Gaye Legacy brings back fond memories with Newbury victory

Some famous colours were carried to victory at Newbury on Tuesday when Gaye Legacy came with a late run to win the Ray Dalfsen Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Gaye Legacy’s dam Gaye Memories was out of a half-sister to Gaye Brief and Gaye Chance, the former famously winning a Champion Hurdle and the latter a Stayers’ Hurdle for Mercy Rimell, who took over at the famous Kinnersley yard that was put on the map by her husband, Fred.

Upon her retirement Rimell still owned horses, arguably the most famous of which was Simon, brother of Gaye Memories, trained by John Spearing, and it was those claret with blue spots silks that were on show at Newbury.

Gaye Legacy is owned by the Chase The Dream partnership and Mrs Robin Knipe, otherwise known as Scarlett Knipe, daughter of Fred and Mercy.

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Scarlett’s late husband Robin also bred the likes of Master Oats and Thistlecrack so it is a family steeped in racing history, which winning trainer Tom Symonds was well aware of.

“It’s wonderful and the mare was really tough today under a good ride by Ben (Poste), I thought she was unlucky at Kempton last time and she proved that today,” said Symonds after the 11-2 success.

“Given there is stamina in abundance like it is in her pedigree you have lots of options. She’s still a novice and there’s the Listed race at Doncaster on March 2, so depending how she rates after today we’ll see. Three miles is easy enough for her. She’s not very big, but I think she will jump fences.”

He added: “It’s thrilling for Scarlett to keep her eponymous family going. When Scarlett lost Gaye Memories, the sister to Simon and Gaye Legacy’s mother, her own mother Mercy not long after died so she bought this mare in her memory, hence the name.”

Harry Skelton was pleased with the debut of Be Aware
Harry Skelton was pleased with the debut of Be Aware (David Davies/PA)

The card began with two divisions of a two-mile maiden hurdle, sponsored by BetVictor.

The opener saw a very nice performance from Dan Skelton’s Be Aware (11-1), who was making his debut but looked the part under Harry Skelton.

“That was a lovely performance, he’s a horse we’ve liked since we got him but to be honest we’ve been trying to keep the lid on him as he’s by Martaline and he can be immature a bit at home,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing

“We’ll see how we go. You do try to turn them into chasers and he’s got size and scope. We’ve just got to look after him, he’s got a lot of talent.”

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Issar d’Airy (left) had to battle hard to win again
Issar d’Airy (left) had to battle hard to win again (David Davies/PA)

The second division went to Into The Park (9-4 favourite), trained by Philip Hobbs and Johnson White.

Warren Greatrex’s Abuffalosoldier (10-1) defied top-weight in the Remembering Bob Olney Novices’ Handicap Chase, while Gary Moore’s Issar d’Airy (11-10 favourite) followed up a recent win at the track but found life tougher under 8lb more, beating I’d Like To Know by a short head.

Ben Pauling’s Roysse (6-1) looks to have a future given how strongly he travelled in the concluding bumper before tiring a little late on, beating previous winner Jurancon by two and a half lengths.

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