Wronged owner Craig Buckingham presented with race as two horses are taken out
Believers of balance to the universe will be tuning into the 3.15 at Warwick with glee as Craig Buckingham, the owner left considering his future in the sport after his horse was mistakenly withdrawn at Nottingham on Wednesday, has instantly been handed remuneration as his Desirable Court has been presented with a walkover.
Two non-runners on Thursday morning meant the Dan Skelton-trained five-year-old is the only remaining runner in what was supposed to be a 2m beginners' chase, but it could so easily have become a void race as Skelton revealed last night he had to convince an irate Buckingham to let Desirable Court run.
Skelton said in a tweet to the BHA's media account: "I've spent 20 mins on the phone to Craig Buckingham placating him and getting him in the frame of mind to run two of his horses tomorrow. Mistakes like today's fiasco @nottinghamraces must be learnt from and accountability must be had to give stakeholders confidence."
@BHAPressOffice I’ve spent 20 mins on the phone to Craig Buckingham placating him and getting him in the frame of mind to run two of his horses tomorrow. Mistakes like today’s fiasco @nottinghamraces must be learnt from and accountability must be had to give stakeholders confidence.— Dan Skelton Racing (@DSkeltonRacing) October 3, 2018
It had been hoped Warwick would play host to Maria's Benefit making her debut over fences, but she is now an absentee in the race along with the third horse declared, Knocknanuss, meaning Desirable Court will be the only horse to contest the £9,400 guaranteed contest.
Aiming for a second course winner – ten years on
North Yorkshire trainer Tom Tate sends Destroyer in search of a rare winner at Chelmsford on Thursday night (7.15).
He has only had two previous runners at the track and his sole victory came with Suits Me, ridden by the now retired Micky Fenton, in December 2008 – on the day Master Minded beat Tidal Bay in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
"That was ages ago when it just started," Tate said. "I've never really had anything that's suited by it – let's hope Destroyer is."
Andrew Mullen's mount won at Newmarket in August and Tate said: "He ran a good race at Chelmsford when William Muir had him and the track must suit him.
"Don't ask me why that should be but it's horses for courses. He's quite a bit of speed and he likes to be able to get galloping and he must be able to do that at Chelmsford."
Sophosc bidding for hat-trick
Fast-improving two-year-old Sophosc bids to defy the handicapper once again and complete a hat-trick in the mile nursery at Lingfield (3.25).
Two second places and two wins mean he's gone up 20lb in the BHA ratings since his handicap debut but Joe Tuite hopes there could be better still to come.
"He hasn't done much wrong since he's gone handicapping," the trainer said on Wednesday. "Being gelded and stepping up in trip has certainly helped him and we go there hopeful.
"He's up another 6lb and it gets harder but I'd say there's a little bit more to come – I haven't got a bundle up my sleeve and I don't know whether that will be good enough."
The Chelmsford and Bath winner runs at Lingfield for the first time but Tuite said: "I'm not worried about that, he's pretty straightforward and he's run well wherever he's gone.
"Charlie Bishop has managed to get a tune out of him – he'll let him pop out and roll where he's happy, the horse is in very good form and we'll give it our best shot."
Belt seeking quick compensation
The Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old Kuiper Belt, who was out of luck at the Listowel festival last month and again at IHRB headquarters yesterday, faces five rivals in the 2m4f novice handicap hurdle (3.10) at Clonmel.
First past the post on all five starts (Flat and jumps) since joining Elliott, Kuiper Belt was relegated to second place at Listowel after beating Gold Seal by a short head in the Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Memorial Hurdle.
And yesterday his owner Melissa Margolis had her appeal against that decision dismissed by the IHRB’s appeals body.
A dual winner on the Flat and also over hurdles, Kuiper Belt will have Davy Russell on board for the first time.
“Kuiper Belt came out of Listowel well,” said Elliott. “We thought he was unlucky there and he seems in good form.”
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