Martin Pipe’s former stable jockey found himself in hot water with the British Horseracing Authority last week over comments he made about the Ludlow stewards, who dished out a 21-day ban to 16-year-old amateur Jake Launchbury when he nearly took the wrong course on Bally Sands. With Bridgwater keen to put that episode behind him, the Gloucestershire handler is well on the way to recording his highest ever total of winners this season.
Bravo Riquet (10-11 favourite) is now two from two for the yard after he defied a welter burden of 12st 5lb with a one-length defeat of Bobbits Way.
“I don’t like asking them to carry that much weight, usually, but he’s done it well in the end,” said Bridgwater. “He jumped better and he stays forever. I knew when the extra rain fell that it would suit him.”
Bally Sands was in action 35 minutes later but he was the first horse under pressure in the EPDS Racing Welfare BTO Series 2015 Handicap Chase and was last to complete.
Daniel Steele’s According To Them (9-1) emerged a 44-length winner under Freddie Mitchell, who was improving his healthy strike-rate at the course.
“Daniel said there were plenty of frontrunners and to ride him to get home, and that is exactly how it panned out,” said Mitchell.
“The race fell apart to be fair but I couldn’t have gone any quicker on the first circuit.
“He stays forever. That’s five winners I’ve had here now, all for Daniel.”
Like Sully (10-1) stayed on dourly to win the Jury Daily At timeform.com Novices’ Hurdle for Richard Rowe and Grand National-winning rider Leighton Aspell. Ryeolliean held an advantage in the straight but the testing ground took its toll and he blundered through the last.
“It was a good performance as he’s a chaser in the making and that is proper jumping ground, the ex-Flat horses won’t have enjoyed it,” Rowe said.
“His last run was very good but the early pace just caught him out and made him jump poorly. He finished it off well, though.
“I was half-thinking to give him a break after this, but he seems in good form and I like to run them when they’re running well.”
Andrew Thornton’s quest to ride 1,000 career winners moved a step nearer when Polly Gundry’s Dawson City (5-2 favourite) stuck on dourly to catch Absolutely Bygones in the David Cleary’s “Last Word” At timeform.com Handicap Hurdle
Caroline Keevil hopes Regal Flow can go on to better things after a winning debut over fences in the plumptonracecourse.co.uk Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.