General in command to mark track century in great style
General Tufto spread some festive joy on his 100th start at Southwell, as the all-weather warrior blasted home for a 15th win at the track.
The 11-year-old was creating his own little slice of history when tackling the Fibresand for the 100th time, and ensured his supporters were cheering with a decisive two-and-a-half-length win.
As is his wont, General Tufto was slowly away and Joey Haynes had to start riding the veteran along after a few strides.
Turning for home the pair still had a lot of work to do, but as General Tufto started to weave through the field he looked better and better, and burst through with a furlong left.
He was not for catching, and soon had his rivals trailing for a memorable victory.
The magnitude of the win was obvious as trainer Charles Smith struggled to hold back the tears and said: "He's priceless to us. I thought he would win, he's in the form of his life, he ran well here last time and hopefully he'll come back here on new year's day. He's an absolute superstar and a real pet."
Owner John Theaker, who received a cake marking General Tufto's achievement at a special winner's presentation, added: "Joey absolutely got it right. Nothing will ever be like this for me again and it's a very special day.
"To keep him going is absolutely amazing. At 11 years old he's still interested."