Jockey Andrew Thornton now has only 23 wins to go to reach his long-awaited target of 1000 victories. He rode his latest winner on board Brunette’Sonly, trained by Seamus Mullins, in the three mile two furlong handicap chase at Plumpton yesterday The 100-30 shot was going the best of anything on the final circuit until a blunder three out cost him ground, but he rallied to go two lengths clear at the last, beating Red Anchor by just over a length.
Though Stars Royale disappointed trainer Nick Gifford when finishing a distant third in the opening Maiden Hurdle Race at Plumpton when 10/11 favourite, this horse has shown plenty of promise in previous runs.The runners from this Findon trainer’s yard are in outstanding form at the moment and it is too soon to write off this potentially good six-year-old. He had run well at the track earlier in the same season, on same ground and distance to be beaten only length by The Green Ogre.
The intention had been for this to be a prep race for Stars Royale to run in the EBF Novice Hurdle Series Final at Sandown in early March on the potential of his previous runs. Hopefully this poor result was merely a blip.
There was an excellent win for Somerset-based trainer Alan Jones, a former National Hunt jockey, who sent out Bobbits Way to win the Novices’ Handicap Steeplechase with Tom Scudamore in the saddle.
The former point-to-point horse, which had been in the frame on three previous runs, made certain of victory this time with the help of his rider, taking the lead two from home. He beat fellow 3-1 joint favourite Artifice Sivola by two lengths and was 14 length clear of third horse, Noble Friend.
The Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle saw David Pipe’s Obistar win emphatically from the remainder of the field in the hands of 3lb claimer Kieron Edgar. Owners Garth and Ann Broom of Brocade Racing were there to see this excellent victory, saying they see this talented horse as a future Sussex National contender in a couple of years time.
The 3-1 joint favourite, Call The Detective, trained by Ali Stronge could finish only third behind Peter Bowen’s Obistar, but full marks for top rider performance went to George Gorman for ensuring that the reluctant Promise Wings, trained by Chris Gordon, completed the course in fourth place, getting some prizemoney for his owners’ group. He rode the horse hands and heels making sure he crossed the finishing line and was given a well-deserved cheer by the crowd.
The handicap hurdle over two miles proved to be a female affair with tussle between two lady riders and three women trainers filling the slots. A delighted Lucy Gardner, on board 6-1 shot Sirop De Menthe trained by her mother Susan, beat Alexandra Dunn riding and training her own Zero Visibility ( 9-4) by 13 lengths, with Linda Jewell’s Maccabees filling third place. This was Lucy’s first winner as a professional rider.
The next meeting at Plumpton is on Monday February 9 with the first race at 2.20pm.