01 Mar February 2015
2nd place for Riverlynx at Wolverhampton on first attempt at 7 furlongs
Riverlynx is only Ben’s 4th Flat runner of the year as she makes the trip down to Wolverhampton on Feb 5th to contest a 7 furlong handicap, 3 weeks after running in a 6 furlong maiden race at the same course. This is the first attempt for Riverlynx, a 3 year old filly by Holy Roman Emperor and owned by our own Go Alfresco Racing syndicate, at a trip in excess of 6 furlongs.
Andrew Elliott has Riverlynx in 2nd place for much of the race though she starts to lose her position coming round the final bend, dropping to 4th. However Riverlynx shows good battling qualities in the home straight and gets back up to 2nd place before the line, albeit 4 and a half lengths behind the comfortable winner.
Although starting the outsider of the 6 runners Riverlynx has seen the extra furlong out well. This is an improvement in form for Riverlynx and the first time to date she has reached the frame.
A P McCoy announces his retirement from the saddle
The racing world is taken by surprise on Sat 7th Feb as 19 times champion jumps jockey A P McCoy announces that this will be his final season. A P has ridden countless winners for Ben and his father Patrick before him, many in the colours of his principle owner J P McManus, but also a number of our other horses as well, most recently on Alison Royston’s Operateur when successful at Uttoxeter in September 2014 and previously 4 consecutive wins on J P’s Ever So Much in August and September last year. Everyone at Castle Hill Stables sends A P their good wishes for the remainder of the season and especially for his retirement afterwards.
Mad For Road finishes a close 3rd in hurdle race at Catterick
We should also be sending our good wishes to another jockey who has long been associated with Castle Hill Stables and who also recently retired from the saddle, Barry Keniry. Barry was, in fact, in the saddle for Mad For Road’s first 2 runs for Ben after coming over from Ireland, finishing 3rd and then 5th in his runs towards the end of 2014.
On 9th Feb Ben sends Mad For Road on the short journey to Catterick for another 2 mile handicap hurdle. This time Andrew Tinkler takes the ride and he holds J P McManus’ 6 year old towards the rear of the field for the early part of the race but makes ground turning into the straight taking 3rd place. Mad For Road is then alongside the leaders jumping the last but is held on the run to the line, finishing third, beaten just over 2 lengths. This is a good performance from Mad For Road and again an improvement on his previous form.
Quick reappearance sees Mad For Road take 3rd place again at Wetherby
Just 8 days after finishing third at Catterick Mad For Road makes a quick reappearance by taking in a 2 mile conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Wetherby on Feb 17th.
Mad For Road is held up at the back in the early stages of the race but makes smooth progress through the field as the race develops, under a lovely ride from Micheal Nolan who is having his first ride for Ben. Mad For Road takes the second last just behind the leaders and challenges for the lead at the last. In the run to the line Mad For Road leads very briefly but is eventually run out of it at the line, frustratingly having to settle for 3rd place, beaten less than 3/4 length.
This, though, is another good run by Mad For Road and the third time in 4 races since joining Ben from Ireland that he has finished 3rd. The losing margin also continues to get less so hopefully a win may not be too far away.