Chaddesley Corbett report from Andrew King
Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner found himself in winter wonderland after seeing his colours carried to an impressive success by Lift Me Up in the Restricted at Chaddesley Corbett on Sunday.
Horner was all smiles as he swapped victory podiums all round the World for the winner’s circle in Worcestershire when the 6-y-o stamped himself a potential star of the future by trouncing his rivals and eventually passing the post with 12 lengths to spare over Millbank Flyer.
Having married former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in 2015, it is no coincidence that Light Me Up is named after one of her first solo number one hits and, although not present, she was quickly on social media posting photos of the winner returning.
An over the moon Horner said: “It is great to see the horse run so well again as he also won nicely at Mollington last May and this tops off a winning year for myself and the family as the Formula 1 team were successful this year as well
“We have a couple of pointers and the other one, Quickly Now Please, ran well for a long way in the first race on the card and Maxine Filby, who looks after both of them has done a great job with the pair.”
Lift Me Up was ridden by reigning champion jockey James King and Horner added: “James has come back and said he was very optimistic about the horses’ future and that is also pleasing as he has partnered some of the best.”
Former rider Philby was saddling her first winner as a trainer and she said with a satisfied smile on her face: “Watching the horse win like that makes all the hard work at home worthwhile and it’s fantastic for Christian and Geri.”
King doubled up aboard old ally Cousin Pascal after Joe O’Shea’s 2021 Aintree Foxhunters’ winner had just enough in the locker to fend off the renewed rally of Highway One O One by a diminishing neck for the Mixed Open.
An ebullient O’Shea reported: “The horse is around 15 kilos over his normal weight so that should put him spot on and his longer term targets remain The Walrus at Haydock in February again and then a return to Aintree for the Foxhunters in April.
“Where he runs between now and Haydock will be determined by the ground as he must have some dig. He acts on good ground but I think he is a better horse in the mud.”
As is customary in the 4-y-o Maiden division these days whispers abounded for a number of the contestants with many of the big stables represented but it was Il Pino, trained and ridden by Will Biddick, who came out on top when grinding out success from Man Of My Dreams.
One bookmaker chalked up 11-4 about the French bred but that barely lasted 30 seconds before he was forced into an urgent rethink with 6-4 being the returned SP.
Biddick commented: “We knew he is a proper horse as we have given him a couple of racecourse gallops. He could be one of the nicest I have had through my hands as he showed a willing attitude.
“I expect everybody will be asking if he is for sale given what usually happens after these races, but that bit I don’t know as it will have to be discussed and thought about.”
It proved a red letter day for teenage rider Lexie New as she partnered her first winner from as many rides when Jaisalmer, trained by Sara Bradstock, made every yard of the running to take the spoils in the Novice Riders’ Conditions contest.
New,19, said: “I owe this success to to Mark and Sara Bradstock, who I work for, as before I went there I had never sat on horse so this is down to them and I cannot thank them enough.”
Bradley Gibbs has his team ticking over nicely and Dawnie Boy maintained that momentum in the Members’ Conditions race when proving too strong for Viroflay in the closing stages.
Gibbs also rode the winner and admitted: “He is very hard to get fit at home but we knew we had him as good as we could get him at home. They went a proper gallop and that helped us as well.”
The 5 Years Old And Over Maiden was well supported which resulted in the race being split. The first division went the way of Turbo Dave, ridden by Toby McCain Mitchell-Mitchell.
While the second leg was landed by Goleirihem, who stayed on well from the final fence for Izzie Marshall to deny Not Bad Are You by a length.