Tag Archive for: Guetapan Collonges

Hometown Hero returns victorious at Market Rasen

Hometown Hero scored for the first time under rules at Market Rasen when claiming the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle under Bridget Andrews.

The seven-year-old is a prior point-to-point winner and has hit his stride this season after a significant absence due to injury, finishing second in a Ludlow maiden late last month.

The 11-10 favourite after that performance, the Dan Skelton-trained gelding locked horns with Mick and David Easterby’s Luke on the run-in and eventually prevailed by just a neck, a result that stood after a steward’s inquiry into late interference.

“He’s improved every time since he missed a year with an injury, he’s progressed really nicely and hopefully he can keep going forward,” said Andrews.

“It’s always tricky after a lay-off but fair play, he’s stepped forward every time and it’s good to get his head in front.

“I do get on well with him, he’s missed quite a bit of time as he’s seven and you’ll probably see a better horse when he goes over fences.

“He’s going to be a bit late to that game, but he’s still got improvement to come.”

Charlie Longsdon’s Guetapan Collonges followed up a success at Wetherby out with another at Market Rasen, this time in the three-mile Book Summer Plate Date Now! Handicap Chase.

The 13-8 favourite did not jump fluently and looked beaten midway through the race, but in the latter stages he rallied and showed his resilience – and stamina befitting his pedigree – when running on to a one-and-a-quarter-length victory under Will Kennedy.

“He’s still only six, he is a baby and things need to come together and click for him,” said Longsdon.

“It wasn’t fun to watch, but it’s all experience and he will improve and come on from that.

“He’s a tough horse but he jumped shockingly and he never got into a rhythm, which makes life very difficult.

“Once everything goes right and when the penny drops he’s going to be a nice horse, but at the moment he’s making it look hard work.”

Bold Plan returned to winning ways for Evan Williams and his daughter Isabel when taking the Thank You Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in convincing style, having started as the 5-2 favourite.

The eight-year-old, who was a useful novice chaser earlier in career, reverted to hurdles for the fifth time this season and took advantage of his falling handicap mark in the five-runner contest over two and a half miles.

Running prominently from the off, he took up the lead with two flights remaining and galloped on unchallenged to prevail by two and a quarter lengths on the line.

“He was a joy, he’s a lovely horse to ride at home and he was lovely to ride today,” the jockey said.

“He jumped impeccably and he really quickened when I asked him to after the last.

“He was really straightforward, foot-perfect, really.

“He’s been running in some really competitive races against good horses so he’ll have enjoyed getting his head in front today.”

Ben Haslam’s Lightning Attack took his handicap hurdle debut when triumphing under Richie McLernon in the Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Handicap Hurdle.

The bay was a two-time winner on the Flat previously and joined Haslam’s yard last summer, finding himself well beaten in three hurdle starts this season so far.

Supported at 9-2 on his first handicap performance, he was always close to the lead and seized his opportunity when Step To The Top fell two from home, securing a four-and-half-length success.

Rebecca Menzies’ Schalke lost his maiden tag in the Nunns Mazda And Isuzu Grimsby Handicap Hurdle, triumphing at 6-1 under Brian Hughes after four beaten runs this term.

“We needed that for him, he’s been a bit unlucky,” Menzies said.

“His bumper form was very solid in the early days, we were hoping he was a horse that would improve in time and that seems to be the case.

“Everything’s clicked into place and I’m hoping he might take a step forward for that.

“He’s not been the easiest horse to win a race with, but he’ll go on nice ground so we’ll keep him going into the spring and summer.”

Jessie Lightfoot then took the three-mile Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Chase at 9-2 for Lilly Pinchin and John Groucott, with the final race, the Come Racing February 22nd Mares’ Handicap Chase, going the way of 5-1 chance Rosearelli for James Bowen and Ali Stronge.

Burrow Seven does charity proud with Wetherby second

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.”

Jonjo O’Neill Jr riding File Illico to victory
Jonjo O’Neill Jr riding File Illico to victory (Mike Egerton/PA)

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.