The Lesters – Flat Ride of the Year – part 2

lesterYesterday we looked at the credentials of Freddie Tylicki and Richard O’Connell in the Ride of the Year category for next week’s Lester awards. I hadn’t noticed when I was writing that Tylicki’s mount, Chapter Seven, is one of the leading fancies for the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday, though Jamie Spencer will be on board at the weekend.

Today we turn to the other two rides that were nominated for the award.

3. Richard Hughes – The Fugue

First up is Richard Hughes, who rides Goodwood better than any one else. Johannes won the first race there on 4 August. If Brahms rather than Bach had been the great composer of preludes and fugues would have been the perfect lead in to Hughes’ ride in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes. He rode The Fugue for trainer John Gosden.

It was a spare ride, after stable jockey William Buick chose to ride Izzy Top. It’s not unusual for there to be no pace in a race with just eight runners, and so it proved here. It wasn’t something Hughes wanted to do, so despite the filly wanting to go, Hughes, who described her as “like an elastic ban, read to quicken,” had to restrain her.

He kept Timepiece, the eventual leader, well covered, and once Hughes did let The Fugue off the bridle, inside the final furlong, she readily went forward to secure success by a length.

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Gosden went to another of the arts to describe his filly, whom he said was a beautiful mover with small ballerina feet. Never mind whether music or ballet is the most apt, Hughes had both his timing and his tuning right.

4. Danny Tudhope – Doc Hay

Hold up horses and sprint handicaps are a tricky combination, especially when there are 20 runners taking part. Danny Tudhope showed he could identify just the right moment to let the throttle out in Doncaster’s Portland Handicap on 15 September, run over the unusual distance of five and a half furlongs.

He had the worst of the draw in stall 21 (there were two non runners) and was held in behind a group of horses on the stand side. Again it was a late finish that won the day, with Tudhope not moving a muscle until pulling Doc Hay out into the centre of the course as the runners came to the furlong pole. The result – victory and a course record 0.63 seconds faster than the old one. Blink and you missed it.

You cans see all races on the Racing Post, Sporting Life or At The Races websites, and probably on You Tube as well.

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