Jockey Andrew Thornton 990th winner of his riding career came at Plumpton yesterday when partnering Sportsreport to a decisive victory in the two mile handicap chase. He has set himself the target of 1000 winners before contemplating retiring from the saddle.
The 44-year-old rider, born in Cleveland, north Yorkshire, had his attempt at the tally curtailed last year when he broke his arm. But he was in good form riding for one of his regular trainers, Wiltshire trainer Seamus Mullins, at Plumpton.
Under his guidance, the eight-year-old travelled strongly throughout the race, taking the lead two lout to win comfortably. Agincourt Reef, the 4-6 favourite, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son made mistakes and was ridden from three out, making no impression on 11-2 shot Sportsreport.
Odds-on favourite Agincourt Reef, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by son Joshua was no match for Sportreport and a mistake in the closing stages left the Horsham-trained horse out of contention, finishing five lengths behind in second place.
One trainer and jockey combination clearly back in top form is that of Hampshire trainer Chris Gordon and jockey Tom Cannon. They took the Bernard O’ Brien Memorial Novices Handicap Chase with 25-1 shot Rocknrobin ,after getting the better of Beaujolais Bob, trained in Somerset by Richard Hawker and ridden by Conor Shoemark.
It was the first leg of a double for Tom Cannon, who went on to win the final handicap chase of the day on board 3-1 shot Molly Oscar. a ten-year-old mare trained in Somerset by Johnny Farrelly.
The opening novice hurdle had seen a victory for trainer Bernard Llewellyn when Never Equalled won at 11-4 beating odds-on favourite Clondaw Cian- trained at Lewes by Suzie Smith. Suzie had warned before the race that the ground might be too sticky for her promising six-year-old which had won well at Fontwell in November.
She added that he had disliked heavy ground at Cheltenham last time out and she thought he might be hindered by the going at Plumpton- as was the case. He is a classy horse and should have plenty to offer when getting his ground.
Meanwhile Never Equalled, ridden by Robert Williams, made jumping mistakes but stayed on well at the end to take the race by just over a length.
Hampshire trainer Paul Henderson had a good win when Nick Scholfield partnered his horse, Talk of The South to a seven length victory in the three mile one furlong handicap hurdle of the day.This horse has progressed steadily with him and should have plenty more to offer.
Hope’s Wishes justified 11-4 favouritism when notching a 10 length win in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle for Upper Lambourn trainer Barry Brennan under a good ride from Harry Cobden.
The next meeting at Plumpton is on Easter Sunday March 27 when the first racce is at 2.15 pm. A family raceday follows on Easter Monday March 26 when racing starts at 2pm. Buy tickets on line from www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk