I am pleased to report that the summer of racing at Pitchcroft is going from strength to strength. Last week’s Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust raceday not only raised an amazing £23,000 for the charity, but also welcomed a bumper crowd for a Wednesday afternoon to enjoy the first 8 race card of the season. Eighty-three horses had been declared to run, well in excess of previous racedays this year.
The day was particularly noted for the support of a number of local trainers including Tom Weston (Hindlip), David Dennis (Hanley Swan), Tom Gretton (Inkberrow), John Spearing (Kinnersley), Roy Brotherton (Pershore) and Claire Dyson (Bromsgrove).
The big story of the day, however belonged to ITV racing presenter Luke Harvey and his 6-year old Nicky Henderson trained gelding, Drumlynn.
Declared for the Conditional Jockeys & Amateur Rider’s National Hunt flat race, following 3 placed efforts in Irish point to points in 2016, Drumlynn had been off the track for 402 days. Described by Harvey in the winner’s enclosure afterwards as ‘green’, the horse ran well up the inner rail and saw off the challenges of Gordon Elliott’s Irish raider, Captiva Island, steered by top amateur jockey, Jamie Codd making his first visit to the course.
I am always interested in course ‘specialists’, particularly when they relate to Worcester. From time to time the success that often rather averagely rated horses have at one track stands out. In short, the phrase ‘horses for courses’ springs to mind.
Jigsaw Financial, owned and trained by Laura Young is the perfect example. Now 11 years old, he has been running at Worcester since September 2010. I can’t think of many horses who have run here over quite so many years. From 7 career wins to date, 4 of those have been at Worcester. In July 2013, he won on 2 consecutive occasions in the month and latterly ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, he was again successful at Pitchcroft last August. His victory last week came on the back of a 2nd place at our Ladies Day on June 3rd. One to look out for when he next makes the trip from Somerset.
Another interesting fact emerged from last week’s raceday. In the Allelys General Haulage Claiming Hurdle 40% of the field left the racecourse heading for a different trainer’s yard from the one they ran for on the day.
Ten horses were declared for the race, the purpose of which being that all the horses were for sale. The racecard listed the cost price of each of the 10 horses and following their performances, 5 were ‘claimed’.
Claines trainer Richard Newland took home Beau Bay and Mr Caffrey, Sophie Leech took Gordon Elliott’s Buonarotti Boy back to Westbury-on-Severn, Gary Moore ‘bought’ the runner up, Deebaj, and the winner, Ascendant was re-claimed by his owner following an ‘outside’ claim.
The ever-popular Family Fun Raceday is on Sunday when aspiring little jockeys can enjoy complimentary pony rides and the first race is due off at 2.10pm.