It's not every meeting that Worcester Racecourse can boast a 'first' for racing but something was witnessed at last week's meeting that has never been seen before at Worcester or anywhere else.
Barry Geraghty rode in a selling race. The top Irish jockey is now first jockey to JP McManus and included in his book of 3 Jonjo O'Neill trained mounts, the ride aboard Church Field, a 7 year old who on his only previous start at Worcester back in May of this year, came 10th in a field of 16.
Down a grade, the horse who has now amassed £35,089 in prize money during his career to date, won the race by 2¼ lengths.
In the subsequent auction, there was a three way bidding war between trainers Phil Middleton, Neville Ender (trainer of Grey Monk who was bought back in by Ender for 14,500 guineas at Worcester's previous meeting), and Jonjo O'Neill. The horse was sold to Middleton for 7,000 guineas.
To count Wishful Thinking, Menorah and Captain Chris amongst your owned horses must be a great feeling. Local owner Diana Whateley, has a new Alflora 4 year old gelding in training with Philip Hobbs called Wishful Dreaming. The horse is a full brother to Wishful Thinking, a very successful horse who has earned his owners £466,638 to date.
Wishful Dreaming had his third ever start at Worcester last week, following up his listed Cheltenham bumper victory on New Year's Day by winning the 2 mile novice hurdle. He is certainly an exciting recruit to hurdles and one to keep an eye on.
An ex locally trained horse who has very recently moved to a new trainer is enjoying his change of scenery. Jayo Time, formerly trained in Claines by Richard Newland to win at Worcester in July, moved to Kerry Lee's yard on the Shropshire and Welsh borders, following a Worcester claiming hurdle in August.
The 6 year old achieved his second win in a month for his new trainer at Ludlow's first meeting of the new season last week. Jayo Time is now partly owned by senior Channel Four commentator, Simon Holt, who had much pleasure in calling his own horse to victory at Ludlow.
With just 2 meetings still to go at Worcester to the end of the 2015 season, it is looking ever likely that Jonjo O'Neill will scoop the winning trainer prize again this year, and Richard Johnson will claim the top Worcester jockey honours, something he very much hopes he will emulate nationally at the end of the National Hunt season next April.
Next week's column will include a review of the 2015 Worcester season, building up to the final meeting on the 21st October. The gates open for afternoon racing tomorrow at 12.20 pm.