10 Nov November 2016
Another near miss for Bourbonisto at Newcastle
In the frame in 4 of his 5 races to date Ben ups Bourbonisto to 7 furlongs and tries Daniel Shapiro’s 2 year old on the all-weather surface at Newcastle for the first time on November 4th in an attempt to gain his elusive first victory.
Graham Lee, riding Bourbonisto for the first time, soon has him prominent on the heels of the leaders. Bourbonisto makes his move and challenges the leaders from 2 out but despite leading briefly entering the final furlong can only run on at one pace and has to settle for yet another place, a second consecutive 3rd, beaten just under a length.
Mr Mole makes first appearance for Ben in top chase at Aintree
It’s good to get our high-profile Mr Mole on to the racetrack. Owned by J P McManus, and previously with champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Mr Mole joined Ben in August and for his first race for our stable contests a 2 and a half mile handicap chase, the big race at Aintree’s televised meeting on Sat Nov 5th, under Richie McLernon.
As we expected Mr Mole needs the run and is pulled up before the last fence, but the race will have brought the 8 year old on, and better things can certainly be expected as the season progresses.
Improved performance from Dursey Sound at Sedgefield
Another of our chasers, and also owned by J P McManus, Dursey Sound reappears at Sedgefield on Nov 8th in a Class 3 handicap chase over just short of 2 and a half miles. Also ridden by Richie McLernon, Dursey Sound cannot repeat his Hexham victory in September but after being held up in the rear in the early stages jumps much better than in his previous race at Hereford in October and runs on to finish a creditable 5th of the 9 runners.
For the second time in 3 weeks our Trojan Horse Partnership runners put up impressive performances at Newcastle
On 18th November, just 3 weeks after two of the horses owned by the Trojan Horse Partnership ran such promising races at Newcastle, Ben takes both horses back to the north’s new all-weather track and is rewarded by probably two even more impressive performances.
First off is our 2 year old filly Eponina in a 7 furlong maiden race. Ridden this time by Graham Lee Eponina is held up early in the race but makes headway over a furlong out, though despite keeping on well in the final furlong cannot quite get to the two leaders and has to settle for 3rd place of the 8 runners, beaten just over 2 and a half lengths, at 16/1. This race very much confirms the promise of Eponina’s debut run 3 weeks earlier when she finished a close up 6th and she certainly looks a lovely filly for next season.
90 minutes later and it’s the turn of our 3 year old Epeius in a 6 furlong maiden race and again Graham Lee takes the ride. A change of tactics see Epeius prominent throughout the race and actually leads a furlong out. Inside the final furlong Epeius is headed shortly before the line and finishes a close 2nd of the 7 runners, beaten just 3/4 length, with the third horse a further 7 lengths away. Epeius has for some time held the title of being the most frustrating, or perhaps unluckiest, horse in our yard and, as 3 weeks earlier, this is again probably his best ever run and surely a well-deserved and overdue first win cannot be long off.
A new career opening for an honourable 13 year old ?
4 days later and it’s the turn of 2 of our jumpers to make the short journey up to Sedgefield, Hi Dancer and Moon Over Rio.
No surprise that Hi Dancer is running at Sedgefield, after all he’s already run at the County Durham track 15 times, and these have resulted in 4 victories. What is different about today’s race is that it is a chase, not his usual hurdle race. To date Hi Dancer has only run in 4 chases, the latest being in March 2009, and his finishing places, in race order, have been 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd, so it would be extremely satisfying today for him to record a first win over the larger obstacles. As with all Ben’s jumpers so far this season Richie McLernon takes the ride and as is customary these days he has Hi Dancer alongside the leaders in the early stages. Jumping well for a comparatively inexperienced chaser Richie sends Hi Dancer into the lead at the 9th fence and is not headed until after the second last, following which our boy gradually weakens but still finishes a creditable 4th of the 9 runners.
So a win today is not to be, but technically therefore Hi Dancer is still a novice over fences and after his jumping today Ben has the option to consider this route in the future. Of course, “Dancer” himself may well have something to say on this subject — watch his own column for the latest news !
Later in the afternoon Moon Over Rio runs in a Class 4 handicap hurdle over an extended 2 miles. For much of the race Richie McLernon has the 5 year old nicely positioned on the outside just behind the two leaders. At the second last Moon Over Rio comes to join the leaders but takes a fall when clearly in strong contention. An unfortunate end to what might have been a good finish but horse and rider are both fine after the fall ( a very rare fall for one of Ben’s runners it has to be said ) and hopefully recompense may await her owners, our own Blue Lion Racing syndicate, in the near future.