TRAINER Seamus Mullins could prove the man to follow at Towcester next Tuesday evening when the action gets underway at 5.45pm at the Northants track.
Mullins was on target with his only runner Well Green on a bright and sunny Monday evening but believes he will be returning with the heavy artillery as Towcester embraces its busiest phase of the season over the next three weeks, before taking its summer break after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee meeting on June 4.
“May and June is my time of year,” revealed Mullins, who sent five runners to Fontwell on Wednesday.
“We specifically put horses away during the winter with a view to running them at this time of year of the better ground. It was good to get a winner on the board because we have been hitting the crossbar just lately.”
He added: “We have quite a few waiting for the quicker ground but that will come, although the recent spate of wet weather has surprised us a little bit.”
Just to prove his point, Mullins made 10 initial entries for last Monday evening’s card but ultimately his only runner was the Kevin Jones-ridden Well Green in the opening amateur riders’ handicap hurdle and that horse pulled away to a cosy four length success from Rifleman.
Mullins said: “We put three in this race initially but were never going to run them against one another. Well Green could run in a conditional jockeys’ race next Tuesday or in a 0-115 handicap.
“We also have Wilde Ruby who won her bumper at Towcester last April and who was entered up for this week. We have been waiting to run her in a handicap and then are also horses such as Or Sing About and There And Then who has already run four times at Towcester and been placed there twice.”
The Tuesday night card should whet the appetite of race goers for an extra dose of racing action with the Ladies Night fixture a week today, which gets underway at 5.55pm.
A DOUBLE header of point-to-point action is on the table for county watchers at opposite ends of the county this weekend, with Dingley staging racing on Saturday, and Whitfield the following day.
The East Anglian point-to-point at Dingley has attracted 135 horses for the Fitzwilliam fixture for a seven-race card which gets underway at 2pm, and runs through to 5.35pm.
Such is the strength of the penultimate 3m maiden contest there may even be a split of the 31 possible runners, as the maximum field is just 16.
Saturday is the last chance to score points in the East Anglian jockey and horse championships. The men’s title race is set to go to the wire with James Owen leading Ben Rivett by six points, but eight points are up for grabs. Owen may rely on his recent Northaw scorer The Rodeo Clown against 17 possible rivals.
The ladies open is potentially an even hotter contest with the 19 engaged including prolific winners Billyvoddan, Palypso de Creek, Rainbow Tree and King du Berlais.
Admission at Dingley is £15 per car and driver with an extra £5 for each additional adult passenger. Under 17s go free. More information is available at www.dingleyraces.co.uk
Whitfield kicks off on Sunday at 2pm.
The meeting near Brackley is billed as a ‘horse racing and family fun day’ with the range of attractions on offer.
On the racing front, Doctor Kingsley will be bidding for a fifth course success for Doyg and Pauline Harkin.
COUNTY-based jockey Tom Messenger is seeking to build on his tally of 17 winners during season 2011/12, and is prepared to once more put in the hours to achieve that target.
The 26 year-old from Creaton drew a blank from three rides at Towcester on Monday but was able to give an insight into the sometimes crazy lifestyle his job entails.
“It is travelling that can sometimes be a drag,” he revealed.
“On occasions I have thought ‘no I can’t possibly do that’ if it involves driving a long way for one ride but afterwards you would never forgive yourself if you missed out on a winner.
“I will be back here at 7am tomorrow to school a few horses with Charlie (Poste) for Robin Dickin. After that I have one ride in the afternoon at Wincanton in Somerset before going on to Southwell in the evening.”
Messenger duly made his date with both runners, the Helen Rees-trained Residence And Spa, a horse he had partnered before for Tim Easterby, finishing down the field in a 2m handicap hurdle while it was a similar story on Chris Bealby’s Raktiman in the 7.40pm contest at the Nottinghamshire track.
Riding at his local track Towcester still gives Messenger a lift, and not just because it means an early night!
It is now over seven and a half years since he partnered his first Towcester scorer in the form of 50/1 shot Never Awol for Ben Pollock in the days before he turned professional and it remains his most successful track.
AMATEUR rider Rachel King finished third on Grand Article for Northants trainer Paul Cowley in the opener at Towcester on Monday night in a rare visit to the county course for the point-to-point rider.
Not that King can be dismissed as being idle, indeed the phrase ‘multi-tasking springs to mind.
Only recently she finished third at 100/1 on Nick Lampard’s Heathyards Flyer in a 4m hunters’ chase at Cheltenham, producing an inspired late charge which only failed by three-quarters of a length.
Tuesday’s Racing Post feature on the Lambourn trainer Clive Cox also added to the mix, with King bracketed as both assistant trainer and amateur rider...
TOWCESTER regular Keith Coleman will soon have a fresh interest on the flat, in the form of the three year-old Arte Del Calcio, formerly with David Elsworth.
A translation of the three year-old’s Italian name provides comes up with ‘football skills’, so Coleman will be hopeful his own trainer Tony Carroll is on the ball.
THE Caroline Bailey-trained Galway Jack is proving an expensive horse to follow, for all that he has invariably run into the frame in both hunter chase and novice chase company during the past four months, after proving a successful tool between the flags.
The latest example was his third place at Market Rasen where his treatment of the open ditch did him no favours. He has now notched one win, but has been second twice, third and fourth.
The John Spearing-trained Whitecrest, owned by Overstone-based Graham Eales, made a pleasing return to flat action last Saturday, when third to Dispol Grand at Nottingham.