Tag Archive for: Sean Quinlan

Cormier claims Morebattle honours to set up bonus bid

Cormier backed up a Cheltenham success on his latest outing by winning the valuable bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso.

Sean Quinlan delivered Brian Ellison’s charge to lead in the straight and take the richest race ever staged at the Borders venue.

Only four of the scheduled eight flights were jumped as the two obstacles in the straight were omitted on both circuits due to the low sun.

Metier, the 3-1 favourite, led over the last of the flights jumped but there was still a long way to go and he faded out of contention.

Buveur D’Air, having his first run for almost a year, made no impression and it was Cormier (8-1) who came out of the pack to take the race by storm.

He battled on well to score by a length and a half from Saint D’Oroux with Faivoir a nose away in third place, putting him in line to bid for a £100,000 bonus should he follow up with victory in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ellison said: “He’s a great little horse who never lets you down. He used to be very keen when we first got him, but he’s obviously settled now and you can switch him off.

“He’s just improved with racing and is a lot more grown up than he used to be.

“Sean said he was off the bit early on today they were going that quick, then he’s just come hard on it at the top bend. If anything he got there too early.

“Taking the hurdles in the straight out didn’t bother him as he’s won a few races on the Flat.

“He’s won at Cheltenham, so we know he acts round there. Whether he’s good enough, it doesn’t really matter – he’s won a £100,000 race now and Dan (Gilbert, part-owner) lives over the road from Cheltenham.”

Betfair bid unlikely for Catterick victor It’s Good To Laugh

Plans for a tilt at the Betfair Hurdle are likely to be shelved for It’s Good To Laugh despite recording a runaway victory at Catterick.

Rated in the 90s on the Flat, the five-year-old made a winning hurdling debut when dead-heating at Perth in September and followed up with a 10-length success at Hexham the following month.

Having filled the runner-up spot behind Donald McCain’s Barrichello in a Listed event at Haydock, Jennie Candlish’s charge he was the 8-13 favourite stepping down in grade in North Yorkshire.

And while he ultimately got the job done comfortably in the racingtv.com/freemonth Novices’ Hurdle, there were a few scares along the way.

“He’s a fair horse and if he could jump he’d probably be a special horse,” said jockey Sean Quinlan.

The leading rider kept things simple aboard It’s Good To Laugh, sending him straight to the front at outset of the near two-and-a-half-mile contest.

Several untidy leaps kept things interesting, but is testament to his latent ability that he was still 16 lengths too good for previously unbeaten McCain runner River Walk.

Betfair cut the winner to 25-1 from 50-1 for the Betfair Hurdle on February 12, but he looks set to sidestep the prestigious Newbury handicap.

Alan O’Keeffe, Candlish’s assistant, said: “We’ve always thought a lot of him and to win with a double penalty is good.

“I thought Donald’s horse was a nice horse beforehand, so to not really jump a hurdle and win like that was impressive.

“The plan was to come here and get a 5lb penalty and go for the Betfair, but I’d say it’s unlikely the way he jumped today. You can’t jump like that in a Betfair Hurdle, maybe he’s not ready.

“We might look towards Aintree later in the season and try to get his jumping sorted out. He actually schools great at home and we’ve taken him to Warwick three or four times to school and he’s brilliant.

“For whatever reason he seems to get a bit of stage fright when he’s out there, but he’s got the engine and we can work with the rest of it.”

Mick Maestro and Charlie Hammond
Mick Maestro and Charlie Hammond (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mick Maestro made the most of having his sights lowered in the Baker Mcveigh & Abbott Handicap Hurdle.

In his last two starts Nick Kent’s inmate had finished down the field in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham and a Musselburgh handicap won by Champion Hurdle aspirant Tommy’s Oscar.

There was nothing of that calibre in this field and despite fluffing his lines at the final obstacle, he had enough in reserve to prevail by a length and a half from Golfe Clair under Charlie Hammond.

“We’ve dropped him back down to a class three today and this is his second win here, which is pleasing,” said Kent.

“I’d felt sorry for the horse actually the last twice as they were two tough races, but he is honest and it’s nice to have him back in the winner’s enclosure.”

Dan Skelton and Bridget Andrews teamed up to land the Free Month Of RacingTV Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase with Soyouthinksoagain.

A winner at Wetherby in October, the seven-year-old disappointed at Lingfield on his next start.

But faced with just two rivals, the 9-4 shot bounced back with a six-length verdict over Thatsy. Odds-on favourite Get Your Own was a disappointing last of three.

“We think the last day might just have come a bit quick after two quick runs,” said Andrews.

“The ground was pretty testing that day. I’m not convinced he wants proper good ground, but he definitely found it easier today to jump out of it today – and the break has definitely helped.”

Runners and riders going to post before the opening race at Catterick
Runners and riders going to post before the opening race at Catterick (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sam England’s Manwell (11-2) notched a second course victory in the Try Racing TV For Free Now Conditional Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase under Tom Midgley.

Nathan Moscrop was delighted to get the Tim Easterby-trained Relkadam’s (9-2) head in front in the Start Your RacingTV Free Month Now Handicap Chase following successive runner-up finishes.

Moscrop, who needs only one more winner to lose his claim, said: “The last day at Wetherby I made a mistake. I put my hands up and I said to Tim I owed him a winner and thankfully it’s come today.

“The last day I got racing a bit too soon. Today they’ve gone a proper, even gallop and he’s actually snuck into it and it’s worked out, so happy days.”

Latino Fling (15-8) sent favourite backers home happy with a comfortable success in the concluding Racing TV Free For A Month Mares’ Handicap Hurdle for McCain and Brian Hughes.

Takingrisks grabs Sky Bet glory for Richards and Quinlan

Takingrisks stayed on stoutly to see off the bold front-running bid of Aye Right in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

The 2019 Scottish National hero was sent off at 40-1 having not won since his Rehearsal Chase success last season, but again proved he has stamina in abundance.

Aye Right gave his all once more, just as he had in the Ladbrokes Trophy in which he finished second to Cloth Cap.

He was still in front jumping the last as the favourite, Cap Du Nord, who travelled smoothly throughout before hitting the second last hard, and Takingrisks bore down on him.

As Cap Du Nord began to tire, it was Nicky Richards’ 12-year-old who kept finding more for Sean Quinlan, with Takingrisks claiming it by a length and a quarter with a further two and a half lengths back to Cap Du Nord. Canelo was fourth.

Nicky Richards was thrilled with Takingrisk's victory
Nicky Richards was thrilled with Takingrisk’s victory (Tim Goode/PA)

Richards said: “I thought he’d run a good race.

“I thought he was as good as anything in the race. Age might be a barrier to a lot of people, that he’s getting on a bit, but he doesn’t know how old he is and he doesn’t perform like an old-age pensioner.

“He got out of the gate lovely and got into a grand rhythm. Then it was starting to look like it was going to be a stamina test and I thought ‘we’re in business now’.
“He’s won three top-class handicap chases. He’s a lovely horse.

“I think time has slipped him past for the Grand National to be fair to him. I think he’ll probably go for the Scottish National. That will be the plan.”

Sean Quinlan, pictured after Takingrisk's Scottish National success
Sean Quinlan, pictured after Takingrisk’s Scottish National success (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Quinlan said: “He’s usually very slowly away. I just said to Nicky before we went out there’d be plenty of pace, so I’d get him winging over the first two and let him sit and travel handy.

“They went a good gallop and he was a bit long at the first. He’s taken me everywhere, he’s jumped and travelled. Going to three out, he’s had a bit of a blow and I thought that was his running done now, but from the back of the second last he’s just stayed. He winged the last and stayed on all the way to the line.

“Aye Right was second in a Hennessy and I thought he was the horse to beat. He was in front a long way and was probably waiting for one to come and do him.

“Nicky has done a fantastic job with this horse. Two years ago he won the Scottish National and last year he was going for the Grand National and it was called off.

“The plan was the Scottish National this year, but we thought we’d take a race or two on the way and he’s done it today, which is great.”

Aye Right’s trainer Harriet Graham was left ruing her luck after hitting the bar in another big race.

She said: “It’s cruel to be second, he ran such a cracking race. In the Ladbrokes Trophy he was well beaten, but this time he could have done it.

“I thought for a minute he might just hold on, but he probably needs another two furlongs – he’s an out-and-out stayer.

“Callum (Bewley) dropped his whip and he’s upset, but that’s racing and there will be a big one in him.”

Christian Williams was satisfied with the effort of third-placed Cap Du Nord.

He said: “He ran a great race. I’m delighted. He travelled well and stayed well. I was pleased with him.”