Following the cancellation of the Cottesmore fixture in February it felt great to be back at Garthorpe on Sunday. The sun was shining and the public supported the meeting in large numbers, despite two other central England fixtures on the same weekend.
This seven-race card began with a Conditions race which was won by Toby McCain-Mitchell and First Drift for Maximilian Kendrick. Most of the running was made by James King riding Black Valentine, fourth, and Idee de Garde (Phoebe Taylor), second before the eleven-year-old winner hit the front with two to jump and stayed on well to win by five lengths.
Smoke Man, ridden by Tom Chatfeild-Roberts, completed a hat trick of wins this year by winning the Members race for Tom’s Father John. This race also pitched sisters Kelly and Laura Morgan against each other. Smoke Man is trained by Kelly, while the horse which came second, Skipping On (Alice Coleman), is based at Laura’s, not far away..
James King and Francesca Poste-trained Kaproyale impressed by winning the intermediate race. The seven-year-old, owned by The Galloping Dentist @45thgreen Partnership, tracked the only other runner, Cave Queen (Luke Humphrey) before quickening down the final straight to win by about five lengths.
“Olly Murphy originally bought Kaproyale from us as an unbroken three-year-old, but he ran disappointingly under Rules for him. He offered for us to buy him back at a much cheaper price, and he’s now four from five pointing,” explained Francesca’s husband, Charlie. “It was a shame with the lack of runners today, and a match race is never ideal, but he’s a horse with plenty of ability and I’m just pleased he got the job done.”
The Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open produced a very impressive display from the ten-year-old David Kemp-trained Caryto des Brosses, ridden by Dale Peters for owner, John Ridge. David said, “He’s a tricky one to manage, as he suffers from arthritis, kissing spine and ulcers at times but he’s very talented.” Dale Peters agreed. “He’s an absolute machine - one of the best horses i get to ride - but he wouldn’t be fit to race without the attention he gets from the team at home.” Badbad Leroy Brown (Zac Baker) and Popelys Gull (Luke Humphrey) battled it out for a distant second place, the former just winning that contest.
The maiden for five-year-olds and upwards was claimed by Billy Chatterton on the Philip Rowley-trained Francesco du Clos in a quicker time than the winner of the mixed open. Chatterton works and trains with Philip while studying at agricultural college not far away in Shropshire. Beauvallon Bay (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts) was second.
Zac Baker was the sole finisher from three starters in the TBA Early NH Racing Initiative maiden 4yo aboard the Tom Ellis-trained and owned Intrepide Sud.
Zac said, “He was bold in front and didn’t bat an eyelid. The ground was hard work today and they were going in by a foot in places, but he’s a lovely big horse who jumps well and I imagine he’ll now go to the sales”
Sadly Vinnie Lewis was the only declaration for the veteran horse conditions race, last on the card, so a walkover gave Billy Chatterton and Kelly Morgan doubles on the day.
After three consecutive fixtures the Midlands area now takes a break with our next meetings being those hosted by the Woodland Pytchley (Dingley) and South Notts (Thorpe Lodge) over the Easter weekend.