01 Oct September 2014
Ben’s winning run ends, but Moon Over Rio still runs well to take 3rd place at Carlisle
It had to happen eventually, but Ben’s run of consecutive winners ends on 4 as Moon Over Riocontests a 1 mile 3 and a half furlong handicap at Carlisle on 2nd September. As on her debut win at Beverley almost 3 weeks ago Moon Over Rio is ridden by Andrew Elliott.
Moon Over Rio tracks the leaders for much of the race before going on 2 furlongs out only to be headed entering the final furlong. Moon Over Rio weakens on the run to the line, eventually finishing third. This is still a solid run from Blue Lion Racing’s 3 year old filly and she retains much promise for the future.
Normal service is resumed as Ever So Much scores his second win in 9 days
Ben returns to winning form just one day later when, on September 3rd, he takes 2 horses to Southwell and his new recruit Ever So Much runs in another Class 4 two and a half mile handicap chase. This is just a 3 runner affair and with A P McCoy again taking the ride Ever So Much tracks the 2 leaders until being asked by A P to take the lead himself 3 out. Ever So Muchquickly goes clear and records the easiest of victories by a most comfortable 3 lengths. As always Ever So Much is given a lovely ride by A P and this race represents little more than an exercise gallop and the 5 year old, owned by J P McManus, is now 2 from 2 for Ben.
Operateur runs another fine race to take 2nd place on same Southwell card
On the same Southwell card Operateur runs in a Class 5 two mile handicap hurdle race. Ridden by our own conditional jockey Ryan D Clark who is able to claim a valuable 10 lbsOperateur is held up just behind the front two for much of the race but joins the leader 2 out. The well-backed favourite then takes the lead just before the last but in the run to the line Ryan gets a fine tune out of Operateur and for a moment it seems Alison Royston’s 6 year old may get up but ultimately Operateur has to settle for second place, beaten just a length.
This is another good run from Operateur following on from his previous 3rd place at Uttoxeter and Ben believes that Operateur will soon gain a deserved first win over hurdles to compliment his 4 wins on the Flat in June.
Ben’s excellent run continues as Ever So Much wins his second race in 2 days !
Ben feels that Ever So Much’s run at Southwell 24 hours earlier has taken so little out of him that there is no reason why the 5 year old should not take up his entry at Sedgefield in another Class 4 handicap chase, although this is over just 2 miles. Again champion jockey A P McCoy is in the saddle and as in the previous days race Ever So Much tracks the leading pair for most of the race before joining the leader at the second last. Despite a slight mistake at the last fenceEver So Much runs on well to record a second victory in 2 days, this time by one and three quarter lengths. Under another fine ride from A P Ben felt this race was ideal for the 5 year olds experience over fences. Having not won a race prior to joining Ben barely a month ago Ever So Much has not only won 2 races in 2 days but has rattled up a 10 day hat-trick of victories and is now 3 wins from 3 races for Ben.
In each of Ever So Much’s last two races he has started odds on favourite and beaten a total of just 5 rivals. This shows great race planning from Ben in identifying two such suitable races with good winning opportunities whilst adding to the young chasers experience. Very satisfying for Ben who is always delighted to train winners for owner J P McManus.
This recent fine run of Ben’s has had a further healthy effect on his stats. Having currently had 10 winners on the Flat this season ( from 29 runners ) he has a 34% strike rate, and with 4 winners over jumps this season ( from 11 runners ) his strike rate is 36%. Furthermore, since the start of June Ben has had a total of 24 runners ( Flat and jumps ) and recorded 12 winners, an astonishing 50% winning strike rate. In addition to the 12 winners in this period Ben has also had 2 seconds, 5 thirds, with only 5 runners failing to be in the first three.
It’s win No.4 in just 16 days as Ever So Much shows he’s equally adept over hurdles as fences
The amazing run of Ever So Much continues. Winless, and with just one third place to his name before arriving at Castle Hill Stables a month ago, Ever So Much has subsequently won 3 chases for Ben and now goes off to Uttoxeter for a 2 mile hurdle race in order to take advantage of an 11 lb lower rating over hurdles compared with fences.
Again ridden by champion jockey A P McCoy Ever So Much is held up towards the rear for much of the race but begins to make ground in A P’s typically quiet style shortly before entering the straight and joins the leaders at the 2nd last. Without being asked a question at all by his rider Ever So Much runs on and leads at the line by a most comfortable 3/4 length. This is a peach of a ride even by A P’s standards and Ever So Much will barely know he’s had a race.
That’s now 4 wins from 4 races for Ben and the wins have clearly given Ever So Muchtremendous confidence whilst gaining further experience under both codes. Owner, the legendary J P McManus, will surely be delighted at switching Ever So Much into Ben’s care. Great credit must also go to Ben for taking advantage of the opportunity to run Ever So Muchover hurdles after winning 3 chases and throughout this successful summer Ben has demonstated time and again how astute he is in his placing of horses.
For anyone continuing to follow our stats Ever So Much’s latest win pushes Ben’s win strike rate in the current Jumps season to 42% ( 5 wins from 12 runners ) and his win strike rate since the start of June ( Flat and Jumps ) to 52% ( 13 wins from 25 runners ).
Operateur scores deserved first success over hurdles — after his 4 Flat wins in June
2014 will certainly be a year Operateur’s owners never forget and Alison Royston is delighted to watch her pink and mauve colours carried to success for the first time over hurdles asOperateur records an impressive victory in a 2 mile Novice Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter on Sun 21st Sept.
The 6 year old is ridden for the first time by champion jockey A P McCoy and suffers interference at the first hurdle as 2 of the 14 runners unseat their riders. AP negotiates a clear passage and has Operateur in 4th place just behind the leaders for the first half of the race. Operateur takes closer order 4 out and after moving to the inside goes on at the 3rd last and steadily draws clear finishing 7 lengths ahead at the line, a distance which could have been greatly extended if his rider had wished. This was a textbook ride by AP but victory could not have been accomplished without a willing and able partner.
AP is now 5 wins from 5 rides for Ben this jumps season ( the other 4 all coming courtesy ofEver So Much ), whilst it’s the 5th win of the year for Operateur whose other 4 successes were all gained on the Flat at Hamilton in June and his owners Alison Royston, Christine Barclay and Mervyn Buckley will be delighted that Operateur has finally achieved a richly deserved first win over hurdles.
Ever So Much fails in quest for 5-timer but still runs good race to finish third at Market Rasen
In his quest to land a five-timer in just over a month Ben sends Ever So Much to Market Rasen on Sat Sept 27th for a 2 mile 3 furlong handicap hurdle. Ridden again by A P McCoy Ever So Much is settled in 3rd place just behind the leaders for most of the race until taking second place 2 out. Ever So Much still has every chance until the last but then loses second place as he can find no extra in the last furlong and A P heavily eases the 5 year old in the final 100 yards as third place becomes the best he can achieve this time.
This is still a fine run by Ever So Much considering this third place follows 4 consecutive victories ( 3 chases and 1 hurdle race ) all in the space of 33 days, these being his first races for Ben since coming over from Ireland, and also in this latest race Ever So Much is 15 lbs higher than in his previous hurdle race 17 days earlier.