TOP Notch, trained by scored his second win over fences at Plumpton yesterday, making it two victories in three outings over larger obstacles. Fifth in the Champion Hurdle, he was too quick for runner-up Romain De Senham in the closing stages of the novices’ chase.
His jockey, Daryl Jacob, said: “I was very happy with him, it shows he’s coming on for every run. It was another learning curve and he’ll be all the better for it. He’s getting quicker and slicker over his fences.”
This victory was part of a double for him at the meeting, for he went on to another comfortable victory for trainer Emma Lavelle on board 13-8 favourite Water Wagtail in the Tysers Handicap Chase.
It was a great day out for racegoers at this splendid Sussex track, with plenty of sunshine combined with competitive racing.
The opening Novices’ Hurdle over two miles had attracted 12 runners and trainer Alan King’s River Frost, ridden by Barry Geraghty, more than justified 4-6 favourite starting price with a comfortable length win over Burrows Park, sent out by Venetia Williams. David Bridgwater’s Golan Dancer ( 14-1) was beaten only by a head by the runner-up and had to settle for third place.
Tambura was spot on for the Mares Handicap Hurdle Race over three miles one furlong and this exceptional six-year-old bay mare added yet another Plumpton victory to her list.
Amateur and 7lb claimer Zac Baker has ridden her to all her wins and despite the ground being slightly firmer than this lovely mare prefers, and having a career-high handicap mark, she put in another characteristically determined run, this time to claim victory by a slender neck margin.
It was well deserved and a tribute to the trainer Godfrey Maundrell, now in his 70’s, and his wife, who are based on a farm near Marlborough in Wiltshire. Godfrey rode 150 point to point winners whilst riding as an amateur and Tambura is in excellent hands.
Lewes trainer Sheena West and jockey Marc Goldstein have a great record at Plumpton and teamed up for another victory there, this time with Ding Ding, a five-year-old mare and winner of a course handicap two weeks previously.
Runner up Shanaway ( trainer Neil King and jockey Trevor Whelan) certainly did no favours to the fast-finishing Shimba Hills, trained by Lawney Hill, by veering left after the last and almost carrying out that horse- a previous course winner on target for another victory.
The National Hunt Flat race at the end of the meeting was won by If The Cap Fits, trained by Harry Fry and ridden by Noel Fehily. In second was another promising horse, Puppet Warrior, trained by Nick Gifford at Findon.