Track Talk With Executive Director Phil Bell - 10th Sept


10 September 2021

Uttoxeter Racecourse will remain in the memory of jockey Ellis Collier for the rest of his life after the young rider scored aboard the Christian Williams trained Uno Mas at the course last week.  

Ellis has been based at Williams’ Ogmore-by-Sea yard just under two years and his win at the Staffordshire track came on his first ride as the stable’s conditional jockey. Seven-year-old Uno Mas, who returned at the generous odds of 25-1, has now won eight times and has been a real stable star.  

The gelding was completing a Uttoxeter double for Christian who also scored with the eight-year-old Goldencard who made all the running to win easily under Jack Tudor. Goldencard ran again at Fontwell on Sunday and was backed down to 4/7 favourite.  He led at every stage of the 2m 5f chase except the final stride, which proved one too many. 

Pyledriver, “the horse of a lifetime” for his Cardiff-based part-owners Huw and Guy Leach, has been frustrating for connections lately through no fault of his own. 

Last year’s Great Voltigeur first and St Leger third has only run twice this season, on the latest occasion winning the Coronation Cup in early June.  A pulled muscle ruled him out of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The following month some residual tenderness prompted trainer William Muir to pull him out of the Juddmonte International rather than risk exacerbating the injury.  He is now optimistic it has been cured, reporting, “He’s moving brilliantly and he’s 100 per cent sound.”  Pyledriver’s work will be stepped up gradually and the likelihood is his next run will be abroad – possibly in a valuable race in Hong Kong – followed by a campaign for 2022. 

Though high-profile owners Paul and Clare Rooney cut back their string in the last few years, they still send a few horses to Monmouthshire trainer David Evans.  In 2019 he trained their two-year-old filly Good Vibes to win three races, concluding with a Group 3 at Newmarket.  The Rooneys paid £35,000 for her, but on the basis of those performances were able to sell her for 390,000 guineas.  

This year they have a colt called Wind Your Neck In with Evans.  Coincidentally, he also cost them £35,000.  Pitched into a decent novices’ stakes at Salisbury for his debut last Thursday, he was friendless in the market at 33/1 despite being ridden by Hollie Doyle.  Held up till past halfway, he made good late progress without ever looking likely to get near the leader and finished third without being given a hard race.  He looks a winner waiting to happen, though the analysis in the Racing Post (using the word “eyecatcher”) means he is already in a few notebooks. 

David Probert reached winner number 122 for the season when steering Recovery Run to a four-length victory at Ascot on Friday.  He will be in action at the St Leger meeting beginning at Doncaster on Wednesday.  The Irish and French Derby winner Hurricane Lane is odds on for the final classic of the season.   

The final flat fixture of 2021 took place at Chepstow on Thursday 9th September. It was a superb day for jockey Rossa Ryan who rode four winners. We are now preparing for the Unibet Jump Season Opener on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th October. All the ticket and hospitality information is available on our website. 

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