07 Aug August 2015
Moon Over Rio and Megan Nicholls take 3rd place on Ladies Night at Carlisle
It’s Ladies Night at Carlisle on Mon 3rd Aug and all 7 races at the meeting are exclusively for ladies only ! Ben sends both Moon Over Rio, ridden by Megan Nicholls, and Operateur, the mount of our own Alice Kent, to contest the final race on the card, a handicap over just short of a mile and a half, a race open to both professional and amateur riders.
Megan Nicholls, daughter of champion jumps trainer Paul, has Moon Over Rio nicely placed behind the leader for most of the race and stays in second place until taking the lead just before the final turn. Moon Over Rio stays in front until inside the final furlong and frustratingly the 4 year old, owned by our own Blue Lion Racing syndicate, is just run out of it in the race to the line and has to settle for 3rd place, beaten just 2 lengths.
Megan has given Moon Over Rio a fine ride and similar comments must also apply to Alice on Operateur. Alice was having only her 4th ride in public and was competing against experienced lady professionals such as Hayley Turner, yet did everything right holding Operateur, who was returning after a 6 week absence through injury, up towards the back of the runners in the early stages and keeping the 7 year old well-balanced throughout, eventually finishing just 9 lengths behind the winner. This in itself was a much improved performance by Operateur on his previous race at Hamilton at the end of June.
Shesnotforturning makes the frame yet again at Newcastle
Two days later 2 more of our horses run against each other as Ben takes Shesnotforturning and Liliargh to Newcastle for a handicap over 7 furlongs. Shesnotforturning who has done so well of late is ridden today by Tom Eaves and tracks the leaders for most of the race. The 5 year old however can find no extra inside the final furlong and has to be content to hold on for 4th place at the line on this occasion. This 4th place means that Shesnotforturning has reached the frame in all her 5 races since returning to the track after an 18 month break. Liliargh, with apprentice Joe Doyle up, finishes 7th of the 10 runners in this same race.
Ever So Much returns to form with Bangor success under a power-packed Andrew Tinkler ride
All has been quiet with Ever So Much since his incredible spell around this time last year when he won 4 races on the bounce in 16 days ( 3 chases, 1 hurdle race ) but he returns to form with a vengeance when Ben sends J P McManus’ 6 year old to Bangor-on-Dee on August 21st for a handicap hurdle run over just short of 2 and a half miles. On ground slightly softer than ideal Ever So Much is ridden today by Andrew Tinkler who holds the horse at the rear of the field throughout the first circuit. Into the final mile of the race Andrew starts his challenge on the outside but is still only 4th jumping the second last. Under a strong ride from his jockey Ever So Much is still a good length down at the last but under a power-packed ride Ever So Much finishes his race strongly and timing his run to perfection gets on top in the last 100 yards to win going away by one and a half lengths. This was an inspired ride by Andrew who never gave up, but equally he had a very willing partner in Ever So Much.
Ben is always delighted to train winners for owner J P McManus and this was his 9th win for the famous green and gold colours. The win was Ben’s first of the present National Hunt season and also Ben’s first success at the picturesque North Wales course, from only 2 runners. Subject to how he comes out of the race, in view of Ever So Much’s excellent form at this time last year Ben has a race at Sedgefield in mind for him later this month.