TOWCESTER RACES: Sweet success for Hadens at Towcester

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‘DON’T waste your pucker on some old day sucker, and don’t try a toffee or cream. If you want perfection in sugar confection, well there’s something new on the scene...’

So ring the opening lines of Toot Sweets, that popular ditty from the 1968 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

And spotting the entry of Toot Sweet five days before the

Caroline Beesley Handicap Hurdle over 3m at Towcester yesterday, proved divine inspiration to me.

Twelve months after Easy Beesy landed the inaugural running of the contest staged in memory of my late wife – just 19 days after she died – the winner again struck an appropriate note.

Toot Sweet, a seven year-old bay mare by the sire Generous was sent off the 3/1 joint favourite scoring her first win in 12 starts and will now be retired to the paddocks, as she has some useful form in her pedigree and will hopefully breed future winners.

Trained by Henry Daly in Shropshire, she was Sam Twiston-Davies’ only ride of the afternoon and showed game resolution to battle back after being headed by market rival Ifyouthinkso, approaching the final flight, eventually holding on to score by a neck.

Toot Sweet is owned by Wolverhampton couple Andrew and Isabel Haden who were both on hand to witness the event.

The Hadens have had horses before with Daly, including Kack Handed, a winner for them at Haydock in 2010, and Judy The Drinker.

Imaginative naming of race horses can often help to attract wider popularity and Isabel Haden admitted the couple’s children drew inspiration from the musical which starred Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries.

She said: “In fact, we firstly wanted to call the horse Truly Scrumptious but the name was turned back by Weatherbys as it had already been taken. We liked Toot Sweet, partly because of the song but also because it sounds like the French toute de suite meaning ‘quickly’.”

Mark Gillard’s runner Comical Red was judged best turned out in the marathon hurdle but while that horse tailed off, the Dorset handler’s next runner Wicklewood took the next contest, the 2m 3 1/2f handicap chase, at odds of 8/1.

Yet there was no more impressive a scorer than Newton Thistle which was heavily supported down to 13/8 favourite in the 3m handicap chase before the previous course hurdle winner fully justified that confidence by slamming his eight rivals by a gargantuan 54 lengths under David Bass.

Jockey Jason Maguire rode a double on Premier Portrait (3/1) in the novices’ handicap chase for trainer Kim Bailey and half an hour later on board St Johns joint (100/30) for trainer Charlie Longsdon in the 2m 5f novices’ hurdle.

Presenting Lisa (10/11 fav) looked a hugely impressive individual in the concluding bumper.