08 Jul July 2016
Operateur shows welcome return to form at Nottingham
On the second day of the new month Ben takes 2 horses to Nottingham for their Saturday evening meeting.
First off is Operateur who drops down in trip to 1 mile 2 furlongs to contest a Lady Amateur Riders’ Handicap in the hands of Becky Smith. Needing to overcome an absence of over 2 months Operateur is held up towards the rear of the 8 runners in the early stages of the race and is last once turning into the straight. The 8 year old then begins to run on well, befitting a horse used to running over 2 furlongs further, and in the run to the line Operateur passes many of his rivals to eventually finish in 3rd place, belying his odds of 40/1.
This is the first time Operateur has made the frame since his golden summer of 2014 when he won 5 races, including 4 on the bounce at Hamilton in June. This was a useful performance and a run which hopefully should have done his confidence a power of good.
Yet another 2 year old finishes in second place as Quiet Moment makes very promising debut
Just half an hour later sees our third 2 year old of 2016 make a racecourse appearance, Quiet Moment, a filly by Dandy Man, owned, like another of our 2 year old runners Vaux, by the OnToAWinner syndicate. Quiet Moment runs in a 5 furlong Maiden Fillies race with Joey Haynes on board. Badly drawn on the outside of the 8 runners Quiet Moment is pushed along in the early stages before she starts to make ground approaching the 2 furlong marker. Despite running green Quiet Moment makes a strong challenge inside the final furlong and eventually finishes second, beaten just a length, and like Operateur, starting the outsider of the party, this time at odds of 25/1. This is a very impressive start to our filly’s racing career and can only auger well for the future.
This second place means that all the 3 two year old’s Ben has run so far this season have a second place to their name. We are though frustratingly still awaiting our first two year old victory of the season, but on the form each of the 3 juveniles have shown to date this win surely cannot be too long in coming.
4th place for Bourbonisto in good class Nursery at York’s high-profile charity meeting
One week later, Sat 9th July, and Ben takes Bourbonisto to York for their big John Smith’s charity meeting to run in a Class 2 Nursery over 6 furlongs under jockey Cam Hardie. Drawn on the outside of the 7 runners Bourbonisto is held up in the early stages but begins to make headway from halfway and chases the leaders. Our promising 2 year old can then only run on at one pace in the final furlong and has to settle for 4th place, beaten 3 and a half lengths. As to be expected at one of York’s big meetings this was a good class nursery and yet another good performance from Bourbonisto at odds of 14/1 ( again the outsider of the 7 runners ! ).
Our latest recruit from J P McManus, Saint Charles, scores at the first time of asking for Ben
The following day sees the first appearance for Ben of our latest recruit from owner J P McManus, Saint Charles. The 6 year old joined Castle Hill Stables from Nicky Henderson very recently, having won 1 of his 7 races for the former champion trainer. Saint Charles had previously been campaigned mainly over hurdles though his last race had been a 2 and a half mile chase. For his first outing Ben keeps Saint Charles to fences but drops him in distance to 2 miles for a Class 4 Novices’ Chase at Southwell, and he is ridden today by Richie McLernon who, although associated with the J P McManus horses, is riding Saint Charles in public for the first time.
Following a couple of withdrawals on the morning of the race only 3 go to post although the market leader did beat Saint Charles on his final run for Nicky Henderson. During the race the outsider of the 3 runners leads until 5 out when the market leader takes over with Saint Charles sitting nicely on his tail. Richie keeps Saint Charles in that position until challenging the leader going to the last. Saint Charles is then driven clear and goes on to gain his revenge on his rival by winning his race by 3 and a half lengths. Yet again Richie has ridden a lovely waiting race and Saint Charles is clearly a useful recruit for our stable and hopefully will provide more successes for his owner.
All 3 horses which Ben has run over jumps during the present season have now won, and he is now 4 wins from 7 runners, giving a healthy 57% strike rate. Saint Charles’ win is also Ben’s 12th victory for horses owned by ” J P “.
Another placing as Quiet Moment finishes third at Beverley
Thurs 26th July sees the second appearance of Quiet Moment, our 2 year old filly by Dandy Man, who created such a favourable impression when making her debut at Nottingham at the start of the month. Quiet Moment runs in a 5 furlong maiden race at Beverley, again partnered by Joey Haynes.
As in her first race Quiet Moment races on the outside of the 9 runners and is pushed along from halfway. After being slightly outpaced over a furlong out Quiet Moment runs on in tremendous style towards the end of the race, overtaking 4 horses in the final half furlong to take 3rd place. Whilst not improving on her second place in her debut run the race confirms that Quiet Moment is a promising youngster who is starting to learn more about racing and will surely come on again for this experience, possibly over a longer distance.