From the horses mouth


  • Newcastle 28-1 accumulator

Epatante, tipped by, under Aidan Coleman, and Not So Sleepy dead-heated the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Epatante (11-8), who was part of a 28-1 accumulator, was cruising three out, switched right, and went on, on the snow-softened ground.

Not So Sleepy led, blundering two out, going on to rally as the duelling duo went past the Winning Post together, with the judge announcing the first dead-heat in the history of the race, first run in 1969.

“It was very sceptical, I was being a bit negative as I was there a bit soon but all credit to the two of them,” said Coleman.

“It was a great race. It’s hard when you’re in the race, but it’s one of those when you’ll look back at the battle they had from the back of the last and you’ll say it was the fairest result.

“You always want to win, especially Grade 1s, you don’t want to be sharing them – at the same time it’s a good result,” said Coleman.

“Considering she wasn’t very comfortable the whole way, she jumped brilliantly.

“I think the back operation has really worked. She showed a lot of tenacity from turning into the straight, when it was really getting a bit tough.

“The ground with snow on was quite gluey and hard work and she was really struggling, that’s why I was forced into committing a bit sooner than I wanted,” said Coleman.

Not So Sleepy jockey Jonathan Burke said: “I really didn’t know, I was hoping more than anything. We’ll take the dead-heat.

“As the day progressed the ground worsened and that helped my horse’s chances. We went back to riding him aggressively and he likes being in the thick of it.

“When the others came either side of him he really stuck his head out for me.”

Not So Sleepy trainer Hughie Morrison said: “He’s been great for my career. I won a big hurdle at Ascot on him in December 2019 – he deserved that.

“It’s great to win. Sharing it is different but it’s a great result. I’d imagine he’ll run in all the top two-mile races after that. He didn’t disgrace himself in the Champion Hurdle last year.”

Daryl Jacob, riding Sceau Royal who finished a length and a half back in third, said: “We had every chance jumping the last, but obviously the ground’s gone against my lad. I’m very proud of him.”

Dingo Dollar (15-2) tipped each-way ran third in the Betfair Exchange Handicap Chase at Newcastle won by Aye Right.

*Newcastle four horse 28-1 accumulator included Too Friendly (5-4), Scene Not Heard (15-8), Mr Glass (5-6) and Epatante (11-8). A Yankee bet returned £110.

Ahoy Senor lands Newbury G2 – by 31 lengths!

Lucinda Russell trained Ahoy Senor (5-2) tipped by, landed the G2 Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury on Saturday, gaining a 31 lengths victory!

“The owners made such an effort and drove down from Aberdeen,” said Russell.

“They were meant to get a flight, but the weather was bad and that was cancelled so they woke up at 5am and couldn’t take the risk that they wouldn’t be here.

Aidan Coleman rode Ahoy Senor to Newbury Grade 2 win.

“It was a good effort from them, but we’re made tough in Scotland!,” added Russell.

“I hoped for that performance, but I don’t know I could have dreamed he’d win by 31 lengths.

“Coming back in and thinking we’ve a horse like this is amazing. I’ve such admiration for him.

“We have won a Grand National and that was very special, but this is a young horse just starting off and that was just his fifth race.

“He’s got no experience, but has jumped round there and it’s the ability he has. It’s phenomenal to be part of it,” said Russell.


  • ‘Trevor was up there and to have his two horses, making the running, turning for home was unbelievable’ – Venetia Williams

The exors of the late Trevor Hemmings owned Cloudy Glen, trained by Venetia Williams, raced to victory in the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, ridden by Charlie Deutsch in an emotional afternoon.

Trevor Hemmings: Wonderful owner who had such a lovely, wicked sense of humour
Trevor Hemmings: Wonderful owner who had such a lovely, wicked sense of humour

Owned by the Exors of Mr Hemmings, Cloth Cap (16-1) tipped each-way by finished sixth, with Skybet paying six places.

“Trevor was up there and to have his two horses, making the running, turning for home was unbelievable,” said Williams.

“He was a wonderful owner and had such a lovely, wicked sense of humour, but he understood horses and knew you had to be patient.

“In his business he was on it, but he was so patient with his horses and knew what it took.

“Seeing his colours upsides in front, I kind of felt at that point my job was done. Little did I know it would get better and better. I’m so thrilled.

“Trevor bred the horse by his beloved Cloudings and he’s been quirky. He wouldn’t know if it was Christmas or Easter, and was just as likely to bomb off in the wrong direction at the start,” added Williams.

“Cloudy Glen may be maturing and was always capable of pulling something out of the bag, but you wouldn’t know when,” added Williams.

Jockey Deutsch said: “It couldn’t have gone any better. His jumping was incredible.

“It’s the best win of my career by far. Mr Hemmings has been a great supporter of the yard and I’ve ridden winners for him before, while he put so much into racing and this means so much.”

Friend, Mr Hemmings, billionaire businessman, and owner of my home city Championship club Preston North End, died in October, aged 86.