07 Oct October 2015
Whisky Marmalade unseats at the last at Huntingdon when in contention after an improved performance
On Sun 4th Oct Ben takes 2 horses to Huntingdon. First off is Whisky Marmalade a 3 year old filly who came to Ben early in the summer from David O’Meara. Since arriving at Castle Hill Stables Whisky Marmalade unseated his rider at the third in his first Juvenile Hurdle and followed this with 2 respectable runs on the Flat. Today Ben switches Whisky Marmalade, who is owned by Middleham Park Racing, back to a 2 mile Juvenile Hurdle and she is ridden by the experienced conditional Nathan Moscrop who, although he rides out for Ben at home, is having his first racecourse ride for Ben. Nathan sensibly holds Whisky Marmalade up at the back of the field in the early stages behind a tearaway leader but makes ground steadily throughout the race and turning into the home straight goes into second place. The leader, having come back to the field, then hampers Whisky Marmalade badly going into the second last. At the last Whisky Marmalade comes to challenge for the lead but lands awkwardly and unseats Nathan. An unfortunate ending to the race and maybe the leaders antics in the closing stages unsettled our horse. That’s 2 “unseated riders” in 2 juvenile hurdles for Whisky Marmalade but she certainly got much further this time and hopefully consolation may soon await after this improved performance.
Our other runner at Huntingdon is Moonlight Bay, an 8 year old owned by J P McManus, who recently joined Ben from Christy Roche in Ireland and who has been chasing of late. Moonlight Bay competes in a 2 mile chase today but is ultimately pulled up 2 out and better can be expected in time.
Creditable 4th place for 12 year old Hi Dancer in novel hurdle race at Sedgefield
The following Monday week, 12th Oct, Ben takes just one horse to Sedgefield, the 12 year old Hi Dancer, to compete in a 2 mile 1 furlong hurdle race. At least that was the original race description but in reality 5 of the 8 hurdles are omitted due to a combination of low sun and hurdle damage in a previous race, and the contest is thus described as a Flat race with 3 hurdles ! None of this makes the slightest difference to Hi Dancer as over the years he has proved adept at most forms of racing having already won 16 races, including 12 over hurdles and 4 on the Flat, of which 2 were on the all-weather.
Andrew Tinkler takes the ride today and has Hi Dancer nicely positioned on the heels of the leader for much of the race before sending him into a narrow lead down the back straight. Turning into the home straight and jumping the last of the 3 hurdles Hi Dancer is still in front but he is quickly overtaken and in the last half furlong can find no more and before the line loses 2 more places to finish a still creditable 4th, just over 6 lengths behind the winner. Nonetheless this is a performance most 12 year olds would be proud of.
Another 4th place for the consistent Lady Lekki at Redcar
Before October closes, on Thursday 26th, Ben runs our promising 3 year old filly Lady Lekki in a 1 mile 6 furlong handicap at Redcar. Partnered by Graham Lee Lady Lekki is given a good ride staying on the inside throughout the race just behind the leaders. This trip is 2 furlongs further than her latest run when finishing 4th at Beverley in September but she sees the extra distance out well, though keeping on at one pace in the later stages to once again finish 4th, this time of 14 runners, beaten just over 3 and a half lengths. Lady Lekki has now reached the frame in each of her 3 runs for her owners, our own Go Alfresco Racing syndicate.