Permit holder Daniel Steele stole the show at Plumpton yesterday with a back to back double with the two horses he trains near Albourne, outside Henfield in West Sussex. These were the first two wins of his career since he took out his permit 15 months ago.
Hold The Bucks at 15-2 initiated the double when taking the At The Races Handicap Hurdle over two miles under a good ride from Gavin Sheehan.Then talented amateur rider Freddie Mitchell, who is based with Nicky Henderson, won the next race- the Windsor Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase at 10/1 on board According To Them.
Daniel had ridden out for Gary Moore in nearby Horsham for more than seven years, and then worked for Nick Gifford and Anna Newton Smith before taking out his permit. He brought back Hold The Bucks after two years off to finish second impressively at Plumpton last autumn. The horse, which is only eight, appears to have taken well to fences.
He said:” To have a double is absolutely unbelievable – I fancied them but you don’t think things like this happen. According To Them cost only £400 from the Ascot sales and was in a really bad way. He’s had tendon problems but we can work our horses on the Downs above Edburton and it seems to help.”
He has his horses at home, where he has four boxes and his successes could spur him to look for two more at the sales. For Freddie Mitchell this was his first winner over jumps, and though has 12 wins to his credit, a number have been in little known countries in the Fegentri series. He is now concentrating on English jumping and has My Tent Or Yours to ride out at Seven Barrows.
Tony McCoy beat Leighton Aspell in a match for the EBF Stallions/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Chase at Plumpton, riding She Ranks Me, which went past his rival and Baby Shine after the last fence to notch up trainer Donald McCain’s 101st win of the season.
Aidan Coleman is becoming a familiar figure in the Plumpton winners enclosure and he too had a double at the track, winning the opening hurdle race for Emma Lavelle on board Albert Bridge, and completing the double with a 32 length victory for West Sussex trainer Richard Rowe on board Strange Bird in the At The Races Virgin 534 Handicap Hurdle.
It was a popular victory by the nine-year-old mare for the Richard Rowe Racing Partnership and Richard Rowe said: ” She wants this ground because she can be one-paced but she is very honest. I told Aiden to get her jumping but didn’t expect her to win by such a massive margin!”
He paid tribute to Plumpton Racecourse management for its investment in the course, particularly with improved drainage, that has enabled racing to go ahead at the track.