This season, our raceday reviews and previews will come from Timeform’s Philip Spink. Founded in 1948, Timeform is a sports data and content provider. Timeform ratings are widely accepted as the definitive measure of racing merit. Their horse racing service produces daily racecards for every meeting in the UK and Ireland and they also offer form guides for racing in the US, South Africa, Dubai and Qatar. The official Plumpton race programme is one of three published by the Halifax-based company. Philip Spink is the editor of the Plumpton Official Race Programme for Timeform. He will back any runners at the track trained by Venetia Williams and thinks Plumpton may have seen a future star in the shape of last January’s novice hurdle winner Jerrysback. Visit the website www.timeform.com, or follow Timeform on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Timeform) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/timeform1948). Philip can be contacted directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 18th December
On Plumpton’s final raceday of 2017, it was fitting that Gary Moore continued his fine record in the Plumpton Cheltenham Festival Bonus Series races as Not Another Muddle lowered the colours of 1/5-shot Fixe Le Kap in the Happy Birthday Chris Kinane Novices’ Chase. Nicky Henderson’s charge had led throughout but had no answer to the winner’s change of gear from the last. The pair should both make up into useful chasers.
It was a day of doubles, as Gary Moore was one of three trainers to saddle two winners on the card, his Le Capricieux seen to good effect under William Clarke claiming 10 lb for the yard in the A&D Staff Christmas Handicap Hurdle.
Hammerwood trainer Zoe Davison made it four winners from her last four runners at Plumpton with a double. At the age of nine, Frank N Fair looks to have found a new lease of life all of a sudden and followed up her win here earlier this month in the G.E. White Sons Agricultural Buildings Handicap Chase under Tommy Dowling. The young rider was also on board Finnegan’s Garden who was left clear in the Hepworth Brewery Handicap Chase.
Anthony Honeyball and Aidan Coleman also teamed up for a double with favourites Sam Brown and Hideaway Vic. Sam Brown looked a good prospect as he landed a gamble in the Derek Hunnisett Memorial Novices’ Hurdle, run in memory of the owner of Plumpton favourite Manhattan Boy who won 14 races at the course. He was a tough and useful hurdler, but it will be over fences where Sam Brown shines and he’s one to follow. Hideaway Vic made his experience count as he landed cramped odds from six newcomers in the Tie The Knot Wedding Catering bumper.
Finally, three-year-old Lisp was the youngest runner on the card but belied his age with a taking success in the J H Builders Novices’ Hurdle. He looks just the sort of juvenile hurdler his trainer Alan King excels with.
Monday 20th November
Almost nineteen years to the day since riding his first winner in Britain at Plumpton it was another memorable afternoon here for Noel Fehily, who was successful on all three of his rides on Pompadour Raceday for trainer Neil Mulholland.
The 42-year-old rider has come a long way since guiding home Ivy Boy on that afternoon in 1998 and has always maintained a fine strike rate on his visits to East Sussex. He was made to work on the tricky-looking Tikkanbar in the opening Tie The Knot Wedding Catering Novices’ Hurdle, though they pulled well clear in the end.
Dalaman landed short odds in the Buy Someone A Plumpton Membership This Christmas Handicap Hurdle, his task made easier with the departure of the strong-travelling Our Merlin three from home.
Master Burbidge completed the treble for jockey and trainer with victory in the Watch Race Replays On attheraces.com Handicap Chase. The improving Master Burbidge has now won on his last four completed starts and looks one to keep on side.
The meeting celebrated Plumpton’s partnership with Pompadour Racecourse in France and the amateurs came to the fore in the Plumpton Racecourse Twinned With Pompadour Racecourse Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle, with Adam Elias enjoying his first winner in England aboard Sandhurst Lad for his boss Warren Greatrex. The young rider was seen to good effect as his mount denied Rothman (Gina Andrews) and Flanagans Field (Jordan Williams) in a thrilling three-way finish.
While that was a tight affair, wide-margin victories were in plentiful supply on the afternoon, including that of Miss Mayfair who ran out a 23-length winner in the Create Your Fantasy Jumps Stable At attheraces.com/stablestars Handicap Hurdle for Lawney Hill and Aidan Coleman.
The star of the show was undoubtedly the exciting Benatar, who made it two from two over fences in the Jill’s 80th Birthday Novices’ Chase for Gary and Jamie Moore. One of Luke Harvey’s horses to follow at our Jump Season preview here a fortnight ago, Benatar is the first qualifier in this season’s £60,000 Cheltenham Festival Bonus Series and it’s easy to see him developing into a serious Festival contender.
Monday 6th November
Plenty of horses to follow were mentioned in the pre-racing At The Races Jumps Season Preview in the Chaser’s Bar and racegoers will do well to keep track of Roksana, who created a fine impression on the course with victory in the The Download The Free At The Races App Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. She built nicely on a promising debut at Chepstow for Dan Skelton and came clear in good style. The Skeltons enjoyed a double on the day as useful German Flat performer Parthenius made a successful start to his jumping career in the Your Jumps Season Guide At attheraces.com/jumps Maiden Hurdle, battling well to see off Alan King’s William Hunter. A treble for the yard could well have been on the cards had Firmount Gent not unseated Harry Skelton at the last fence in the Visit attheraces.com Handicap Chase, but his loss was Red Square Revival’s gain as the six-year-old negotiated around the loose horse to come out on top for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore.
Double Accord was another luckless runner in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Novices’ Handicap Chase. She’d led for most of the way but unseated her rider late on when hampered. Cucklington was the beneficiary for Colin Tizzard.
Ding Ding ran out a tenacious winner of the Download The attheraces App For iPad Handicap Hurdle for Sheena West and Marc Goldstein. Plumpton clearly brings out the best in the six-year-old mare as this was her fourth win in a year at the track.
Another local trainer Zoe Davison was on the mark in the Read Barry Geraghty’s Blog On attheraces.com Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle as The Game Is A Foot ran out an impressive winner under William Featherstone for the Secret Circle Racing Club.
From the parade ring a special mention must go to Charlie Mann’s stable lad, Kirryl, who picked up his seventh and eighth Best Turned Out awards in a row at Plumpton.
Monday 23rd October
The eighteenth annual Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre Charity Raceday was another huge success both on and off the track. Over £30,000 was raised on the day through the silent auction and the Shetland ponies were out in full force again. The Pony Gold Cup race was won by Daisy Harrop on The Gifford Flyer, holding off the fast-finishing Bugsey in the Goring colours. Toby Moore, son of top Flat jockey Ryan, had his first ride on Lowland Reel, much to the surprise of his grandmother Jayne! Off the course, Cuddles the Shetland was the day’s most popular attraction, posing for many pictures with young racegoers and even a few jockeys!
Ridgeway Flyer stamped himself down as a chaser to follow with victory on debut for Paul Nicholls in the Gerald Karn-Smith Memorial Chase, overcoming trouble to score a shade cosily under Sam Twiston-Davies.
Chris Gordon was back among the winners and has a useful prospect on his hands in Highway One O One, who ran out an impressive victor in the Geoffrey Budd Partnership Maiden Hurdle. The five-year-old has won both his starts by an aggregate of 22 lengths! The yard also scooped a best-turned-out award with Maisie Grainger, taking care of Night Generation, picking up the prize.
Kenyan made every yard a winning one in the Retirement Villages Novices’ Handicap Hurdle for Seamus Durack and Conor O’Farrell, seeing off the well-backed pair of Cheltenam de Vaige and Cheque En Blanc.
The talents of promising conditional Harry Teal were on show again as the young rider enjoyed his eleventh winner on Oh Land Abloom in the SIS Supports Moorcroft Handicap Hurdle for Neil King. Harry is the son of Great Shefford trainer Roger Teal and looks a jockey to follow.
Stoical Patient made a successful return from a long lay-off for Gary and Jamie Moore in the Jeremy Kyle Josh Gifford Memorial Handicap Chase.
Trainer Jack Barber enjoyed his first winner under Rules as Smart Boy turned the concluding Hugo’s Restaurant Barbados Supports Moorcroft Handicap Hurdle into a procession, bolting up by thirty lengths under Ian Popham.
Sunday 24th September
Around 3,000 racegoers were in attendance as Family Day kicked off the 2017-18 season at Plumpton.
Gary and Jamie Moore received their prizes for the Jeffrey Peate Top Trainer and Jockey for last season from Moppy Peate and it wasn’t long before the pair were among the winners again as East Indies landed plenty of bets in the SW Catering Handicap Hurdle.
Jockey Tom Cannon hasn’t looked back since returning from injury last month and enjoyed another Plumpton double on-board City Dreamer for Alan King in the J.H. Builders Juvenile Hurdle and Rob Robin in the Brixton Barbarians Cricket Team Handicap Hurdle. Rob Robin was part of a double on the day for Morestead trainer Chris Gordon who had earlier seen his promising Ramore Will left clear at the last in the Tie The Knot Wedding Catering Novices’ Handicap Chase.
James Bowen is a young conditional jockey tipped for the top by many and he showcased his talents with victory on board Holly Bush Henry for Phil Middleton in the Crystal Services Handicap Hurdle. The 16-year-old has been breaking records on the point-to-point circuit and is reportedly set to join Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson next week.
Doitforjoe edged out Fort Gabriel late to land the Andrew “Super Wack” Jackson Memorial Handicap Chase for David Dennis and Noel Fehily, while Arthington made it two from two over hurdles for Seamus Mullins and promising rider Kevin Jones in the Extech Novices’ Hurdle.
The Children’s Trust Mascot Race prior to racing proved to be a very popular attraction and a photo finish was needed with Plumpton’s very own Whinny landing the spoils!
Seamus Durack may have been out of luck with his three runners on the track, but High Wells and Linguine both picked up Best Turned Out awards for Silvia Dean from the yard.