Todhunter's treble boost

Martin Todhunter is on the way to a seasonal best after recording his first treble at Newcastle.

Martin Todhunter is on the way to a seasonal best after recording his first treble at Newcastle.

The Penrith trainer set himself a target of 25, five more than his top tally, and he moved on to the 16-winner mark after his first-ever treble at odds of 503-1 through Geri Roulette, Ghadames and All Sonsilver.

“At least it shows the horses are in good form and running well. I have had a few doubles before so it is nice to get three winners in a day,” said Todhunter.

He was mystified by Geri Roulette’s disappointing effort last time out at Sedgefield, but she made amends and rode her luck under Jim Crowley in the BBC Radio Newcastle Mares’ Only Maiden Hurdle, taking advantage of Double Deal’s mistake at the last to score by seven lengths

On greeting the 20-1 chance, he said: “I could not believe what happened at Sedgefield where she was pulled up, she had run an encouraging race first time out so we had fancied her – she has taken a bit of time to get her jumping together, but she seems to have now.”

Ghadames is enjoying his second spell with Todhunter, and having won the Culture 10 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle under a confident ride from Fergus King, his trainer had a bonus when he retained him without a bid.

He went on: “Sir Robert (Odgen) sold him for a lot of money after he had won four out of six for me and he was with Mark Brisbourne for about a year before I bought him back cheaply – for 3,500gns in August.

“I knew the horse so I took a chance with him and he is a first winner for the syndicate which owns him.”

Todhunter trains All Sonsilver for Sir Robert, and the bay gave weight all round to make it third time lucky this season under Tony Dobbin who had earlier initiated a double on Bob The Piler.

He added: “He jumps well and I think he will make a nice staying chaser on day.”

Nicky Richards’s confidence behind the chance on Bob The Piler in the Doug Moscrop, Racing Journalist of the Year Handicap Hurdle proved well founded with the eight-year-old running out a convincing winner.

Moscrop, racing correspondent of the Newcastle Journal napped the winner, and Richards said: “I am pleased we have won Dougie’s race, he was a good friend of my father Gordon and is a good friend of mine.

“I wanted to run Bob The Piler in the Pierse Hurdle at Leopardstown, but he bruised a foot before Christmas and I was unable to give him a run before for experience.

“I think there might be a nice race in him and I may take him to Ascot for £40,000 (€58,000) two and a half mile handicap hurdle sponsored by William Hill at the end of the month.”

Pauline Robson has enjoyed a great deal of success both as an amateur rider and a point-to-point trainer, and she made it two winners from only four runners since taking out a full jumping licence when On The Luce won the James Fletcher Marquee And Pavilion Hire Handicap Chase in the hands of Richard McGrath.

Miss Robson, whose partner David Parker trains the pointers now in a separate yard, said: “I have four in training now and I can’t believe we have had two winners so soon.

“On The Luce goes on any ground and fingers crossed we will find another little race for him.”

Richard Fahey expected Pendle Forest to run well on her debut in the bumper and run well she did, opening her account in pleasing fashion in the hands of conditional Padge Whelan.

Pendle Forest is the first foal of Pride Of Pendle, winner of 18 races on the Flat, and Fahey said: “It is amazing, the mother was a miler, but all this one does is stay. She was bred by her owner Linda Miller and it is a pity she is not here, she is in Dubai but I persuaded her to let me run the mare.”

Alistair Whillans ended a quiet spell with a winner at Wetherby on Saturday, and he quickly added to his score with the well-backed Eastern Tribute taking the Saltwell Signs Beginners’ Chase in the hands of Graham Lee.

Whillans said: “The horses had not been coughing and nothing was showing up as wrong with them, but it is nice to be back among the winners.”

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