It was a tale of three ‘firsts’ in the final race at Pitchcroft last week. Neverownup was sent off the 3/1 favourite and was having his first run for Grand National winning Claines trainer, Richard Newland in the concluding handicap hurdle. The horse had been claimed out of a Fakenham selling race in April. The victory was the first for Newland at his local course this summer and it was also Neverownup’s first win under rules, having had decent place form in the past including at
Newland plans to keep the 9 year old on the go, and indeed he followed up the
Worcester win with an easy victory over
fences at Fontwell on Sunday, and then a 12 length victory over fences again at Hexham yesterday evening.
It was the strongest running of the annual Hargreave Hale Stockbrokers Hunter Chase for some time. The winner,
was making his debut in this grade of race, having notched up 6 point to point
wins over the past 2 seasons. Formerly
trained by Alan King, the horse has also previously won 6 races under rules. Lake Legend,
Lake Legend’s owner, Jerry Wright, who is recovering from a triple heart bypass operation recalled that his first ever winner was at Worcester with a horse called What’s the Crack, who was victorious on Wright’s birthday back in 1987 when trained by Henrietta Knight.
Recently crowned champion trainer, Paul Nicholls had a productive day. Fresh from selling 10 horses at Doncaster sales, he stopped in at
Worcester on his way back
to Ditcheat and was rewarded with a quick double. Nick Schofield rode both winners. The first
was in the national hunt novice hurdle aboard Sergeant Thunder who redeemed
himself after a fall at Wincanton 2 weeks previously. The second was in the
Novice Hurdle on Merrion Square
who had lost his way over fences and will benefit from a confidence boosting
win over Worcester’s
French style hurdles.
Nicholls was very complimentary about the Pitchcroft ground and confirmed he will be running more of his summer jumpers at the course in the weeks to come.
A feature of the night was the presentation by the
Davis family of the Richard
Davis award to the leading conditional jockey accumulating points at Worcester,
Cheltenham, Stratford, Ludlow,
Chepstow and Towcester racecourses. The
award commemorates the late Richard Davis, the young and talented jump jockey
from Flyford Flavel who lost his life in a fall over fences at Southwell in
Previous well-known winners of the award include Sam Twiston-Davies, Aidan Coleman, Robert Thornton, Timmy Murphy and Joe Tizzard. This year the trophy went to Gavin Shehan who went on to win the Ladbrokes sponsored bumper immediately following the presentation.
Worcester trainer’s championship has just
been launched by Connolly’s Red Mills and will run through the season with the
winning trainer receiving 2 tonnes of horse feed. The 2013 leading trainer was Jonjo O’Neill
and the previous year, it was Paul Nicholls who took the honours.
The gates open for afternoon racing tomorrow at 12.10pm.