Ellison ends barren spell
REPORT: SEDGEFIELD, Tuesday
FUNNY old game, racing. Brian Ellison went through the whole of August without a single winner. On Tuesday, on the second day of September, he finally ended his 39-day barren spell by completing a long-distance double in double-quick time.
Film Festival did the business in theopening 2m1f novice hurdle, and, just ten minutes later, Fort Churchill also came good for the Malton trainer in the first race at Goodwood.
After seeing Robert Thornton bring home the odds-on Film Festival with two and three-quarter lengths to spare, Ellison said: "It's some game. I couldn't have a winner throughout August, but I could never really put my finger on a reason and the horses seemed in good form; several of them were placed. Today, everything has changed, two winners in no time at all. I fancied this horse today and, having won thisqualifier, he'll probably be aimed for the final of this series."
The Jewson Final will surely also come under consideration for Leo's Lucky Star, winner of the second division of this race, and hugely impressive. David Pipe's gelding provided Tom Scudamore, with a steering job on his only mount of the day. Ten easy lengths was the winning margin.
Pipe completed a double in the 2m5f conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle with Loom, who provided Hadden Frost, 18, a recent addition to theyard, with his second winner over hurdles to go with the 49 he rode on the Flat before rising weight forced him to follow in the footsteps of his father, former jump jockey Jimmy.
"I rode a winner over hurdles for my dad last January, but this is the first since I joined Mr Pipe, which is a great opportunity for me, and one I'm very excited about," he said.
Malcolm Jefferson was a happy man to win the 3m3f handicap chase with Great Grimsby, not only because his "quirky" six-year-old, the mount of Phil Kinsella, was on his best behaviour, but also because the race was named in memory of Tyneside businessman Kevin Lee, one of Jefferson's patrons, who died suddenly in mid-summer.
"I'm very pleased to win this race because of my association and friendship with Kevin," he said.
Shane Byrne, who was knocked out for several minutes, after a heavy fall from Clear The Way, was taken to North Tees Hospital for further observation.
Roger Curtis was full of praise for Felix de Giles after the 3lb claimer had won the 2m1f selling handicap hurdle on Mucho Loco.
"He's a horse who travels like Superman through a race, but then he doesn't try very hard. You've got to ride him like a non-trier, because the more you push and shove him, the quicker he throws in the towel. It's down to Felix that he's now won twice," said Curtis.
Bernie Wharfe made his only ride on the card a winning one when he rode a well-judged race from the front on That's Confidential in the 2m4f novice hurdle, while Fearghal Davies was yet another conditional jockey to shine. Hegot a great tune out of I'm Your Man, trained by Evelyn Slack, to lift the 2m4f novice handicap chase by ten lengths.
Kenny Johnson, rider of Cadeaux Singer, who was beaten 55 lengths into sixth place in the race won by Leo's Lucky Star, was suspended for seven days for breaching rule 158, ‘failing to take all permissable measures to obtain the best possible placing'. He will be banned on September 21 and 23-28.
The Sedgefield groundstaff. Jockeys and trainers were unanimous in their praise of the ground