Horse Racing

Horse talk: racing's hot topics

Steve Mullington
2017-04-03
Bravery (20/1) made a dream start to his career with David O'Meara as he denied Ryan Moore a four-timer on Oh This Is Us in the Lincoln Handicap on Saturday afternoon.

Bravery (20/1) made a dream start to his career with David O'Meara as he denied Ryan Moore a four-timer on Oh This Is Us in the Lincoln Handicap on Saturday afternoon.

Danny Tudhope switched across the track from his high draw of 20 to go right across to the far side aboard the four-year-old colt, who was fourth in last season’s Irish 2000 Guineas when trained by Aidan O'Brien.

It proved to be an astute decision as Bravery, who was bought for 44,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Sales, showed his class by denying Oh This Is Us by a neck to spoil an apparent gamble on the 7-2 favourite.

Bookmakers claimed to have saved themselves millions of pounds with Bravery’s victory, feeling they had dodged a bullet when Ryan Moore was beaten by a neck after riding the first three winners on the Doncaster card. Moore’s treble was already returning accumulative odds of 575-1 at that stage and Oh This Is Us was quickly gambled into 7/2 from around 7/1. The four-timer would have netted any lucky punters a 2591/1 return.

Tudhope reported back saying: "The key to this horse is just to get him to switch off as he can be a bit keen in his races."

O'Meara said: "He travelled well. He's run as far as a mile and a half in Ireland so it was a bit of a guessing game whether a mile would be too sharp for him.

"He ran well in a lot of good races in Ireland so this would be a drop in class for him.

"I'm really happy with him. It's great."

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Patricia Thompson, who owns Cheveley Park Stud along with husband David went on a spending spree this week buying two horses that will be running in the Randox Grand National this coming Saturday, those being Le Mercurey and Highland Lodge.

Thompson famously bought the Nick Gaselee-trained Party Politics just days before the Aintree marathon and she will be targeting similar success with these two buys.

Le Mercurey, trained by Paul Nicholls, finished second to Many Clouds at Aintree back in December and also chased home Native River in the Denman Chase, before most recently finishing third in his prep race at Kelso.

The Cartmel-trained Highland Lodge was sold to the Thompson’s by Simon Wilson. It came just days after they bought Le Mercurey . Highland Lodge will remain with Moffatt at his Pit Farm Stables yard.

Jimmy Moffatt's horse won the 2015 Becher Chase over the National fences was just beaten into second for the renewal in December, when David Pipe’s Vieux Lion Rouge pipped him at the post by a short-head, denying horse and trainer a historic double.

Moffatt said: "The deal went through this week. The horse is in great form and passed a two-hour medical on Thursday - the vet thought he looked tremendous and it's very exciting to train for Mr and Mrs Thompson.

"Simon and Julie (Wilson) have sold him outright. They have been with me since 2006 and have been wonderfully supportive. They wish Mr and Mrs Thompson all the luck in the world. Both parties are very happy.

"I think the world of him and his back-to-back Becher form looks rock solid."

Henry Brooke will keep the partnership with the horse, with Moffatt adding: "Mr and Mrs Thompson are delighted to secure the services of our big-race jockey. The horse is straightforward, touch wood he is great but we can't get carried away, we've got a job to do between now and then. He's done all his major work."

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Merseyrail revealed its plans this week to run a limited Grand National service when staff walk out on strike next Saturday.

Merseyrail said that if the RMT decided to call off the strike later than April 5 as part of a “political tactic to act as the saviour of the Grand National travelling public,” there will not be enough time to get the normal service up and running and restore all of the original security, emergency service cover and logistical support which go with such a major event.

John Baker, Aintree Racecourse’s managing director, added: “We’ve been extremely encouraged that by working closely together with Merseyrail, Merseytravel and other transport providers we are doing everything possible to ensure racing fans will be transported effectively on Grand National day with as little disruption as possible.”

People travelling to Aintree on Grand National are advised to take note of the following limited and revised service details:

• 7½-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 11.15 and 13.30, calling at Moorfields only.
• 7½-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 17.30 and 19.15, calling at Moorfields only.
• 15-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 10.00 and 11.00, calling at Moorfields only.
• 15-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 16.30 and 17.30, and between 19.15 and 21.00, calling at Moorfields only.
• Rail replacement buses to run from Ormskirk to Old Roan from 10.30 till 14.00, stopping at Maghull only. Buses to run from Old Roan to Ormskirk from 16.30 till 20.00, stopping at Maghull only.
• Six departures from Southport to Liverpool Central (09.22, 09.37, 09.52, 10.42, 10.57 and 11.12). There are no services to Southport in the morning.
• Five departures from Liverpool Central to Southport (19.08, 19.23, 19.38, 20.30 and 20.45). There are no services from Southport in the evening.

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Top jump jockeys (last 7 days): R.Winks (3/4), Jsh Moore (4/8), S.Bowen (3/7), S.Twiston-Davies (5/13), A.Coleman (5/15), N.Fehily (4/14).

Top jump trainers (last 7days): J.O’Neill (4/9), P.Hobbs (4/14), N.Henderson (3/13), G.Moore (3/14), D.Skelton (4/19).