcester on Saturday should remind punters how horses can become well handicapped when their stable emerges from a barren spell, often caused by below-par health.

Trainer Peter Pritchard, who has regularly farmed Towcester winners in the black and white Woodlands Genhire colours over the years, had been a frustrated man for the past couple of seasons.

Prior to Saturday’s victory, his previous Towcester successes had been two chase wins by Woodlands Genpower in January 2009. The sudden return to red-hot form had been confirmed when Tisfreetdream had bolted up at 28/1 in an amateur riders’ race at Ludlow with the trainer saying: “I offered the ride to Claire Hart as she is my wife’s cousin but she was unable to take it.”

IT might not have made the latest script of The Archers, but a few ales were sunk in the Old Bull at Inkberrow on Saturday night after the 9/4 success of Armedanddangerous at Towcester on Saturday. Trainer Tom Gretton, based at the Worcestershire village made famous by the long-running radio programme, emerged from the ‘cold trainers’ list after a cajoling ride from Felix de Giles, which landed a few hefty bets.

Gretton was saddling his sixth winner under Rules, but his first since March 2011.

Trainer’s son Tom Lee, best known as a betting expert and Channel 4 presenter, was at Towcester on Saturday to lead up his father Richard’s Simply Wings which won the 2m 3 1/2f beginners’ chase.

THE postponed South Midlands Area Club point-to-point fixture due to be staged at Whitfield last weekend, has been re-arranged for Saturday February 2.