All good things come to an end and the summer season at Pitchcroft has been largely good despite the wet weather doing its best at times to spoil the party.
The penultimate meeting on the 11th October gave us a couple of interesting winners.
Arctic Echo trained at Solihull by Rob Summers last ran at Towcester in April 2011. At 13 years old, he rewarded his owner/breeder Patrick Dineen with his first Worcester winner, in the opening conditional jockey’s handicap chase.
Thomas Crapper showed good hurdling form last season without winning but came out for Alcester trainer Robin Dickin and made his first run of the season a winning one in the 2 mile novice hurdle.
Following that up on Friday with a run in Cheltenham’s opening race of the new season, the horse finished third behind the highly regarded Nigel Twiston-Davies trained four year old, The New One.
Local trainers have been recording successes in the past week including Tony Carroll’s surprise win with Roseini in the mares’ novice hurdle at Towcester. The horse was tailed off at Stratford recently and was 20 lengths down two out before staying on to win the Towcester race.
There was another good training performance from Alvechurch’s Ian Williams to get Drumlang to win Huntingdon’s handicap hurdle under Harry Skelton after a 178 day absence from the track.
There is a great afternoon in store at our final meeting of the year tomorrow. Entries are strong, in which all the top National Hunt yards are represented.
Also drawing to a close is the Red Mills sponsored trainer’s contest which will go to the wire with just four points currently separating Jonjo O’Neill and David Pipe.
Two of our most interesting races of the season will feature as first and second on the card.
The Fred Rimell Memorial Novice chase which recognises the achievements of the former five times champion trainer, has produced some smart horses in the past including Pride of Dulcote, Heltornic, Idle Talk and two years ago, the Giant Bolster.
Trained by David Bridgewater, the Giant Bolster went on to finish second in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup behind Synchronised at odds of 50/1.
In his 2010 Cheltenham debut he was beaten by a neck by Nicky Henderson’s 2012 Queen Mother Champion Chase victor, Finian’s Rainbow, behind the race winner, Peddlar’s Cross in the Neptune Investment novice’s hurdle.
The Richard Davis Memorial Chase was won last year by Charlie Longsdon’s Vincitore who was just touched off at Ludlow in a handicap chase recently.
After 18 years in the saddle, jockey Jodie Mogford has retired to become assistant trainer to Stow on the Wold based Graeme McPherson.
McPherson has sponsored the mares’ novice hurdle race tomorrow in honour of the jockey. Mogford said recently, “although I had good winners at Cheltenham, Worcester was always my favourite because it’s a lovely place to ride and I was lucky enough to do well there over the years.”
The first race tomorrow is due off at 2.10pm and the gates open from 12.10pm.