06 Oct October 2017
Ever So Much snatches 3rd place at Sedgefield with an improved performance
Our first runners of October are 2 jumpers, both owned by J P McManus, who make the shortish journey up to Sedgefield on the 3rd day of the new month. First off is Ever So Much in a 2 and a half mile, 13 runner, handicap hurdle. Although still only 8, Ever So Much has been a grand servant to Castle Hill Stables having come over as a maiden from Charlie Swan’s stable in Ireland in August 2014, and immediately Ben succeeded in getting the then 5 year old to win his next 4 races, all within the space of 2 weeks ( and ridden each time by A P McCoy ), and all within 3 weeks of his arrival in Middleham ! A further win followed in August 2015, and then two more in May 2016. Since then things have gone a little quiet for Ever So Much but today, on his much preferred good ground, his starting price of 33/1 seems somewhat insulting considering his past record !
Ridden today by his new regular pilot Richie McLernon who was on board for his last 2 victories, he is settled in midfield for much of the race and starts to make headway 3 out. Still only in 5th place jumping the last Ever So Much runs on well to snatch 3rd place on the line. This is Ever So Much’s best performance for a little while and it would be good to think that whilst the ground remains in his favour he may soon be able to add to his 7 career victories.
Later on the card Cash Again, a maiden over jumps and having just his second start for Ben since leaving Paul Nicholls, cannot recapture the promise he showed early in his career and finishes 7th of 8 runners in a 2 mile 1 furlong handicap hurdle, although in fairness this was a decent Class 3 contest.
Yet another fine performance from the consistent Castle Hill Cassie with a close-up 4th place a Kempton Park
On 18th October Castle Hill Cassie goes down to Kempton Park’s all-weather track for their evening meeting and a Class 4 fillies’ handicap over 7 furlongs with leading jockey Oisin Murphy in the saddle. Oisin has our ultra consistent 3 year old, carrying the well-known yellow and white silks of the Ontoawinner syndicate, nicely positioned in third place near to the rails and on the heels of the leaders throughout the race. After the 2 furlong marker Castle Hill Cassie moves out towards the centre of the track to mount a challenge and entering the final furlong takes the lead. Despite running on well herself Castle Hill Cassie is swallowed up and overtaken by 3 horses in the final 50 yards and has to settle for 4th place, albeit beaten only around 1/2 length, at odds of 14/1.
An unlucky finish to the race as Oisin looked to have timed his run to perfection, but nevertheless this was another fine performance from Castle Hill Cassie who had a number of good horses behind her, and who has still not finished out of the first 4 in any of her 8 starts to date. A 3rd career win would have been well-deserved for the filly herself, but would also have provided a much needed tonic for Ben in this most difficult of weeks.
Eponina makes the frame again at Southwell but a first victory remains elusive
The next runner from Castle Hill Stables is our 3 year old filly Eponina who takes in a 9 runner, 7 furlong, maiden race at Southwell on Oct 22nd. For today’s race Eponina has the assistance of leading all-weather jockey Luke Morris in the saddle and Luke settles his partner in midfield in the early part of the race. Eponina is ridden along from 2 furlongs out but despite keeping on well inside the final furlong she cannot get to the two leaders and has to settle for another 3rd place. Eponina has now made the frame in 5 of her 8 races to date but frustratingly for all concerned she remains a maiden, though surely her turn will come !