Dixon salutes 'lovely' Pearl Noir as stalwart stands on brink of century
The Scott Dixon-trained Pearl Noir is set for his 100th start in the 5f amateur riders' handicap at Catterick on Tuesday.
The eight-year-old gelding, who has won ten races since his debut run at Beverley in 2012, has been an almost ever-present in Dixon’s stable since the trainer started his career in 2011.
“He was bred by my mother Yvette,” Dixon said on Monday. “He’s had his entire life at Haygarth House; he was actually foaled here as well. He’s just a lovely horse, a pleasure to train; very easy, very straightforward.”
Owned by the Winning Connections Racing syndicate, Pearl Noir has given his owners, and his trainer, some memorable days out. Dixon especially remembers a victory at Beverley in 2014, an occasion which gave Helen Simcock, a member of his original ownership group, her first opportunity to see the horse win.
“She thought she was a curse for the horse until he obliged by giving her a winner on ladies' day at Beverley," he recalled. “I don’t think I've ever seen anyone as happy to get a win, anyone would have though she’d just won the Arc!”
Asked about plans to keep Pearl Noir active after he has chalked up a century, Dixon replied: “He’s fit and healthy and still loves it. He’s injury free and we don’t look like stopping with him any time soon.
“As long as he’s still in love with it and producing good runs for his connections we’ll keep going.”
Pearl Noir, whose last two runs also came at Catterick – he was runner-up this month – will be partnered by 7lb claimer Gareth Newmarch, for whom it will be just a third ride.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com