Mr Alan gave George Boughey's his 100th domestic winner in 2022 when scoring at Nottingham on Wednesday, which is a superb achievement considering the Newmarket trainer only took out a licence during 2019. Cachet supplied the yard with its first Classic winner in the 1000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile in May and the string have continued in fantastic form throughout the season. In total, Boughey has been responsible for half a dozen Pattern winners during 2022.
Holocene supplied the Top 40 Prospects with its 38th winner of the year when comfortably taking the fillies' handicap which opened the card at Wolverhampton. William Haggas' well bred daughter of Ulysses had become a shade disappointing having won on her debut at Ripon during the spring but it was encouraging to see her win decisively here off a mark of 71. Returning from a break of 69 days and sporting cheekpieces for the first time, she came home strongly and looks capable of adding to this win during the closing weeks of the season.
Wetherby's first meeting of the season used to be a day to look forward to but sadly that isn't the case anymore. The dry weather meant only 42 declarations for the seven race card and it was made worse by nine withdrawals on the day. No one can control the weather but racecourses can help themselves by putting on decent prize-money. Twenty years ago, the winner of the Bobby Renton Handicap Chase took home £10,888. Connections of Tardree scooped just £8,223 on Wednesday.
Thirty years ago, the brilliant One Man had his second run over hurdles at Wetherby's first meeting (October 1992) chasing home the Micky Hammond trained Valiant Warrior in the two and a half miles novice The grey was trained then by Arthur Stephenson and ridden by Chris Grant. Sold for 68,000gns in May 1993, he established himself as a top-class chaser for the late Gordon Richards and owner John Hales winning four Grade 1 chases, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George (twice).
Carlisle hosts its opening fixture of the campaign on Thursday and it will be disappointing if Jonjo O'Neill doesn't return to Gloucestershire with a double. Both horses, who feature in One Jump Ahead, are exciting prospects for the future.
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