Ascot-Newbury doubleheader disguises plenty of other success for county's trainers
This past weekend has been a few days to appreciate the return of top flight racing after the relentless assault of the weather during most of February. And our trainers in the county of Wiltshire have been advertising their claims at every level of the sport these past few days.
Seamus Mullins definitely has a soft spot for Fakenham, extolling the virtues of David Hunter et al for their contribution to maintaining prize money. And by golly, it's a good job he keeps winning there as the petrol bill from Wilsford must be substantial! Seven year old Moroder broke his hurdles duck in the opener at Fakenham on Friday with a less than convincing 2 1/2l victory, but they all count, and the 11 winners this term might have been 12 at Wincanton on Saturday bar a stumble two out for I See You Well in the handicap chase.
Emma Lavelle also enjoyed success at Fakenham when Shang Tang followed up his impressive Ascot win in November with a 4 3/4l victory over a smart Henderson horse in Captain Morgs.
Wincanton's Kingwell Hurdle day is always a fine day's racing for Somerset, and whilst the main prize may have gone to Sussex, courtesy of Goshen, the Wiltshire end was kept up by Milton Harris and Neil Mulholland at either end of the county.
Milton Harris's string is in excellent form presently, and Aintree My Dream played to the gallery when taking issue two out and holding out for a 1/2 l victory to make 13 for the season so far. Whilst French-bred Exelerator Express justified favouritism in the novices handicap chase for Dai Walters, former owner of Ffos Las Racecourse for Bath-based Neil Mulholland. Exelerator Express hasn't been out of the first 4 in his last 6 starts; now who wouldn't want a stable full of horses like that?
The weekend wouldn't be complete without a mention of the county's leading Jumps trainer, whose Sceau Royal justified favouritism in lowering the colours of talking horse Champ in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury's rescheduled meeting on the best ground seen all week. After the loss of L'Ami Serge at Ascot the previous day, the owners were cheered a little by the indomitable spirit of Sceau Royal, who really doesn't know how to run a bad race. A choice of engagements at the top level of the sport awaits, all dependent on ground conditions.