Monday, 17 July 2017

A surprise 66-1 winner on Senior Citizens Raceday!

Sometimes it literally pays to make a quick decision. Droitwich based race sponsors, Chess Plastics and their guests arrived in the paddock just in time to choose the Best Turned Out horse in their handicap hurdle at Worcester recently. 

With moments to spare before the horses left the paddock for the start, they chose Amber Flush as the tidiest horse, making the day of birthday girl and groom, Amy Myatt.

In the excitement, some of the sponsors’ guests hastily placed a bet on Amber Flush, whose racecard form read 0P0PP-P.

The 8-year old took everyone by surprise, including her trainer, Clare Ellam, by bolting up in a decent sized field of 14 horses and winning at odds of 66-1!

Not only were the sponsors and their guests delighted, but so was their trainer who has had a rough time in the past few weeks.

In April, Ellam ran Too Many Diamonds in a Taunton selling race where he was claimed by Dan Skelton and went on to win 4 races for his new trainer in 7 days. In June Ellam’s mare, Just Marion was sadly put down after an injury sustained from running loose with a blindfold on at Brighton.

The Bowen Family who train in Haverfordwest have always supported Worcester with runners, so it was good to see brothers Sean and James both riding winners on the same card.

Sean won the handicap chase on Dr Robin, trained by his father, Peter and co-owned by his mother, Karen, and 16-year old James rode his first winner under rules aboard Get Home Now.

The recent Racing Staff week highlighting the important jobs done by all staff in racing was celebrated at Worcester with a free hamper draw, the contents of which were donated by the Racecourse staff.

The prize was won by Trish Smith and Jodie Buck who both work for Ledbury based trainer Matt Sheppard.

It was with sadness that we learned of the death of Mercy Rimell at the age of 98 last week.  I met Mercy on a number of occasions when she visited Pitchcroft for her husband, Fred’s annual memorial race.  A point to point winning jockey at the age of just 14, Mercy was also the first woman to train a Champion Hurdle winner after she took over Fred’s training licence at their Kinnersley yard on his death in 1981.  Mercy’s first winner as a trainer was with Tru Mar at Worcester a month later. A very forthright lady, her extensive knowledge and wisdom will be sorely missed by many.

Dan Skelton’s useful mare Whatzdjazz followed up her May Worcester win with an impressive victory in the novice hurdle last week, reconfirming her qualification for the Fixed Brush Hurdle Series final at the track in October.  The 5-year old was one of 3 winners in a row for Coolmore stallion, Yeats.

It will be Leprechauns and Shamrocks to the fore tomorrow evening when the first race on Irish night is due off at 6pm.