Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2015 Contents A51
Monday, March 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Druids Nephew came out best-in
when Grand National weights were
announced last month. This eight-year-
old King s Theatre gelding proved our
time-handicap right when landing a fierce-
ly-competitive Cheltenham Festival hand-
icap and will line up for the World s Great-
est Horse-Race at Aintree, mount of Aidan
Key to my assessment was a remarkable
run in the Hennessy over three and a quar-
ter miles at Newbury during November
when Neil Mulholland s charge continually
hit fences but then took off on the far bend
and actually looked a genuine threat
approaching the third last. Earlier lapses
took their toll but The Druids Nephew fin-
ished a respectable 7th of nineteen.
Davy Russell was impressed but he s out
of action due to injury and so is Barry Ger-
aghty, brilliant aboard TDN at Prestbury
Park. I m delighted with the booking of
Coleman however, a likely challenger for
the NH jockeys championship next season
given that Tony McCoy will abdicate during,
or after, the wonderful three-day(s) Liverpool
spectacular. He wont be licensed in May!
If Shutthefrontdoor wins the National
AP will probably retire there and then but
the current favourite (because Tony has
declared he ll ride him!) will have no chance
of beating The Druids Nephew if the latter
achieves his mark. Also his somewhat
slovenly technique might just suit those
unique fences ideally as it s possible to rustle
the fringes in the way the Red Rum did
without falling one hundred and fifty times.
As we re excited about a genuine prospect,
in the meantime there are three jumping
fixtures today, Chepstow, Warwick and
Kempton where Destiny s Gold looks des-
tined for one of three placings in the Novices
Hurdle over two miles which kicks off a
I m loathe to mention the time-handicap
where jumping is concerned having found
so many inaccuracies/discrepancies with
timing but Destiny s Gold is similarly-rated
to the obvious principals, Argot and Brother
Bennett, on offical ratings and justifies a
At the Midlands venue Verano is a solid
nap for the Novices Handicap Hurdle over
two miles; thrown-in and napped with my
favourite NH jockey, Daryl patient Jacob
on our side.
Ramone caused a major upset by claim-
ing Group Three honours at 100/1 in the
Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes
at the Curragh yesterday.
A classy field assembled for the one-mile
contest, but the majority simply failed to
ever get into it in the extremely testing con-
British raider Amulet cut out the early
running, racing alone on the far side of the
track, with Ramone always her closest pur-
suer in the hands of Shane Foley.
Amulet bravely dug deep in the final fur-
long, but Ramone ultimately wore her down
for a shock two-length success to give trainer
Bill Farrell a notable success.
Afternoon Sunlight (7/1) came through
to deny Amulet (25/1) the runner-up spot.
Farrell said: "That s the first time she s
got her ground. I always had faith in her,
prepped her for today and just had to decide
between this race and the Lincoln (Irish
"She s a big, strong yoke, and the ground
will control everything as to where she will
run. I ve only six in training and that s my
first Group-race winner. I always said if I
got black type I might retire!"
Hannon Aims High With Shield Winner
Richard Hannon has ambitious plans for
Windshear after the St Leger fourth made
a successful reappearance back at Doncast-
er.The Marlborough trainer is looking at the
big staying races and possibly the Melbourne
Cup for the talented colt, whose consistency
was rewarded with his first success for 11
months in the Betdaq 50% Comm Refund
Windshear (15/8 favourite) had to been
driven out by Sean Levey, who earlier on
the card had been given a two-day whip
ban for careless riding, to hold Island Remede
by three-quarters length with Fattsota a
head away third.
"He deserved that. He d run a lot of good
races in defeat, he was second in two Group
races and fourth in the Leger," said Han-
"He needed it, that s why he ran about
a bit late on and the rein broke which would-
n t have helped.
"He s stronger this year and we ve got
some pretty lofty plans. He ll probably go
to Newbury for the Group Three (John Porter
Stakes), all the nice Cup races if he gets
that far and we ve spoken about the Mel-
"He s very talented and very sound. With
some of the big horses gone there are gaps
there for him."
The winner had hung left and right as
his rider struggled to keep him straight with
his equipment failing him.
"I was aware of it all the way up the
straight, that it was about to break and
when I went to pull him up after the line,
it went altogether," said Levey.
"He s got a good attitude and I m really
pleased to win this."
Moore the merrier for O'Brien
Aidan O Brien has confirmed Ryan Moore
will ride more for Ballydoyle this year than
he has in previous seasons.
The multiple champion trainer revealed
on Friday his son Joseph was a "little heavy"
to resume Flat racing duties at the start of
the season and as a result, Moore jetted
back from Dubai to ride for O Brien at the
Curragh on Sunday.
While the Ballydoyle handler confirmed
Joseph will return to ride on the level, after
having his first ride over jumps on Sunday s
card at Limerick, he admits his weight is
becoming an increasingly difficult problem
and Moore looks set to be used on a more
"We ve a good relationship with Ryan
and we always have. We used Ryan more
last year than we did the year before and
hopefully it will be that way again this year
---we ll use him more this year than we did
last year," O Brien told At The Races.
"We re delighted Ryan is there and he is
riding for us."
O Brien junior, meanwhile, is set to be
return to Flat racing at Dundalk on Wednes-
day, but his father is unsure how long he
can go on battling his weight.
He said: "Obviously (doing) nine stone
has been a problem for the last two seasons
and last year it was a big problem.
"This year he s heavier than he was this
time last year. He ll go gently and we ll see
what will happen.
"There s no doubt he ll come back down
to the Flat gently and how far down he ll
go, we ll wait and see.
"It s fun and enjoyment for Joseph (riding
over jumps) and he loves doing it. I suppose
it was me that was keeping him away all
the time really."
Warwick, 2.20 Verano (nap);
Kempton, 2.10 Destiny's Gold
(e.w); Chepstow, 2.30 Filatore.
Racegoers at Ascot have witnessed many great
rides from Tony McCoy but perhaps fittingly
none better than on Un Ace in the Waitrose
Novices Handicap Chase.
The pair looked well beaten heading down the
back straight as Richard Johnson shot clear on
His stride notably shortened approaching the
last but he still had a sizeable advantage.
McCoy, who on Sunday was riding at Ascot for
the final time, sensed an opportunity though, just
as he has done for the past 21 years, and Un Ace
(11/4 favourite) stayed on all the way to the line
to claim a narrow victory in dramatic fashion by
Un Ace is trained by Kim Bailey, who was hon-
oured to give McCoy his final winner at Ascot.
"That was as good as I ve seen, it was fantastic,"
Bailey told Racing UK.
"The horse hated the ground but I couldn t take
him out on his last ride. He looked well beaten
going down the back and to be fair only AP could
probably have got him home.
"The horse has been a star for us this year.
Aintree is a not a place for him I don t think though
we were always trying to plan a spring campaign."
New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up
Puffin Billy provided Bailey s good friend Oliver
Sherwood with a decent win in another cracking
finish to the Troy Asset Management & Brown
Advisory Novices Chase.
Having led most of the way Cheltenham run-
ner-up Thomas Crapper took over on jumping the
last but Leighton Aspell and Puffin Bully (5/4)
fought back to win by a short head.
"It was no mean feat giving the second 10lb and
also to come back here after his horror fall in
December," said Sherwood.
"You re never quite sure if they ll remember but
we d done a lot of schooling with him. It s all well
and good if a horse has ability but they need heart,
too and he s very tough.
"His jumping today was special and I m delighted
for the horse as it was an x-certificate fall.
He must have the word soft in the going and
I ll mull over the summer what we ll do as he ll
be rated in the 150s now.
"He was at death s door this time last season
so you d think there s still improvement in him."
Lil Rockerfeller proved another unlikely winner
given the manner in which Neil King s charge was
been ridden along by Trevor Whelan with fully a
circuit to go in the valuable Coutts Juvenile Hand-
As the leaders weakened, though, the 9/1 chance
powered up the hill to win going away by six
"He got a bit stuck for pace early on but I kept
at him and he stayed on well up the hill," said
Even Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall
can't believe their eyes as AP McCoy snatches
victory aboard Ace.
on Ace at Ascot
Look for the Druids Nephew
Ramone rocks Punters at 100 /1
Ramone ridden by Shane Foley, second right, on their way to victory at 100/1 from
Afternoon Sunlight, right and Amulet, left.
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