Lavelle cements Marlborough's growing strength in Jumping's ranks

17-February-2020
17-February-2020 8:00
in General
by Admin

Marlborough trainers have long grown used to playing second fiddle to the weight of steeplechasing talent that is housed throughout the Lambourn Valley, not 30 minutes drive hence. But that is all changing.

Alan King, Emma Lavelle and Neil King, who all train within 3 miles of each other and within hailing distance of Barbury Racecourse, the best regarded Point-to-Point course in the South West, all host yards brim full of talent, and head for next month’s Cheltenham with excellent prospects.

Cheltenham’s days in March is a key week in any trainer’s diary, where expensive purchases of 9 months previous can justify their owners’ investment and spawn new enquiries. There’s nothing like a Festival winner to get the phone ringing with others keen to access a little of Cheltenham’s magic dust.

It’s long odds that Messrs Mullins, Nicholls and Henderson will be fighting out the top trainer award at the end of the week, but £ for £ and horse for horse, you need look no further than Ogbourne Maizey’s Emma Lavelle for the story of the Festival. When selecting your list of betting offers for the Cheltenham Festival at thebookiesoffers.co.uk Emma would win hands-down for the most emotive story of the 28 races that make up Cheltenham’s vintage week.

Enter Stage left her stable star Paisley Park. Winner of 8 of his 12 races to date, and only once out of the frame, Paisley Park is already a short-priced 8/11 to repeat last year’s triumph in the newly named Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle on the third day of the Festival. Every time he runs, the story becomes yet more animated, as owner Andrew Gemmell, who has never seen the horse in the flesh, never mind run, enjoys his pride and joy to the full. Andrew has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped his ebullient excitement at owning one of Jump racing’s favourite horses.

Like a lot of trainers whose charges become public property, Emma has been progressively more careful and select in where to run Paisley Park this season. The destination is self-evidently Cheltenham, and subsequently Punchestown rather than Aintree. To date, where last season her champ had 4 races and 4 victories before Cheltenham, this season, that has been just two, albeit that Emma pulled the horse out of the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot due to the soft ground. The next few weeks are always a test for any trainer, where every little niggle is a worry that could set back the final days of the training programme and leave you short of work or out of the race altogether. Paisley Park is many people’s idea of a Cheltenham banker , but at short odds, it may pay to look to other Lavelle horses for better value.

This year, Paisley Park is far from the only Lavelle horse headed to Cheltenham, as she enjoys her best season since 2013-14. With 25 winners on the board already, the investment in a move from Andover in 2016 and in a new yard where Peter Makin used to train, is paying off handsomely. Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter has something to find at Gold Cup level given his remote 4th behind Santini in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham’s Festival Trials fixture, but on his best performance, he’s not far behind other contenders, and a race run to suit could play to his advantage.

And Hang in There, winner of a Grade 2 Hurdle in November, is a handsomely priced 66/1 for the Supreme, 50/1 and over for the Ballymore – surely not a fair representation of his ability. Expect more entries as the final races close, including a raft of handicaps as Emma brings back the glory days of Bonita Racing Stables, made famous by the likes of Gordon Richards on the Flat and Bob Turnell, who sent our dual winner of the Champion Chase, Drinny’s Double, from this yard in 1967 and ’68.

Whatever happens at Cheltenham next month, it looks like Marlborough trainers are back at the top of the tree once more.

Next Event

When?

Next fixture Sunday April 5th First race 1.15

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Lavelle cements Marlborough's growing strength in Jumping's ranks

17-February-2020
17-February-2020 8:00
in General
by Admin

Marlborough trainers have long grown used to playing second fiddle to the weight of steeplechasing talent that is housed throughout the Lambourn Valley, not 30 minutes drive hence. But that is all changing.

Alan King, Emma Lavelle and Neil King, who all train within 3 miles of each other and within hailing distance of Barbury Racecourse, the best regarded Point-to-Point course in the South West, all host yards brim full of talent, and head for next month’s Cheltenham with excellent prospects.

Cheltenham’s days in March is a key week in any trainer’s diary, where expensive purchases of 9 months previous can justify their owners’ investment and spawn new enquiries. There’s nothing like a Festival winner to get the phone ringing with others keen to access a little of Cheltenham’s magic dust.

It’s long odds that Messrs Mullins, Nicholls and Henderson will be fighting out the top trainer award at the end of the week, but £ for £ and horse for horse, you need look no further than Ogbourne Maizey’s Emma Lavelle for the story of the Festival. When selecting your list of betting offers for the Cheltenham Festival at thebookiesoffers.co.uk Emma would win hands-down for the most emotive story of the 28 races that make up Cheltenham’s vintage week.

Enter Stage left her stable star Paisley Park. Winner of 8 of his 12 races to date, and only once out of the frame, Paisley Park is already a short-priced 8/11 to repeat last year’s triumph in the newly named Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle on the third day of the Festival. Every time he runs, the story becomes yet more animated, as owner Andrew Gemmell, who has never seen the horse in the flesh, never mind run, enjoys his pride and joy to the full. Andrew has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped his ebullient excitement at owning one of Jump racing’s favourite horses.

Like a lot of trainers whose charges become public property, Emma has been progressively more careful and select in where to run Paisley Park this season. The destination is self-evidently Cheltenham, and subsequently Punchestown rather than Aintree. To date, where last season her champ had 4 races and 4 victories before Cheltenham, this season, that has been just two, albeit that Emma pulled the horse out of the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot due to the soft ground. The next few weeks are always a test for any trainer, where every little niggle is a worry that could set back the final days of the training programme and leave you short of work or out of the race altogether. Paisley Park is many people’s idea of a Cheltenham banker , but at short odds, it may pay to look to other Lavelle horses for better value.

This year, Paisley Park is far from the only Lavelle horse headed to Cheltenham, as she enjoys her best season since 2013-14. With 25 winners on the board already, the investment in a move from Andover in 2016 and in a new yard where Peter Makin used to train, is paying off handsomely. Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter has something to find at Gold Cup level given his remote 4th behind Santini in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham’s Festival Trials fixture, but on his best performance, he’s not far behind other contenders, and a race run to suit could play to his advantage.

And Hang in There, winner of a Grade 2 Hurdle in November, is a handsomely priced 66/1 for the Supreme, 50/1 and over for the Ballymore – surely not a fair representation of his ability. Expect more entries as the final races close, including a raft of handicaps as Emma brings back the glory days of Bonita Racing Stables, made famous by the likes of Gordon Richards on the Flat and Bob Turnell, who sent our dual winner of the Champion Chase, Drinny’s Double, from this yard in 1967 and ’68.

Whatever happens at Cheltenham next month, it looks like Marlborough trainers are back at the top of the tree once more.

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