FOUR WEEKS… FOUR WINS!
It was celebrations all round for Highclere owners who saw four wins in just four weeks last month, writes Jason Fildes
In what is usually a quiet month, Highclere celebrated four winners from just a handful of runners last month – at smaller racecourses spread far and wide throughout the country!
Coolnaugh Haze got the ball rolling with a dominant display at Plumpton. It was only his second run for a new, enthusiastic group of owners and he won his Novice Hurdle impressively. He set off in front, jumping brilliantly and never saw another rival, coming home six lengths clear at the line.
Spycatcher, trained by Karl Burke at Middleham, launched himself to the head of the ante-post market for the valuable All Weather Sprint Championship Final on Good Friday having won the Listed Kachy Stakes at Lingfied in extraordinary style.
The race looked over for him before it had begun as he was squeezed right out as the stalls opened and had to be rousted along by jockey Clifford Lee to join the field.
He sat and suffered at the back and looked as if he would have to sprout wings to get involved in the race but under a great ride from Clifford, he took off on the outside, turning for home to pass the whole field and get up on the line. It was such a thrill to watch and hopes are now high for the big finale at Newcastle in April.
The ever-reliable Digital, trained near Thirsk by Kevin Ryan, stormed to victory in the five-furlong £30k Betfair Handicap at Southwell. In one of the most valuable races run at the track all season, he went clear in the last furlong and will be one to follow in all the big Sprint Handicaps this summer.
Finally Pulling Stumps (main image) bolted up in the 3m Maiden Hurdle at Ludlow. ‘Stumpy’ relished the extra three furlongs and under a positive ride from jockey Tom O’Brien, had control of the race with half a mile to run, never giving his owners any cause for concern. He looks a lovely staying chaser prospect for the future, but hopefully we can gain another victory over hurdles with this lovely young gelding before the end of the season.
It’s great fun going to some of these lesser-known tracks as there is always a warm welcome. The owners’ lunch is usually excellent and the local crowd are very knowledgeable and love their racing! It’s a lovely way to spend some wintry days out cheering on a winner – or four!
Highclere – Jason Fildes