Tag Archive for: Tom Bellamy

Eclair Surf on the crest of a wave in Classic Chase

Eclair Surf put in an admirable staying performance to run his rivals into the ground in the Agetur UK Ltd Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick.

The eight-year-old was given a bold, front-running ride by Tom Bellamy, as trainer Emma Lavelle claimed a second success in this stamina test over three miles and five furlongs after Shotgun Paddy in 2014.

Eclair Surf (11-1) jumped well, making only one mistake at the 22 fences, and never looked like stopping.

Chirico Vallis kept him company, but Eclair Surf pulled away before the home turn to score by 13 lengths.

Gericault Roque, the 7-2 favourite, could not got close enough to challenge and was nearly caught for second place by a rallying Chirico Vallis (33-1). Corach Rambler, the top-weight, went past beaten horses to claim fourth spot.

Lavelle said: “He was meant to go to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and I was absolutely gutted when he came in from the field lame and couldn’t go.

“Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for this race. We know he can gallop, but jumping has always been an issue.

“In truth he’s a good jumper but is always capable of belting one. It keeps Tom on his toes, that’s for sure.

“With that in mind I don’t think he’s a National horse, certainly not this year, but he might be one for the Scottish National. He needs a bit of cut and that race is earlier this year.

“We won this with Shotgun Paddy and that was our first really big handicap win and Barry (Fenton, partner) got quite emotional. He’s done a lot of work with this lad, too, so it will mean a lot.

“He’s a tricky horse so it’s a big ‘thank you’ to Barry really. His ability has never been in doubt, he just has his thing of throwing in a shocker. I knew Tom wanted to be handy today and that was a good idea.”

It is the first feature race Lavelle and Bellamy have won since teaming up, and the trainer was full of praise for her jockey.

“Tom is a massive team player which is great for us and when he’s riding, yes he’s thinking about the day, but he’s also thinking about the next day and the next day,” said Lavelle.

“It’s working really well and going the right way.”

For Bellamy it was a noteworthy success.

Eclair Surf put in some great leaps on the way round
Eclair Surf put in some great leaps on the way round (Simon Marper/PA)

“This means a lot, it’s certainly the biggest win we’ve had together, a £100,000 handicap,” he said.

“I wanted to be positive and see where we ended up. At one point he nearly ran away with me, which wasn’t ideal over this trip, but he does stay well.

“I’m sure he just likes to throw a dodgy leap in to keep me on my toes, but apart from one today he jumped great. It was a pleasure.”

Tom Bellamy confirmed for Paisley Park ride

Tom Bellamy will be keeping the saddle warm for suspended Aidan Coleman when Paisley Park lines up in his bid to win a third Howden Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

The nine-year-old gave trainer Emma Lavelle the biggest win of her career to date when powering home to land the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle under Coleman, who has partnered Paisley Park in his last 14 starts.

Coleman was handed a seven-day suspension and a £1,550 fine for overuse of the whip aboard Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess at Aintree last Saturday.

The timing “is not ideal” according to Paisley Park’s owner, Andrew Gemmell, who said: “The stewards deemed to give Aidan a week. It seems a bit stiff.

“It is not ideal, but Tom has been riding very well and Aidan’s had lots of conversations with him, so I’m sure he will be fine.

“I would think that, long-term, he is still Aidan’s ride, for sure.”

Owner Andrew Gemmell (centre) says the Stayers' Hurdle is still the plan for Paisley Park
Owner Andrew Gemmell (centre) says the Stayers’ Hurdle is still the plan for Paisley Park (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Paisley Park will run minus the cheekpieces in the Grade One event, as Lavelle felt he slightly overraced when an 11-length third behind Thomas Darby in the  Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month.

The trainer has been toying with the idea of going chasing with Paisley Park, although a dry autumn may have put that option on the back burner.

Gemmell said: “While the rains have now come, in terms of going chasing, it is now very late in the season. Obviously, Saturday is important to see how he is progressing. It is a very strong field and let’s hope he puts his best foot forward. We’re hoping to win!

Paisley Park came from the clouds to win last year's Long Walk
Paisley Park came from the clouds to win last year’s Long Walk (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“At the moment, I would have to say that the Stayers’ Hurdle will be the plan of attack. Ascot on Saturday, then the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham, followed by the Stayers’ Hurdle is the most likely route forward.

“I think that cancelling the Cleeve Hurdle last year cost us in the Stayers’ Hurdle, as he was perhaps a little short, so it would be nice if they did run it this time.”

Speaking to Sky Sports Racing on Monday, Bellamy said he was “on cloud nine” after the “massive opportunity” to partner Paisley Park.

He added: “I’ve had a few goes on him since Aidan’s news came out – I hadn’t before that – I’ve ridden a piece of work on him and schooled him.

“He wouldn’t set the world alight at home – he’s a staying hurdler, of course he wouldn’t. But at the same time he struts about like he’s got a bit of class and he’s enjoyable to ride.”

Emma Lavelle appoints Tom Bellamy as stable jockey

Emma Lavelle is looking ahead to a bright future after appointing Tom Bellamy as her stable jockey.

The Marlborough trainer felt the time was right to have a retained rider for the first time in several years.

Having Bellamy on her side means Lavelle will have the consistency she requires after the jockey made the right impression when being successful on a spare ride.

“It’s something we’re excited about,” she said.

“It was just one of those things, he picked up a spare ride for us at Huntingdon and won on it and then won on it again. Then it just so happened Adam (Wedge) had just got injured and he started to ride a few more and it just went from there.

Tom Bellamy
Tom Bellamy (David Davies/PA)

“His style of riding suits us. He is definitely going in the right direction. He is great to work with and everyone is really pleased about it going forward.

“He comes in and rides out. We’ve got some great lads who have been riding for us, but I just wanted a bit of consistency and have someone who was able to get to know the horses well. We have some lovely horses going forward and we wanted the right person and the consistency going on top of them. It’s working well.”

The one horse in the yard Bellamy will not be riding is Paisley Park. Aidan Coleman will continue to ride the Paisley Park, who has been a stable star for the last few years.

“He (Coleman) has had a great relationship with him and so that is his only ride. Hopefully the next Paisley Park is lurking somewhere in the yard,” said Lavelle.

Plumpton victory brings up career milestone for Cobden

Harry Cobden celebrated the 400th winner of his career as Amour De Nuit defied a 617-day absence to make a winning return to action at Plumpton.

The 21-year-old, who has been tipped by some to secure a first Jump Jockeys championship this season, reached the milestone with victory aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.

Cobden, who currently sits second in the title standings behind reigning champion Brian Hughes, picked out two winners which stand out in his career haul so far.

He said: “I’m delighted – I didn’t realise it was my 400th winner, but that’s not bad for a little boy!

“I suppose Topofthegame winning the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival (in 2019) was one I loved – then there is my first Grade One at Newcastle in the (2016) Fighting Fifth on Irving, because I was still a claimer.

“There have been lots of moments – I’m in a good position to ride those good horses.”

Despite 8-1 shot Amour De Nuit eventually proving three-quarters of a length too strong for Buckhorn George, it was a success which took Cobden by surprise.

“He has had a long time off, but Paul has done loads of work with him,” he said.

“He hasn’t galloped him overly hard, but he has done lots of steady work.

“He has travelled well and jumped great – and you have got to take them when they are there. I was surprised, because I thought he would need it more than he did.”

Cyrname who will now head to the King George VI Chase at Kempton after his victory in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday (Julian Herbert/PA Images)
Cyrname, who will now head to the King George VI Chase at Kempton after his victory in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday (Julian Herbert/PA Images)

Amour De Nuit’s victory followed a fine weekend for Cobden and Nicholls, for whom Cyrname secured the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby to set up a second attempt at Kempton’s King George VI Chase next month.

Cobden added: “I was delighted with Cyrname. He jumped well, travelled great – and we learnt that he can go left handed.

“He didn’t have hard race, which is exactly what we wanted. All roads will lead to the King George now, I suppose.”

Elsewhere on Plumpton’s card, the application of blinkers had the desired effect on Un Beau Roman – who gained his first victory in four years when making all to land the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap Chase by two and three-quarter lengths.

Trainer Paul Henderson said of his 18-1 winner: “He used to be a keen at home, and I had to put my strongest lad on.

“But Georgina Price, who rides him now, switched him off – and I think it made him go to sleep in his races.

“He had the blinkers on for the first time, and that did the trick. We usually hold him up, but I said to Nick (Scholfield) ‘fire him out in front’ – and he gave him a great ride.”

Tom Bellamy had to sit tight at the last on the Alan King-trained Midnight Glance (11-2), as he completed a double with a length-and-three-quarter victory in division two of the attheraces.com breederscup Handicap Hurdle.

Bellamy said: “It’s been too long since I had a double – I think it must be at least three years since the last one.

“I wanted a big one at the last to seal the deal – it was probably a tough question to ask him on that ground, but luckily he found a leg and picked up.”

Aughnacurra King (16-5) got the ball rolling for Bellamy when running out a  12-length winner of the Watch Plumpton Replays On attheraces.com Novices’ Handicap Chase for trainer David Jeffreys.