Quorn Gold for TheTalkingHorse
There were doubles for jockey Sam Davies-Thomas and trainer Gerald Bailey at the Quorn’s meeting at Garthorpe on the 29th April.
Davies-Thomas took the feature race of the day, the Mens Open for the Quorn Gold Cup, with Margaret Moody’s 9-year-old gelding TheTalkingHorse, trained by Gerald Bailey. Despite being led for two of three laps by Warden Hill and Tom Chatfeild-Roberts, the multiple hunter chase winner proved he had too much for the opposition as he eased ahead in the last half mile to win by six lengths. “He’s a lovely little horse,” Gerald Bailey told me, “but there was a point in that last lap when I didn’t think he was going well enough to beat Warden Hill. I’m really pleased for Mrs Moody who has had horses in training with me for many years.”
The other feature race of the day went to Western Diva, who beat the impressive Top Smart (Gina Andrews) – looking for a sixth consecutive win – in the Ladies Open, by five lengths. The winner made the most of a stone of weight advantage and led from start to finish, and the result was a relief for jockey Claire Hardwick who had been decked by her mount the day before. “She’s a bit wild,” she told me with a smile.
Sam Davies-Thomas had previously partnered Queen Olivia to victory in the second race of the day, the Midlands Area Club Members race, this time for Sarah Dawson. “I haven’t been to Garthorpe for fifteen years!” Sarah told me, “I was impressed with the ground here this weekend and Sam was the obvious choice of jockey as he knows this horse well.”
Gerald Bailey had to wait slightly longer for his double to come in, when Easythingsarebest won the PPORA Club Members race, beating Bingo Star (Jack Andrews) by four lengths. This horse had won impressively at the Pytchley meeting for jockey John Russell, who had been forced by injury to sit out much of last season.
The opening race of the day had turned up some surprises as a number of front runners had proved a little keen and not been able to maintain the pace. Pay The King (Tom Strawson) was the eventual winner finishing three lengths ahead of gutsy Bravehearted Harry (Rory Bevin).
Mr Syntax and Richard Collinson won the Members race for horses of nine or over, beating fancied Bravo Riquet and Can Mestret by two lengths and the same.
Gina Andrews had thus far had a frustrating day with two seconds and a third but won impressively with Distant Rain in the last, the open maiden, beating Kinlochspelve and Toujours Libre by 12 and 8 lengths respectively. Trainer and husband Tom Ellis was not surprised, telling me it was his “sure thing for the day”.