Violet fails to bloom for new Redknapp and Mitchell partnership
There was no fairytale start to the newly-formed link between former football manager Harry Redknapp and trainer Nick Mitchell after their first runner, Violets Girl, finished a well-beaten fifth in the concluding 1m7½f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle.
Redknapp expressed himself pleased with the mare’s run saying: "She has run alright in the ground and we are pleased enough with that. She was staying on at the end of the race which means she might want a bit further."
He added: "I love the racing game and it’s great to be on the racecourse again but my input is just this – I would not interfere with racing people as they know their job. It would be like them trying to tell me how to pick a football team and that wouldn’t work, would it?"
The race went the way of the Venetia Williams-trained Miracle Cure, who defied an absence from racecourse duty of 563 days to score in the hands of amateur Lucy Turner when stretching away from long-time leader Norphin.
Williams said: "Lucy works in the yard and her father, Peter Turner, is my head lad and he has done all the hard work with the horse at home. It is also great for the owner, Richard Cadoret, as he had to be very patient as the horse had a ligament problem."
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls rarely misses out on winners at his local course and fired in a treble courtesy of Brelan D’As in the 2m4f handicap hurdle, Sirabad, who landed the 1m7½f handicap chase and Black Valentine in the 2m5½f novice hurdle.
Sirabad's all the way victory under Sean Bowen was particularly pleasing for owners Mark and Tessa Woodhouse as their brewing family has long ties with the Somerset course through the long-term sponsorship of the Badger Ales Chase.
Woodhouse, who was also chairman at the track for several years, said: "We went to Paul's yard in the spring and ended up buying two horses – Sirabad and Present Man – and it was a good day's work as both of them have now won this season."
The Emma Lavelle yard are in much better form this time around than last year and Demographic proved to be her 17th winner of the season when finishing with intent in the 2m4f handicap hurdle to get up and beat Lets Go Duchess.
The trainer said: "I think this horse is improving at the age of seven as we could never get any consistency in his runs last year, but he seems to have benefited from a good summer break and come back a stronger horse physically."
Thought for the day
The course had attracted a very decent mid-week crowd but a monsoon-like shower lasting over eight minutes during the running of the first race severely dampened their spirits for the remainder of the afternoon.