Irish night at Pitchcroft last week was well-attended and enjoyed by those who ventured down to spend a balmy race evening on the banks of the Severn, entertained by the Irish tunes of the Wild Murphys.
The success on the track certainly belonged to trainer, Alan King who sent 3 horses to Worcester and all 3 won under regular stable jockey, Wayne Hutchinson.
King’s latest wins put him in third place in this year’s trainer’s table behind Peter Bowen (who also trained a winner on the card), and current leader, Dan Skelton.
Of King’s three winners, Beneagles, who beat Anthony Honeyball’s Ennistown by just a length in the £11,000 feature handicap hurdle, was the least expected according to Hutchinson.
King’s second winner, Passing Call (pictured), successful in the mare’s maiden hurdle was the story that caught my eye. The five-year old’s consistent form figures prior to her Worcester run read 2223-22, making a win very much on the cards for her.
She was bred and is still owned by David and Kathleen Holmes from Pitchall Stud in Warwickshire. Her Dam was Call Me a Legend by the much-respected stallion, Midnight Legend who was bought by the Holmes from the late Sir Stanley Clarke for £31,000 back in 2001, and who stood at Pitchall Stud until his death in July 2016.
Passing Call is by Passing Glance, a stallion also stood by the Holmes at Pitchall Stud, until October 2016, when he moved to Batsford Stud near Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire.
For Passing Call, to break her ‘bridesmaid’ tag and win her first race for her owner/breeders was very special.
The mare is now qualified for the 7bets4free.com Fixed Brush Hurdle Series final at Worcester in October, as is King’s third winner of last week. The Devil’s Drop followed up his recent Southwell victory to take the novice hurdle by 31 lengths.
Also a five-year old, The Devil’s Drop’s form appears to have benefitted from a breathing operation prior to the Southwell win.
Another horse demonstrating the merits of a breathing operation last week was Anthony Honeyball’s G For Ginger. The lightly raced eight-year old first ran in a mare’s maiden hurdle at Worcester last July where she finished 2nd of ten runners. She followed this up with a win in another mare’s maiden hurdle at the course last September. Following a winter wind operation, she recently won at Uttoxeter before her 15-length success in our concluding handicap hurdle last week for her owner / breeder.
As the relentless hot weather marches on through the summer, we have another warm day in prospect for racing tomorrow. The grounds staff have been working extremely long hours to maintain the safe racing surface, and again there will be extra staff on duty and plenty of water available to ensure the welfare of both horses and people.
The gates open at 12.10pm and the first race is due off at 2.10pm.