A quick 24-hour remedy proved the perfect tonic for trainer David Bridgwater as 11/2 winner Speedy Bruere took the day’s feature contest at a raw Towcester on Sunday.
Bridgwater had found himself a topical figure in the run-up to the weekend after the sale of Wyck Hill to JP McManus, but that horse’s below par running when favourite for Saturday’s Racing Post Chase had removed some of the instant gloss.
However, just as it was some small measure of consolation in Wyck Hill needing 14 stitches in a leg wound, in part explaining the setback, another arrived when Bridgwater’s grey scored an 11 length success in the Jerry Moynihan Memorial Handicap Chase.
After Topaze Collonges proved an early casualty, Pensnett Bay tried to cut out all the running but was collared by the Turgeon gelding by the second last to score cosily under Tom Scudamore.
Speedy Bruere’s owner Terry Amos who lives at Deddington, on the county border with Oxfordshire, owned a third of Wyck Hill before its sale to National Hunt racing’s ownership magnate and he was joined in the winner’s enclosure by Northampton-based Simon Hunt who was introduced to Bridgwater by Amos through their contact in the construction business and who is now looking forward to The Giant Bolster’s run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.
The victory brought Bridgwater his 14th winner of the current season and he said: “We probably needed that after yesterday. Terry has been an owner with me since I started training 13 or 14 years ago.”
Scudamore later completed a double on board the David Pipe-trained favourite Volt Face (1/2) although the fact there were only four opponents makes it hard to know what the horse had achieved.
It was a good day for the name Bridgwater all around as Kevin Bishop trains near that Somerset town and sent out Tarabela (11/2) to take the 3m handicap hurdle after a thrilling finish which saw four horses in a line at the last.
And it was one of Bishop’s former charges Chilbury Hill (4/1) who took the 2m selling hurdle although he is now trained by Tim Vaughan. The ten year-old was retained without a bid.
The opening 2m novices’ hurdle was won by Darkestbeforedawn (9/2) for trainer Caroline Keevil and jockey Ian Popham with 100/1 shot Bowie in second.