30 Mar March 2015
Welcome to Ben’s new website and in this column we will continue to provide an analysis of Ben’s runners, his various stats from time to time, as well as a few other snippets concerning news around Castle Hill Stables.
Ben opens his account for 2015 as Mad For Road gains a well-deserved success at Sedgefield
March starts in grand style for Ben as on the opening day of the month he takes Mad For Road to Sedgefield, just less than 2 weeks since the 6 year old finished 3th for the second consecutive race at Wetherby, to contest a 2 mile 1 furlong handicap hurdle at the Durham track.
Mad For Road, owned by J P McManus, is ridden by Andrew Tinkler fresh from riding a double at the big Doncaster meeting just 24 hours earlier. Andrew keeps Mad For Road behind the leaders for much of the race, also staying close to the inside rail. Turning into the home straight Mad For Road moves into third place and coming to the second last is switched to challenge on the outside of the two leaders. Mad For Road then takes the lead at the last and keeps on well to the line to record a 3 3/4 length success.
This is Mad For Road’s first victory since joining Ben from Ireland 4 months ago and just his second career success having previously won an all-weather flat race at Dundalk exactly 2 years ago to the day ( he has clearly developed an affinity with St David’s Day ! ). The win is well-deserved as Mad For Road has been getting progressively closer to the winner in each of his previous 4 races for Ben.
Ben is delighted to train another winner for ” J P ” ( this is Ben’s 5th individual winner in the last 5 seasons for the legendary owner ) and this is a nice way for Ben to open his account for 2015 with just his 11th runner of the year. This win also equals Ben’s best score for a Jumps season of 7.
Mad For Road follows up Sedgefield win with a second place over the same course and distance
No more runners from Castle Hill Stables until 20th March when Mad For Road is out again contesting a 2 mile 1 furlong hurdle race at Sedgefield, and therefore bidding to follow up his course and distance victory there on the opening day of March. This time Dougie Costello takes the ride and after chasing the leaders Mad For Road keeps on in the closing stages to take 2nd place at the last and is beaten 5 lengths at the line.
On the same Sedgefield card Hi Dancer, having his second run after a 9 month break, finishes 6th of 7 after leading for much of the race in a 2 and a half mile handicap hurdle, whilst Moon Over Rio makes late headway to finish 5th of 9 runners in a 2 mile 1 furlong novice hurdle.
Mad For Road runs another creditable race at Wetherby whilst Prince Of Pirates shows improved form
Before the month ends there is still time for Mad For Road to take in another race and one week after his latest Sedgefield run, on March 27th, he takes his place in an extended 2 mile handicap hurdle at Wetherby. For this race Mad For Road is re-united with Andrew Tinkler his successful pilot at Sedgefield at the start of the month. Mad For Road is held up in the early stages of the race before making headway, but the 6 year old can only run on at one pace and on this occasion has to settle for 5th place, beaten 8 lengths.
Also making the journey to Wetherby on the same card is Prince Of Pirates owned, like Mad For Road, by J P McManus. Prince Of Pirates runs in a 2 mile 6 furlong handicap hurdle, also ridden by Andrew Tinkler, and after being held up in the early part of the race makes nice headway in the later stages to finish 5th of the 14 runners, beaten 11 lengths. This is certainly Prince Of Pirates best run since joining us from Nicky Henderson’s stable and Ben can now look forward to getting further improvement from Prince Of Pirates in the near future.