LEWES trainer Suzy Smith seems set for an outstanding National Hunt season and had an impressive double at the Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Day at Plumpton last week. She saddled Invicta Lake to win the SIS Supports Moorcroft Handicap Hurdle over three miles one furlong, ridden by Paddy Brennan.
The horse was held up for most of the race, coming with a run between the last two hurdles, winning in style. “He tries so hard and this is the best he has ever been. He runs best fresh and likes the ground on the easy side of good. He will probably go chasing soon,” she said. The other leg of her double came when five-year-old mare Mariet won her first race at 13-2-the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle at the end of the day, ridden by Jack Sherwood.
Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon have made a formidable start to their autumn jumps campaign and sprang another victory in the opening maiden hurdle race at Plumpton with former flat horse Jebril winning in fine style at 12-1.
The slow pace caught out Warren Greatrex’s well-fancied Warrentor, while Prouts Pub, a 5-1 shot trained by Nick Gifford at Findon put in a good performance to finish a close second. Third placed Anthony, sent out by Gary Moore caught the eye as one to follow in the future
.The Geoffrey Budd Partnership- a Petworth groundworks company- sponsored the Josh Gifford Memorial Handicap Steeplechase where another Hampshire trainer, Paul Henderson, sent out the winner, with Alright Benny scoring a good three-length win for the trainer’s Racing Club.
He said:” This horse impressed in his work on Saturday and I hoped he would run well here today. I’m really pleased with his victory and happy for the racing club owners.” His horse beat the well fancied The Omen, trained by Tim Vaughan.
It was a real family affair when Nebula Storm won the Retirement Villages Novices’ Handicp Hurdle Race. The seven-year-old is trained by Gary Moore, ridden out at home by Gary’s wife, Jayne, while he was booted home for an easy five length victory with son Jamie in the saddle.
Gary said afterwards: ” It was a very bad race, but he battled on well and took the lead. He should win again and is well handicapped. He is a nice horse to deal with.” There was news of son Joshua, who has surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury and is expected to be back riding in races again soon.
The Gerald Karn-Smith Memorial Novice Limited Handicap Chase produced a clear winner in the Charlie Mann-trained Seventh Sky. Gavin Sheehan- who had celebrated a winning ride at the previous Plumpton meeting- was on board this horse, which oveturned David Bridgwater’s well-fancied Fergal Mael Duin ridden by Tom Scudamore.
Dorset trainer Caroline Keevil had travelled from Somerset with Pod, which won the two mile one furlong handicap chase under 3lb claimer James Best at 16-1. The six-year-old gelding was scoring his first victory and the way he handled the jumps and the track suggests he should be out winning again soon. His trainer said: “He’s still a bit of a baby but has got his head in front and will improve with experience.”
Racing had started with the traditional Pony Race, which was won by Gemma Pallett (13) from Hertfordshire on board Galloping Goring. This young rider had won at the Horse of the Year show last week with her Section A pony and has qualified for Olympia.
The next Plumpton meeting is on Monday November 3, with the first race at 12.50pm.