Burrow Seven put in a promising performance to come home second in the We’re Racing Next On 15th January Open NH Flat Race at Wetherby under Oakley Brown.
The Jedd O’Keeffe-trained gelding is owned by the Burrow Seven Racing Club, a syndicate created to raise funds for the Rob Burrow Fightback Fund, a charity formed to fund research into motor neurone disease after the diagnosis of the rugby league star it is named after.
Burrow Seven, who has already raised over £100,000 for the charity in memberships, ran for the first time in a bumper at Catterick in December and O’Keeffe was pleased to see how the grey had come forward from that fifth-placed run, with Burrow and his family and friends watching on.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the run and the improvement he’s shown from his first start to his second start, I think that gives us a clue to the fact that he’s going to be a really nice jumper,” O’Keeffe said of the 9-2 chance.
“I don’t know yet whether we’re going to have another go in a bumper or go straight hurdling, options are open at the moment, but I think this is a clue that he’s got a bright future. We thought we’d handle the ground, conditions were no problem.
“He’s got plenty of stamina and a fantastic attitude, we’re really pleased.
“I think it’s a nice horse that beat him so we’re looking forward to his future.”
The winner of the race was Rebecca Menzies’ Bolton (6-1), who registered a seven-and-a-half-length success and boosted the Burrow fund as the trainer donated her share of the prize-money to the charity.
Guetapan Collonges claimed a first chasing success when taking the Wetherby Racecourse Handicap Chase at 11-4 under Will Kennedy.
Charlie Longsdon’s lightly-raced six-year-old is previously a dual winner over hurdles and graduated to jumping fences earlier in the season, finishing fifth on his first outing over fences at Stratford in October before taking third at Uttoxeter in November.
His third time over fences proved to be lucky as he travelled well throughout, comfortably taking up the lead four fences from home when others faltered and striding on to an easy 14-length triumph.
“He is still very novicey in my eyes, in the way he jumps, but he got his act together and went and won,” said Longsdon.
“The race fell apart a bit, the two favourites didn’t run their races and he was the one left.
“Looking at the way he has run, he was probably entitled to win as the race fell apart in front of him, but he did win and that’s the important thing.
“There’s no doubt his jumping improved today, he was a bit guessy, a bit up in the air still, but all that will come with time.”
Guetapan Collonges is bred along the same lines as 2012 Grand National winner Neptune Collonges, meaning there is likely to be an abundance of stamina in his pedigree and a step up to a staying trip is on the agenda once the ground improves.
“It looks like, with his family, he wants three miles,” Longsdon said.
“There will be a step up in trip, but he’s only just turned six so I’m not going to step him up in trip on horrible ground. I’ll keep him to two (miles) and four or five (furlongs) while it’s very soft.”
Bon Vitesse (16-1) made a winning debut over hurdles when taking the wetherbyracing.co.uk Juvenile Hurdle for new trainer Micky Hammond.
Ridden by 7lb claimer Emma Smith-Chaston, the four-year-old has been previously campaigned on the Flat by Brian Ellison and Stef Keniry before moving to Hammond’s yard to begin her hurdling career.
The filly seemed to take well to the task on her first run under a new code, jumping well and striding to an easy 17-length victory over Phil Kirby’s Tommaso.
Foillan was a 17-2 winner for Dr Richard Newland and Charlie Hammond when taking the Follow @RacingTV On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old was tackling a three-mile trip for the first time in his career and stayed on for a two-length call over Lucinda Russell’s 10-11 favourite Readysteadybeau.
Jonjo O’Neill Jr teamed up with his father to take the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Chase aboard File Illico (9-2), defeating 11-4 favourite Relkadam by half a length in the process.