It was announced yesterday that one of the best dual purpose trainers during my lifetime Mary Reveley had passed away at the age of 77. I was lucky enough to visit her yard in Lingdale during the early 1990s and she was responsible for so many good horses under either code. The likes of Dalkey Sound, Marello, Mellottie, Penny A Day, Old Red, Seven Towers and Turnpole all won good prizes and her bumpers horses ridden by Bob Hodge were a licence to print money in the 1990s.
Mary was never one to talk up her horses. Indeed, she avoided publicity or interviews if she could and would let her horses do the talking. Everyone has their personal favourites but two horses, in particular, stand out for me. Wellwotdouthink looked an outstanding mare when winning three of her four bumpers and was a mighty impressive winner on her hurdles debut at Ayr in November 1992. Unfortunately, injured intervened and, while she returned on the Flat the following year, she was never the same. On her day, Mary can't have trained many better mares and that includes the prolific winning Marello. The other one is Cab On Target, who was a class act. Unbeaten in two bumpers, he won 10 of his 22 races over hurdles and was also successful in 8 of his 22 chases. I can recall being at Wetherby when he won the West Yorkshire Hurdle for the first time in 1991 - he was devastating that day and I will never forget the impression he left on me. The other occasion I can remember vividly was when he annihilated Forest Son by a dozen lengths in the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April 1993. Despite finishing runner-up in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham four years later, he didn't progress over fences as expected. I have never been as disappointed as when Barton Bank put him in his place in the Charlie Hall Chase in 1993 (Jodami would have probably beaten the pair but for falling at the ditch at the top of the home straight). Prior to that, I was convinced he was a Gold Cup horse in the making. However, he was still one of the best National Hunt horses in the North in recent times. Mary Reveley was a fantastic trainer.
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