Reikers Island enjoy Cartmel romp
Mendip Farmers - qualified Reikers Island scored a first victory under Rules when taking the Molson Coors Hunters Chase at Cartmel this afternoon, also bringing up a first racecourse winner for rider Daniel Cherriman.
The eight year old son of four time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats has been round the houses in the past six months, switching stables no less than three times since the middle of January until this success under Lawney Hill. Winner of a Borris House maiden in December 2017, he'd looked a reasonable type on the upgrade after winning the Silver Buck Handicap Chase at Wincanton a year later, but then lost the winning rhythm. This assertive win by 13l was a first winning outing since December 2018.
Meanwhile, his owner-rider, winning his first race under any UK turf authority since a Peper Harow Novice & Veteran Riders race in May 2019, was clearly elated, punching the air after the race in the style of all Festival winning riders. And lest one chuckle, there is more atmosphere riding at Cartmel than many of our Grade I courses, even allowing for capped capacities under Covid rules. The wall of sound from both sides as you enter the finishing straight at Cartmel is redolent of Chester or Epsom, but rather more scenic, and certainly more florid.
The Hills have a brilliant record in this race. Alan won it three times on the bounce with Mano of Steel between 2016-18. Small wonder they sent Reikers Island up from Oxfordshire.