Plumpton’s opening race meeting of the new National Hunt season got off the mark in good style, with the popular Sussex jump track bathed in sunshine and some decent , competitive races on the card.
The opening novice hurdle race, covering just under two miles two furlongs, saw jockey Noel Fehily take up the running on 5-4 favourite Vancouver, trained by Neil Mullholland, followed by Dan Skelton’s 2-1 favourite Gibson Park .
But Arthington, trained in Wiltshire by Seamus Mullins, owned by Chris Baldwin, was given a patient ride by useful 5lb claimer Kevin Jones, and had a duel downhill to get the better of Gibson Park, ridden by Bridget Andrews, in the final circuit.
Arthington at 8-1 went on to make it two out of two over hurdles winning by an easy six lengths.
The two-mile handicap hurdle had just five runners and trainer Neil King’s Comanche Chieftain went off with a 12 length lead under Trevor Whelan, aiming to add to his three wins notched up already this season.
The runners were well strung out by the bottom bend behind Comanche Chieftain, but 11.4 favourite East Indies, trained by Gary Moore was held up in last place by trainer’s son Jamie Moore, and began to make progress from three out.
It was a well-judged ride by Jamie, who made his challenge two from home, taking the lead to win by just under four lengths from Comanche Chieftain with Lord Huntingdon, trained by Alan King, a further 11 lengths back in third.
Even more impressive was another assured ride by jockey Noel Fehily on board 11-4 favourite Doitforjoe in the Andrew Jackson Memorial Handicap Chase covering just under three miles two furlongs.
He gave this horse a tremendous ride to give Worcestershire trainer David Denis his first winner over fences. Having tracked the leaders to the ninth fence, he came under pressure from three out but Fehily encouraged him along to challenge two out.He kept on over the last to take a narrow lead on the run-in.
Jockey Tom Cannon was at his best in the two mile novice hurdle when he partnered three-year-old chestnut gelding City Dreamer, trained by Alan King to an easy eight length victory over Dan Skelton’s The Raven Master.
Holly Bush Henry went on to justify being 5-4 favourite in the handicap hurdle over three miles one furlong when he was partnered by jockey James Bowen for trainer Phil Middleton, based in Buckinghamshire. The horse was following up quickly on a winning run at Worcester a few days previously.
Jockey David Noonan and trainer Chris Gordon teamed up for victory with six-year-old grey Ramore Will for the horse’s chase debut in the two mile three furlongs handicap chase- and this is one runner which should be winning again soon.
Don’t miss one of the best fixtures at Plumpton, which is coming up shortly- half term fun at the annual Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre Charity Raceday on Monday October 23. Kicking off proceedings is the infamous Shetland Pony race followed by seven horse races.
Plumpton is delighted to be supporting The Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare CentreCharity again this year. A Silent Auction will be available to all racegoers in the Plumpton Marquee Reception.
Hospitality in the Plumpton Marquee is now available. Enjoy early racecourse entry for a champagne reception, three course lunch, afternoon tea, auction and silent auction, as well as rubbing shoulders with racing’s finest, whilst raising money for a worthy cause. Contact Allison Blake at Plumpton Racecourse on 01273 890383 for tickets.
Visit www.moorcroftracehorse.org.uk for more information on the racehorse welfare centre charity.
Admission tickets for the raceday itself are on sale now. Prices start from £15 for Grandstand and Paddock tickets when booked in advance. Bring children in half term, they go racing free and will receive a free children’s pack and young racegoers badge.
Watch the Shetland Pony Race and meet Cuddles, the infamous Shetland who shot to fame on social media for giving the racehorses a run for their money on the gallops. Cuddles will be next to The Winning Connections Room for photos