08 Jan January 2016
Ben starts 2016 in fine style with a second place from Freeze A Crowd
The honour of being the first runner of 2016 from Castle Hill Stables falls to the 3 year old Freeze A Crowd. The filly, owned by Middleham Park Racing, runs at Chelmsford on Jan 7th and is, in fact, only Ben’s second ever runner at the Essex all-weather track.
After 4 unplaced runs as a 2 year old Ben finds a lovely 5 runner 5 furlong handicap to introduce Freeze A Crowd for her 3 year old campaign and Graham Lee has the filly nicely positioned in second place on the heels of the leader for much of the race. In the home straight Freeze A Crowd cannot quite get to the leader who proceeds to make all , although she continues to repel the challengers from behind as she finishes the race in second place, beaten a length and a quarter.
This is the first time Freeze A Crowd has made the frame, and she has run a promising race under a good ride from Graham Lee.
Ben opens his account for 2016 with just 4th runner of the year as Whisky Marmalade wins in storming finish at Wolverhampton
No more runners from Castle Hill Stables until Fri 22 Jan when Ben takes 3 horses to Wolverhampton for the opening 3 races of their meeting. First off is Camanche Grey who finishes 8th of 9 in a 5 furlong handicap. Camanche Grey needed the run and will certainly come on for the race.
The second race of the evening sees Riverlynx contest a 1 mile 1 and a half furlong handicap. The 4 year old filly is having her first race for almost 8 months and is in the process of running a good race when she suffers interference at a crucial stage but runs on to finish 6th of the 12 runners, beaten just under 8 lengths. Still this is a promising reappearance after her lengthy absence from the track during which time she’s grown and really filled out. Better can hopefully be expected from Riverlynx in the near future.
Just 35 minutes later comes the moment all stables look forward to when, with only our 4th runner of the year, Ben opens his account for 2016 as Whisky Marmalade takes in a mile and a half handicap. A late enforced jockey change means that Raul Da Silva comes in for his first ever ride for Ben and he keeps Whisky Marmalade towards the rear of the field for much of the race. Whisky Marmalade is still behind most of the 10 runners turning into the straight when his rider begins to make his move. Even entering the final furlong Whisky Marmalade is still only 6th but in a storming run down the outside Whisky Marmalade shows great determination to win in a driving finish by 3/4 length at odds of 33/1. This was a tremendous ride from Raul Da Silva but he had an equally keen partner on the day.
Whisky Marmalade came to Ben in June 2015 from David O’Meara. This was his 6th race for Ben, split equally between Flat and Juvenile Hurdles, and was Whisky Marmalade’s first win in 14 career races. Ben is delighted to record his own first winner of the year, and also with Whisky Marmalade’s performance, and feels there may be more to come from the 4 year old filly who is owned by long-standing supporters of our yard, Middleham Park Racing.