Tom McClorey celebrated a maiden career treble at the Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough on Sunday 10th April with wins on Gunmoney, Grumblers Holt and Teeton Kato. The Head Lad and Assistant Trainer at Gerald and Caroline Bailey’s Holdenby yard only achieved his first double at Thorpe Lodge in February, and also had a second and third place at Guilsborough on Easythingsarebest and Cloneen Prince respectively.
The day had begun with pony racing which was well supported by an enthusiastic crowd on the final straight. Wharley Gamecock (James Turner) won the first race, for 138cm hunting ponies and the bigger division, which followed was won by Ice Cold Baileys with Violet Barton on board. Violet then performed a flying change to get down to the start for the final pony race, the Open, where she was third behind Pick Pocket (Nia Kerslake) and Lynne (Alana Taylor).
The first steeple chase of the card was the Members Race, which featured a good quality entry and didn’t disappoint. The Bailey-trained Fearthedark, with Alex Vaughan-Jones riding for his wife, overturned some indifferent recent form to beat EasythingsareBest (T. McClorey) and Katkolys (J. Bailey) by 1 and a half and ten lengths respectively. “He obviously got out of the right side of bed this morning,” Gerald Bailey told me.
The second race on the card, the PPORA Club Members race, saw a better result for Johnny Bailey, whose mount Midnight Cowboy, owned and trained by the Manns, beat the favourite L’Eldorado (T. Chatfeild-Roberts) by 20 lengths after a strong run in. Jakros (J. Jackson-Stops) was 15 lengths third. Bailey was very pleased for the connections, “he was a good young horse but has had a couple of leg problems. Pete has brought him back and got him fit so I knew something good was very possible.”
The two Open races at Guilsborough both featured top horses who went off at big odds-on prices and didn’t disappoint. Michael Dawson’s Palypso De Creek (Miss C. Hart), starting at 1/8, was described by the commentator as “enjoying a canter in the countryside” as he came home 20 lengths clear of Ballycarry (Mrs C. Adam) with Nightcap Jack (Miss K. Morgan). The race had promised a challenge from the excellent Done A Runner which was declared but he was withdrawn at a late stage.
The Mens Open which followed was won by the impressive Gunmoney (T. McClorey) for Richard Russell. The eleven-year-old gelding beat Sandpipers (A. Vaughan-Jones) by 20 lengths with Romany Rhyme (J. Bailey) back in third. “He could gallop for five miles,” Tom McClorey told me, “he just never stops!” Connections indicated Gunmoney would now aim for Cheltenham with regular jockey John Russell coming back from injury in the next fortnight or so.
The Restricted race saw the closest finish of the day with Grumblers Holt (T. McClorey) edging out The Bay Oak (T. Strawson) by a length with Curnalee Coleen (T. Chatfeild-Roberts) a neck behind them. The lightly-raced winner suffered a niggling leg injury which wouldn’t come right and resulted in two seasons away from the track. This season started with very nasty fall at the Brocklesby earlier this season and it has taken time to get him right. “I’ve been very patient with him at home,” Tom McClorey told me, “and he has just come right this week.”
McClorey finished off his treble in consecutive races as he then proceeded to take the fist division of the Maiden with Joan Tice’s Teeton Kato, a very popular victory for a local team led by Tom Messenger and Faye Conway. Sunglasses Ron (S. Lee) was one and a half lengths behind for Tik Saunders, with Rudolph (Mrs S. Tyler) eight lengths back in third.
The final race of the day, the second division of the Maiden, was won by Sun Lady (J. Brace) in a slightly faster time than the first. Second was the Walkers’ Misola Bird (Miss S. Walker) which had started at 33/1 but led the field for much of the race and was still able to finish strongly, Cloneen Prince (T. McClorey) was third.
The Midlands Area season now moves to Clifton-Upon-Dunsmore for the Atherstone meeting next Sunday.