Please Note: Next Race meeting is Wednesday 9th October

Mullins bandwagon can’t overshadow Oliver Greenall four-timer

Willie Mullins is leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a first British Trainers’ Championship, and Ludlow fans found themselves spectators at the feast as his single runner put in an exhibition round to justify his 1/7 SP, and his second British winner of this week following another at Ffos Las on Monday.

Five year old French-bred Daddy Long Legs is another discovered by Mullins’ scouts on the other side of the English Channel, having run a short head second in a 3yo maiden at St Cloud for Nicholas Clément 2 years back. He’s since won for the Closutton team at Thurles, and was no match for the 6 other runners in the opening Butty Bach Novices Hurdle.

Mullins has a healthy £175k lead over Dan Skelton, who has been fielding runners wherever possible to narrow the advantage before Saturday’s showdown at Sandown, where the destination of several big prizes could swing the balance one way or the other. The £4,356.80 won here is unlikely to alter the direction of the Championship, but the diligent Mullins is taking no chances.

However, the day really belonged to Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero, who struck a 78/1 four-timer across the card with Horacio’s Apple, Special Dragon, Mrs Tabitha and Go On Chez.

Jonjo O’Neill boasts a 33% strike rate on Greenall runners, which is to say he doesn’t ride much for the Cheshire trainer, but nine rides this term have generated 3 winners, so perhaps this is a partnership worth developing. Despite some indifferent jumping, the seven year old – another French-bred – always had the best of Rockinastorm, despite winning by only a neck in the feature Nightjar Handicap Chase over 3m.

There was a brief interlude for an hour until the second division of the Dave Newnes 60th Birthday Mares Novices Handicap Hurdle – not the catchiest of titles – in which Special Dragon, this time under Henry Brooke, made light work of the other seven runners, four of whom pulled up. the 7 1/2l winning distance also frustrated one dan Skelton, trainer of runner-up I Look How I Look, anxious to capitalize on the modest £4,285 winner’s prize to erode the Mullins lead.

The winner glut continued in the third division of the same race, when Mrs Tabitha only needed to be shaken up to justify her 11/8 favouritism, again under henry Brooke with a 1 1/2l advantage over Dairylane Daisy.

Five faced the starter in the concluding Whitehall Flagstone Magnus Allcroft Memorial Hunters Chase where amateur Harry Myddleton scored his first winner under Rules on Go On Chez in a race that’s been won by some smart hunter chasers. Don’t be surprised to see Go On Chez reappearing quickly at the back  end of next week when the Cheltenham season concludes with the hunters evening.

Meantime, two other trainers were permitted to put their names on the scoresheet, and for one, it drew to a close a long wait since the last winner. Georgie Nicholls has been hitting the bar a lot of late, with thirds and fourths sometimes tantalisingly close. Her stable of mainly moderate horses will have better self-esteem after the 3/4l victory of Musique de Fee in the first division of the Dave Newnes Birthday sequence. Jonathan Burke was in the plate to bring the good news of a winner after a 698 day absence from the Winner’s rostrum.

Wiltshire – trained horses have been flying high this season, and Emma Lavelle’s excellent season continued when Porter In The Park won the 3m handicap hurdle. 5lb Claimer Joe Anderson  earned his £214.63 riding fee when getting the winner up in the dying strides to win by a neck for Lavelle’s 37th winner of the term.


Be the first to know

Accessible Facilities Throughout