Rest and drop in class works wonders for Wayward Frolic
Lizzie Kelly scored her first win against professional jockeys at Exeter yesterday when Wayward Frolic out-jumped and out-galloped his rivals in the Bet & Watch With Racing UK's App Novices' Handicap Chase.
Owned by her mother Jane, whose husband Nick Williams trains him near South Molton, the gelding's previous unimpressive form led the stewards to enquire into his improvement and the explanation was that he had benefitted from a long break and a drop in class.
It was an enterprising ride from 19-year-old Lizzie, an event management student at Winchester University, who made all the running on the seven-year-old and had him jumping magnificently.
"It's a shame she doesn't get more outside rides," said her mother. "She comes home every Friday from college and does all the schooling at home. She's absolutely dedicated and has ridden brilliantly today."
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Patience is paying off for John Symes, who has now watched Robin Will win his last two hunter chases with such ease that it is hard to imagine there have ever been temperament problems.
Under the tutelage of Richard Woollacott and his partner Kayley Jones, the gelding has blossomed this season. Woollacott said: "I rode him in his final point-to-point of last season, and although he fell we realised we'd made the mistake of letting novices ride him. John Mathias rode him before his ban, and now Josh Guerriero rides him and he's brilliant. He needs dropping out so that he doesn't get his head, otherwise you've lost him."
The Diamond Edge Open Hunters Chase was farcical in the opening strides, with no one willing to take up the running until Will Biddick kicked on with Vintage Class. Two out, Robin Will was on the bit and was barely pushed out to score a 27-lengths win.
Colin Tizzard's winning run shows no sign of abating, and the trainer happily remarked that every win counts, whether it is a double at the Cheltenham Festival or a handicap hurdle at Exeter.
Buckhorn Tom, with his son Joe on board, was joined by Umberto D'Olivate in the Carter Dawes Financial Planners Tenth Anniversary Handicap Hurdle, and went ahead up the run-in to score by a length and half.
The five-year-old is owned by a syndicate based close to Tizzard's Dorset yard that includes his breeder, Malcolm Hooker. "He's the third generation we've bred and we still own the mare who we'd like to lease out for a season if we can," he said.
Ciaran McKee rode his second winner within a week when the John O'Shea-trained My Viking Bay won the Watch Racing UK On Sky 432 Novices' Selling Hurdle. Luckily for his owner, Ruth Nelmes, there was no bid for the winner and he is likely to run again at the course in two weeks' time.
Angela and Bill Tincknell's Jump City won the Kip Kealey Novies' Chase, seeing off even-money favourite Dare Me.
The concluding race went to 12-1 shot Brunette'sonly, trained by Seamus Mullins and ridden by Andrew Thornton.