Trainer Tom George and jockey Paddy Brennan took two races of the card at Newcastle Racecourse on Wednesday, making the trainers trip from Slad, Gloucestershire very successful.
Their first win of the day came when Stellar Notion made all the running for jockey Brennan and trainer George to score his first win over hurdles. The six-year-old had made a promising start to racing when winning a Bangor bumper in December.
In ground described by Brennan as “fresh and wet” it was his mount that took the lead early on. With two furlongs to go Stellar Notion and Another Mattie drew clear for the pack to contest the home straight. Peter Buchanan was driving hard on Another Mattie and had seemed to have taken the lead only for Stellar Notion to find more in the tank to win comfortably.
Brennan said: “He’s lovely, I didn’t want to make the running. An athletic type and he would make a lovely chaser.”
“He’s a lovely prospect and ticks all the right boxes. I’ll speak to the owner and we’ll make a plan then. He’ll have to step up in class eventually,” added George.
The duo followed up their success by winning the fourth race with Big Society. The 8-year-old was taken wide by Brennan in the back straight and although he was not fluent over a number of the hurdles he continued to gallop to put distance between his closest challenger Rock Relief by eight lengths.
Winning jockey Brennan said: “He loves this type of ground, nearly had me out of the saddle but he stays forever. Hopefully next time he’ll jump better.”
George added: “Last time he showed that he’s confidence was nearly back. He might come on again over hurdles.”
Decent Lord duly obligied on his fifth start over fences for winning trainer Jennie Candlish and jockey Sean Quinlan in the second race on the card.
Taking the lead from Mumgo’s Debut in the final fence of the back straight and although he took a couple of chances with the fences, the 10-year-old still found plenty to win by 12 lengths.
Candlish was delighted with her winner as the yard have had the gelding since he was three: “[It’s] a massive relief, at Catterick he was just looking around at everything. The visor is the big difference and stops him from looking round.”
Jockey Sean Quinlan added: “He’s won it well, the visor helped as last time out he hit a flat spot.”
Callum Bewley notched his 13th winner of the season when contesting a tight finish on his mount Blake Dean and Scimon Templar. Turning for home it was Rosquero who was in the lead and Bewley’s mount was shaken up to close in on the leader. Although he was not fluent over the third last he took the lead and it was on the run in to the post that Scimon Templar who had been staying on from third place challenge Sue Smith’s 6-year-old. However, Blake Dean dug deep to put his head out in front to win by a nose.
Winning jockey Callum Bewley said: “He stuck his head out all the way round and took a tight hold.
“He’s done nicely today and he makes you work for it as he’s constantly needing to be shaken up. I’m very happy to win and it’s great to work for Sue, Harvey and with jockey Ryan Mania.”
With two non runners in the fifth race, four horses contested the Carraway Finance Handicap Steeple Chase and it was a case of blunders galore in the home straight. Fentara under the hands of Peter Buchanan who was leading blundered the second last allowing Tutchec under the hands of Brian Harding.
The drama didn’t stop there when Tutchec himself blundered the last and lost all momentum. However, he found plenty to stay on from the mare Fentara to win by five lengths.
Winning jockey Harding said: “He needs a lot of help and it took a lot to get him to jump properly. I thought going to the last we had it and I was then waiting for something to come back up against me. He’s done really well.”
“A big horse who we’ve been strengthening up. I think he wants a bigger, slower track and better ground,” trainer Nicky Richards added:
Wolf Shield got back to winning ways for trainer George Moore who had been disappointing in four starts since returning from a break. Having won twice hurdles last spring including once at this course. But it was the seven-year-old ridden by Barry Keniry who took the lead after the Lucinda Russell trained Simarthur’s challenged petered out.
Romany Ryme had been placed in efforts at Hexham who headed the leader only for Wolf Shield to battle back to win by one and a quarter lengths.
Winning trainer George Moore said: “I don’t think that a lot of people could have backed him with a lot of confidence. His run at Doncaster wasn’t a bad run and he finished fifth that day.
“He’s brave and battles when he’s right. Been given a chance by the handicapper and he’s done really well.”
The final race of the day was a Mares’ Maiden Open national hunt flat race that was won by the Lucinda Russell trained Just For Pleasure who produced a late charge under seven pound claimer Grant Cockburn.
Held up at the back of the field, the filly, who ran a little green two furlongs from home, stayed on to beat the challenge of Nearly May.