Wonnacott and Mulholland team up again
Millie Wonnacott and Neil Mulholland are a team to follow this season, and they reinforced that opinion in the second division of the Novices Hurdle at Sandown today, notching up their 8th and 44th winner respectively, when Conkwell Legend scored by two lengths to conclude the afternoon.
The rides are largely shared between Robbie Dunne, Harry Reed, Tom Scudamore and Sam Twiston-Davies, but none matches the 24% strike rate of Millie in her 25 rides to date for her main employer. And that's earning her some recognition among other West Country trainers, like former Ladies Champion Point-to-Point rider, Polly Gundry.
Mulholland is a trainer enjoying an excellent season without a stand out horse as yet. Without a marquee performer, any number of "ordinary" winners does little to improve the prize money earnings that encourage re-investment in the yard, and the retention of staff whose stable pool becomes all the more significant. It's no coincidence that staff oscillate toward the powerhouses of the sport where their earnings can be considerably higher in bonuses.
Doing Fine, winner of the London National at Sandown in December, is likely to return there for the Bet365 Gold Cup in late April. And there's a small matter of the two Spring Festivals to come, at which the stable will doubtless be well represented. But as most trainers will tell you, building your profile around a little over 50 races at Cheltenham and Aintree is not a sound business proposition!
Page Fuller also rode a winner on the same card for Jamie Snowden, maintaining the profile of two of our leading lady riders, both graduates from the Point-to-Point scene.