WARWICKSHIRE trainer Tom Ellis was represented at two of the three meetings staged in Britain last Sunday and enjoyed a very rewarding afternoon when five of his six runners visited the winner’s enclosure.
Ellis travelled north to the West Percy fixture at Alnwick where his wife, Gina Andrews, scored on the yard’s two runners, both owned by Shona Westrope.
First up, and on her return from a fractured pelvis, Kalabaloo recorded her ninth victory between the flags, and her fourth at this track, when justifying favouritism by two lengths in the 12-runner Level 2 conditions race.
The 10-year-old Kalanisi mare, who also has a hunters’ chase victory at Cheltenham to her credit, was partnered by Rob James when winning a five- and six-year-old mares’ maiden at Dromahane in April 2017 on her only start for Sam Curling.
Connections were back at the number-one spot following the six-runner ladies’ open which was won by the odds-on shot Dundrum Wood who was making his British pointing debut having previously won and finished third under Andrews in hunters’ chase at Sedgefield and Fontwell last April and May.
In the colours of Trish Hyde, this 2014 Flemensfirth gelding won a four-year-old maiden at Rathcannon in November 2018 on his second and final start for Sam Curling. The following month, he was sold for £270,000 at Tattersalls Cheltenham and won a hurdle race and two chases for Olly Murphy before his private sale to Ellis last February having pulled up in a novices’ handicap chase at Fontwell.
Natalya Irvine recorded the first double of her career on the Ellis-trained pair Blazing Tom and Fox Valley who were both making their seasonal debuts at Ampton where low-lying sun saw fences dolled off later in the afternoon.
Blazing Tom, an 11-year-old British-bred gelding by Dr Massini, scored by 20 lengths from the only other finisher in the three-runner ladies’ open while the nine-year-old Wareed mare Fox Valley had to work a bit harder to justify odds-on favouritism in the six-strong novice riders’ conditions race by four lengths.
Will Thirlby initiated the Ellis treble at this Dunston Harriers’ meeting when Master Templar won the three-mile maiden by eight lengths from fellow joint-favourite, Ninth Wave, who was ridden by Will Biddick.
Making his debut for the yard, the winner is another previously trained by Olly Murphy for whom he finished third twice in eight runs over hurdles.
The seven-year-old Robin Des Champs gelding is a full-brother to two winners and a half-brother to two others out of the Saddlers’ Hall mare Which Thistle.
SUNDAY was a red-letter day for Nick Orpwood who brought up a century of wins, under all codes, when landing the opening two-runner hunt members’ race at Alnwick on Dream Over.
The seven-year-old Shirocco mare, who won a restricted at the same track in December 2020, scored by one and a half lengths from the favourite, Coole Hall, who was giving his rival a stone. Dream Over is trained by Jessica McKie for her mother Tocky who purchased the bay as a foal. She is out of the Tiger Hill mare Wicket Maiden.
Also at this West Percy meeting, Kelly Morgan saddled her sixth winner of the season when the George Chatterton-ridden Overworkdunderpaid landed the six-runner men’s open by 12 lengths.
Successful in a similar race here on his previous start in December, the nine-year-old Getaway gelding is out of the Saddlers’ Hall mare Another Whiparound.
The bay began his career with Colin Bowe for whom, on his third and final start, he won a four-year-old maiden at Castletown-Geoghegan in April 2017 when he was the only finisher from four starters. He won three chases from six outings last season when trained by Morgan’s sister Laura having failed to score when previously in the care of Charlie Longsdon.
Jack Teal, who finished second in that men’s open on the market-leader, Matts Commission, rewarded favourite backers in the following five-runner restricted on the British-bred The Great Phoenix, a six-year-old Phoenix Reach gelding who he also trains for owner Paul Clifton.
John Dawson won the concluding 10-runner maiden on the British-bred mare Sine Nomine, a six-year-old Saint Des Saints grey who is trained by Fiona Needham.
Will Biddick rode at Ampton for the first time on Sunday and moved on to the 11-win mark for the campaign when landing the men’s open on the John Ibbott-trained odds-on favourite Tullys Touch, a nine-year-old Touch Of Land gelding who was making his seasonal debut.
Second there on Diplomate Sivola, Ben Sutton started the day on a winning note when claiming the opening veteran horse race on the favourite Sir Mangan, a 14-year-old Darsi gelding trained for the rider’s father Nick by the in-form Alan Hill.
This victory foiled Tom Ellis’ bid to have six winners from his runners as his charge, Wounded Warrior, finished second under working hunter specialist Ellie Callwood who was having her eighth ride between the flags.
Hill and Ellis currently share top spot in this season’s Foran Equine trainers’ championship with a total of a dozen wins apiece.
The four-runner restricted at this Dunston Harriers’ meeting was won by the Alex Chadwick-partnered Castle Trump, an eight-year-old Presenting gelding trained by Rob Cundy for Charles Buckle.
RIDER Darren Edwards and trainer Dean Summersby claimed the honours on Sunday at Wadebridge where they combined to land a short-priced treble on the six-race card.
The pair opened their account in the three-runner hunt members’ race where the seven-year-old Sans Frontieres gelding Port O’Clock justified odds-on favouritism on his seasonal debut.
They next struck in the eight-runner three-mile four-, five- and six-year-old maiden with the even-money favourite Transition Period who was having his fourth career start and the second of this campaign. Summersby gave €10,500 at the 2019 Tattersalls Ireland May Sale for the 2016 Jet Away gelding who is out of the Flemensfirth mare, She Knows Best.
The treble came up in the four-runner restricted where Edwards made most of the running on the 10-year-old Definite Article gelding Thewinnertakeitall who saw off the only other finisher, Mustmeetforapint, by seven lengths.
There were two other Irish-bred winners during the afternoon with Anna Johnston recording her first success in the novice riders’ race on the even-money favourite Broadclyst. This 10-year-old Ask gelding is trained by Leslie Jefford for Sue Trump whose colours were also carried to victory at Exeter on Tuesday by the Chris Down-trained Raddon Top, a nine-year-old Getaway gelding who was adding this first track victory to six between the flags.
Bradley Gibbs landed the concluding 10-runner seven-year-old and upwards maiden on the lightly raced Ask Dai, a 2015 Ask gelding out of a Presenting mare who is owned and trained by the rider’s father, David.