20 Dec December 2016
Outside draw this time beats Epeius in bid to gain first victory
Not too many runners in the early part of the month but on the 13th December Ben appears to find a very suitable race for the unlucky Epeius. Credit to Ben for finding this opportunity but of course we should all realise by now that something always seems to conspire against our 3 year old, and unfortunately this time is no exception as Epeius is handed the worst of the draw in the outside stall of the 8 runners. Ben also runs Freeze A Crowd in this same race ( Megan Nicholls up ) and the filly is only slightly more favoured by the draw, being drawn just two away from Epeius.
The race is a 6 furlong maiden at Southwell and Epeius starts a shade of odds-on, under leading jockey Graham Lee. Graham settles Epeius in midfield on the outside of the runners and once turning into the straight begins to make his challenge on the two leaders . The three runners go clear but the effects of having had to race wide means Epeius struggles to go past his rivals and despite being hard ridden once again he has to settle for 3rd place, beaten just a neck and a head. A disappointing end but one day everything will surely fall into place for Epeius and victory will be all the sweeter for it !
Freeze A Crowd is ridden prominently throughout the race and briefly leads turning into the straight, but she weakens from the 2 furlong marker to finish a respectable 5th on her first run for nearly 5 months.
Whisky Marmalade puts in a good performance at Newcastle
Two days later Ben sends 3 runners to Newcastle. After Rey Loopy and Crucial Response are unplaced in a 7 furlong maiden race for 2 year olds, Whisky Marmalade, a winner at Wolverhampton in January, runs a good race in a mile and a half stakes race. Paul Mulrennan takes the ride on the 4 year old for the first time and keeps Whisky Marmalade towards the rear in the early stages. In the straight Whisky Marmalade runs on well and though he cannot get near the leaders he does run into 5th place of the 11 runners at odds of 25/1.
No more runners from Castle Hill Stables until after Christmas when a few of our jumpers at least should be appearing at the big Wetherby meeting on the 26th and 27th December so can we wish all our readers the very best of Christmas’s until we all meet again very soon after the festive period — very best wishes to everyone !!