Ballyrath: The 12-year-old picked up a remarkable win at Wetherby
By Maddy Playle
It’s pretty hard to believe that a 12 year old who hasn’t raced according to the rules in 960 days has won the 3m handicap race, but the truth is even more remarkable.
Ballyrath, who scored under Tabitha Worsley for coach Gary Hanmer at odds of 66-1, is owned by Colin Moore, 79, who gave him the perfect preparation for his comeback under the rules.
“I finished sixth with him in this year’s Town Plate,” he said. “I told Tabitha he had a much better race today than he did with his last jockey! He’s a lovely horse and everyone loves him.”
Members can watch the replay of the remarkable Ballyrath victory
Moore, who has confessed to supporting Ballyrath, has been unable to shake off the racing buzz for much of his life and rides the veteran every day at home.
“I did my first race in 1959, managed to get into the Hennessy in 1961 when Mandarin won it, but then I got too heavy,” he said.
“He’s an insect, though, you can’t get away from the horses and I’m still riding somewhere. I’m still an apprentice jockey, really!”
Ballyrath was run by Moore’s wife Teresa and he could target the Newmarket Town Plate again this year, with his rider hoping to end his career in the saddle with an 80-year-old round number.
He said: “Doing this today is like winning the Grand National.”
‘Absolute weirdo’ aims for 2nd grade
Chances are that if a horse is undefeated in three starts under the rules, it resides with one of the biggest stables in the country, but in Bold Endeavor’s case, that’s not true.
The six-year-old is trained in Leicestershire by Laura Morgan and took his form to a new level by winning the 2m3½f novice hurdle, walking in darkness to win by 12 lengths.
Morgan said: “He won very impressively; he was a good rookie today. You can’t see much, but it was really good. I don’t think he would want it to be smoother than today, he didn’t travel like he usually does, but he got the job done.”
The novice bumper and obstacle winner failed to sell when it was offered to Goffs last month, which seems like a blessing to Morgan’s yard as it took a lot of hard work .
“He’s very, very eccentric,” she said. “Alice Coleman rides him every day and has done a great job of calming him down and focusing his mind in the right way. He’s typical Fame And Glory; he’s an absolute weirdo.”
She added: “It’s what we do every day, I’m thrilled. Hopefully he can take us on a great big day.”
The trainer hopes that day will come to Kelso on March 5 as she targets the Year 2 Novice hurdle ahead of a possible tilt at the Aintree Festival and next season’s pursuit.
Results, replays and analysis
Read more about Saturday’s action:
Expert Jury: Which horse that caught your eye today will you ride next?
Cheltenham target ‘good horse’ Cobblers Dream after Lanzarote heroics
Eclair Surf does it all in Classic Chase for Emma Lavelle
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