David Pipe’s Swing Bowler was the star turn on a competitive N’erday card at Musselburgh as the progressive Galileo daughter of Lady Cricket romped away with the £30,000 totequadpot At totepool.com Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle by four and a half lengths.
Now unbeaten in all five starts, the David Johnson-owned mare was well-handled by Conor O’Farrell recording his first course success on just his fourth ride at the track.
“I was impressed with her when she won on her debut in a bumper at Wincanton and she is certainly going the right way,” O’Farrell said. “As she gets older she will mature and get stronger and she should make a top handicapper. She should stay further as she galloped all the way to the line for me today.“
Pipe completed a double when Home Run also extended his winning sequence to five under top-weight for Francis Hayes in the concluding Follow totepool On Facebook And Twitter Handicap Hurdle.
Philip Kirby now holds the licence at the Middleham yard formerly occupied solely by Kate Walton and the new partnership struck for the first time with course specialist Everaard in the Bet toteexacta At totepool.com Happy New Year Handicap Chase. Walton’s son-in-law Richie McGrath drove the game gelding to his fifth Musselburgh win, by a length and a half from Foot The Bill.
Mrs Walton said: “Philip had outgrown his old yard and I hadn’t that many horses so we have merged but I am still very much involved. Everaard is so game and loves this place – we love him too and he has never won anywhere else. He just tries so hard and never knows when he is beaten.“
The 144th New Year Sprint, first run in 1870 and staged at Musselburgh since 1999, was won by 16-year-old Ben Robbins who pipped several others including trailblazing Gemma Nichol.
“It’s great to win this and I didn’t think I was going to catch her,” said the breathless teenager who is at George Watson’s College in his native Edinburgh and is a member of Scotland’s under 18 rugby squad.