Cheltenham a bonus for both Martello Sky and Pink Legend
Smart mares claim valuable black type at Prestbury Park
Valuable black type was supplemented by considerable bonus money for two of the mares that struck at Cheltenham on Thursday.
Both Martello Sky and Pink Legend were British-bred mares representing owner-breeders with the former, who belonged to the late Tim Wood, a fair eighth in the Dawn Run at the Festival before a far more simple assignment as odd-on favourite for the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Mares' Novices' Hurdle. It was her third Great British Bonus race success this term.
Pink Legend, who had not scored over fences since her debut at Bangor last November but has been pretty consistent for trainer Venetia Williams and owner Francis Mahon, gained her big day in the spotlight in the Listed British EBF Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase Final.
Williams had bought the winner’s dam, Red And White, off the Flat from Mark Johnston at Tattersalls in 2008 and she was to race over hurdles for Mahon, who has run five of her progeny with the trainer and won with three.
As a daughter of the late British-based Midnight Legend, she was eligible for a windfall of up to £20,000 from the GBB scheme, to go along with the winner's purse of £15,305.30.
"Well done Frank, we wish he could be here, he’s bred her, had various out of the mare, this was the second but obviously the best," Williams told Racing TV.
"All these GBB races are terrific, we’ve been trying to target those with a few of her runners and this is the jackpot in the small scheme of things."
Williams said that Pink Legend is to remain in training. "100 per cent, the thought never even occurred that we wouldn’t," she said. "Frank is enjoying watching all the offspring and hopefully next season he’ll be able to get to come to the races and enjoy her again."
Her Indoors, initially a 22,000gns Tattersalls Guineas breeze-up purchase by Alan King and Highflyer Bloodstock, has done considerably better in the jumping world with the daughter of Raven's Pass claiming the Grade 3 NAF Fillies' Juvenile Handicap Hurdle in the colours of the McNeill family and Niall Farrell.
Donald McCain's Irish pointing purchase Bannixtown Glory was the other black type winner on the card.