Members of the Nick Gifford Racing Club were celebrating after Old Dreams won the Andrew Jackson Memorial Handicap Chase for them at Plumpton in impressive style yesterday.
The seven-year-old mare, which had previously won a National Hunt Flat race and been placed both in hurdle races and chases, put in a fine performance under jockey Tom Cannon to score her first win over fences. She clearly relished the extended trip over three miles two furlongs and was a rewarding winner at 16-1 for her Findon trainer and connections.
The first two races at this meeting- Plumpton’s first of the new season- went to local trainer Gary Moore. He took the Juvenile Hurdle with Orla’s Rainbow, a 9-2 shot making her National Hunt debut, ridden by youngest son Joshua. Then second son, Jamie, gave evens favourite Gola Nova fine ride to win the Hepworth Brewery Novice Hurdle race by a well judged two lengths.
Lewes trainer Sheena West continued the local bonanza when Alfraamsey won the two mile handicap hurdle over two miles, with rider Marc Goldstein in the saddle.The five-year-old was winning his fourth hurdle race and Goldstein said after the win: ” He is my favourite horse and one of the most genuine I have ever ridden.”
It was good to see the fine chaser Aimigayle back on the track – and continuing her winning form over fences with her usual jockey Colin Bolger on board. Now 12, the mare is trained by Suzie Smith at Lewes and one of the highlights of her career was finishing fourth in the Topham Trophy at Aintree in April 2012.
With the ground against her, she was given a break for around a year, and she was in command throughout at Plumpton in the handicap hurdle over three miles one furlong. Aimigayle had been home-bred by her original owner, Pete Mercer, and he now shares her ownership with David Cliff and Philippa Clunes ( wife of actor Martin Clunes).
Trainers outside Sussex finally got a look-in when trainer David Bridgewater and jockey Tom Scudamore took the Online Casino Bonuses Novices’ Handicap Chase over two and a half miles with 9-2 shot Fearless Leader.
Racegoers enjoyed enhanced viewing facilities of the paddock and winners’ enclosure, as well as draining improvements in the centre of the course, and an impressive new entrance, at this first meeting of the new season.