HORSE RACING: Not everyone is in Unison as outsider lands the Michaelmas Handicap Hurdle spoils at Huntingdon Racecourse
PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 November 2017
The big race came complete with a big shock at Huntingdon Racecourse last Tuesday.
Rank outsider Unison sprang a 33/1 surprise for jockey Matt Griffiths in the Michaelmas Handicap Hurdle.
The Jeremy Scott-trained seven year-old eased clear to take the £15,640 prize by four-and-a-half lengths. Odds-on favourite Call Me Lord (for trainer Nicky Henderson) could only manage third on a day when the market leader was beaten in all six races.
Another big-priced winner provided success for a couple of veterans in the Cheltenham Betting At 188Bet Handicap Hurdle.
The 13 year-old Occasionally Yours triumphed in the two mile, four-and-a-half furlong race at 22/1 for Alan Blackmore, a man still training well into his 80s. Miss Tabitha Worsley did the steering.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls was successful as Cyrname (15/8) landed the Nyman Libson Paul Chase – a novices’ contest over two miles, half a furlong – under Sean Bowen.
That completed a double for the jockey who earlier guided 15/2 shot Silent Man to a smooth success in the Twitter At 188Bet Novices’ Handicap Chase – over two miles, seven-and-a-half furlongs - for trainer Tom Weston.
Harry Skelton, who is chasing the champion jockey crown, took victory in the closing 188Bet ‘Junior’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race aboard Mabela for his brother, Dan, at odds of 6/1.
That victory meant the day ended rather better than it began for the Skeltons who saw 8/11 favourite Cause Toujours beaten by 15/8 chance Theclockisticking (Ciaran Gethings riding for Stuart Edmunds) in the opening Read Noel Fehily At 188Bet Novices’ Hurdle.
The next Huntingdon fixture is this Saturday when the track plays host to its annual Winter Ladies’ Day.
The Woodhurst Construction Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle – a £10,000 contest held over a shade under two miles – is the highlight of a seven-race card.
“We’re now into our busiest time of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse,” said general manager Liam Johnson.
“The Winter Ladies’ Day has very much become a fixture in the sporting calendar now as we build up to December and our big Betfred Peterborough Chase Day and Boxing Day meetings.”
In addition to the action on the track this Saturday, there is a fashion marquee, a gin and prosecco festival and live jazz music.
Tickets are £18 in advance for adults, rising to £22 on the day. Gates open at 10am with the first race off at noon.