Mollasses, a four-year-old filly trained at Sparsholt by Harry Whittington, overturned David Pipe’s odds-on favourite, Twentytwo’sTaken in fine style in the opening race at Plumpton yesterday.
Ridden by Gavin Sheehan, she won by an impressive 15 lengths, rewarding her trainer’s initiative in buying her off the Flat in the October sales for 10,000 guineas.
Harry Whittington said: ” I’ll keep her to two miles initially and she should continue to improve. I have 14 horses now, having started with five. She was fourth on her first outing and will improve even further.”
The favourite, Oliver Sherwood’sTaniokey, was overturned in the second division of this race too, when Kim Bailey sent out six-year-old bay mare Allez Encore at 15-8 to win under jockey David Bass. He predicted that this mare, who was making her hurdling debut, would be even better over two and a half miles.
The Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase had only four runners- but those trained by Charlie Mann, Venetia Williams and Donald McCain were no match for five-year-old Traffic Fluide, sent out by Sussex trainer Gary Moore. This five-year-old, partnered by Joshua Moore, came home six lengths clear as 11-8 favourite.
His trainer said: “This horse will have a good future and is another horse we found in France, and should go on to win again.”
He also had news of Sire De Grugy, saying he had come out of his prep race for Cheltenham in good form, despite not jumping well at Newbury on Saturday, and unseating his son, jockey Jamie Moore.
“Because of his injury, his preparation for Saturday’s race was interrupted and rushed. We had a similar situation with him once before which followed this pattern and he got over it. I am confident he will do the same again. Not all racecourse have been willing to let us have a racecourse gallop, but Plumpton helped us last year and it was an attraction before racing. I’m sure they will help again this year if we need it before Cheltenham,” he said.
Lewes trainer Suzy Smith continued her good run of form this season with an excellent win from Laughton Park at 13-2 in the two miles five furlong handicap hurdle, under a good ride by 3lb claimer Micheal Nolan. It was even more impressive because the ten-year-old Karinga Bay gelding gained this victory after a ten month break.
She said: “He had been put up 12 lb after his last win, which I felt was excessive but I knew he could do it. He had tendonitis after that victory, which is why he had so long off. He is also a very stuffy and lazy horse at home but can always surprise you.”
Trainer Alan King has had many successes at Plumpton, going on to send several of these to Cheltenham. He enjoyed another victory in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase when Roberto Pegasus, 3-1 joint favourite, won with Wayne Hutchinson in the saddle.
He said: ” It is a bit late to go chasing with a nine-year-old but he jumped well and I am pleased with him. He has had a few injury scares and was off the course for a year, which is why he has taken so long to go over fences.”
Laura Hurley, who trains at Kineton, continued a family tradition of wins at Plumpton when she won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle race with Catchin Time ridden by Kieron Edgar.
.Her uncle, Joss Musson, and her grandfather, Willy Musson, had all sent out horses to victory at the track. Catchin Time, had won at Leicester on his third start for her 12 days previously. This time his victory was more than three lengths from Jeremy Scott’s Dainty Diva.
The final race, a National Hunt Flat race, was won Chic Theatre, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore, which won by 10 lengths at the amazing price of 14-1. Favourite King Kayf, trained by Noel Williams finished in fifth place.