Lots to fortify a windy Wednesday at Ludlow
Tanners Wine Merchants must merit a spot in racing’s Record Books for the longest – standing sponsorship in racing, following another renewal of their support for Ludlow’s pre-Christmas meeting. The Shropshire-based firm has been supporting this event for longer than I care to remember.
In the process of raising a glass to firms like Tanners who enjoy our sport, raise one also for Sacre Coeur, appropriately a son of Montmartre, who won the feature 2m Tanners Champagne Handicap Chase by 1 3/4l from Dr T J Eckleburg, successful here last meeting. Sacre Coeur was concluding a highly successful final quarter of 2023, in which he also recorded victories at Fontwell and Plumpton. If this wasn’t the most competitive handicap you’ll see all season, that was hardly his fault, and Tristan Durrell duly obliged, running up his 7th win of the campaign himself.
There was a heady bouquet to Tide Times 1/2l victory in the one mile longer Tanners Claret Handicap an hour earlier in the afternoon. Tide Times is no stranger to Ludlow success, this his fourth chase success here since March ’22, and arguably the hardest-earned. The dashing grey has kept his trainer Ian Williams among the winners on the Jumps circuit where top flight runners have been sparse despite success on the flat. Charlie Todd was notching a sixth winner in his first full season out of a claim.
Amateur Megan Fox landed the opening handicap hurdle for lady amateurs on just her seventh ride under Rules. Currently working with Ben Pauling , for whom this was a 35th winner of the campaign, Fox has been riding between the flags as well as looking after the winner for the past 4 years.
Winner Whatsupwithyou knows the winner’s enclosure already at Ludlow, being touched off into second back here in March off a similar mark.
The meeting introduced two juveniles who both won handsomely to enhance their early reputation. In the Tanners Wines Fillies National Hunt Hurdle, James Owen produced Love Tree to upset 15/18 favourite Dameofthecotswolds with an easy 7 1/2l victory under James Bowen. And to conclude the day, Fergal O’Brien’s array of youngsters was supplemented by the ready 7 1/2l win of Go To War in the EBF Qualifier, yet another winner for Paddy Brennan, who passed the 1500 winner mark earlier in the week.
Martalmix’jac found one too good for him once again in the G C Rickards Handicap Chase over 2m4f. Second here earlier in the month, he has yet to find the winner’s sport again since Stratford in October. This time, it was Cartonne, trained by Donald McCain and ridden by Theo Gillard, who frustrated the Rowley team. Favourite Minella Choice was 5 3/4l back in third.
Loughanmore Point-to-Point winner Smiling Getaway was in the vanguard from the outset in the EBF Mares Novices’ Hurdle qualifier, and asserted 3 out to maintain a 2 1/2l advantage over the Henderson challenger, Between Waters to maintain the Twiston-Davies pairing’s excellent record at Ludlow.