Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Saturday’s News – Wetherby & Newcastle

Its one of our biggest days of the year – Wetherby’s Premier meeting and runners in 2 of the feature races – Lady Buttons & Nautical Nitwit. Wemyss Point, Zig Zag & Pullman Brown make up the supporting cast and we’re ready for some top class jumping action! 

It appears on the formbook that Buttons has local mare, ‘Irish Roe’ to beat, although there are others not without chances in this Listed event. Crowned the TBA Leading Chase Mare of 2017, Buttons  posted consistently high marks throughout all last season and although the form book may say her best races are on soft ground, she actually bounces off a quicker surface and loved it at Aintree on the good ground there. She is quick over her hurdles and we are nervously excited about the race this afternoon. Adam tells me  she feels ‘brilliant ‘ and the schooling session went 100% to plan on Thursday. Best of luck to Keith & Jayne with their wonderful mare. Owners of her half brother ‘Robin Des Chapp’ will be eagerly watching too!  Here are both her half brothers in the paddock yesterday – 2 year old  Stanley by Presenting is watching over his giant sibling, Robin. How do they know they are related? They are in a field of other horses but stick together like glue.

Nautical Nitwit takes his biggest step up yet when our grand little warrior walks in to the paddock this afternoon for the Bet 365 Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle. It’ll be the first time he’s ran in a ‘weight for age’ since his novice days, and at the age of 9 he is running off a career high of 143. Phil purchased him cheaply at Ascot in 2015 and who would have thought that 3 years later he would be mixing it with stayers Hurdle horses.  15.1hh if he’s lucky, Nitwit possesses neither size or looks, but he’s athletic and has got one of the biggest hearts of a horse we’ve  trained – our Team and his Owners will be justly proud of him today as he sets off on his lofty mission. Tommy Dowson gets the leg up, he was 2nd here on him last time out, just pipped on the line.

Pullman Brown kicks off proceedings for us in the 2mile Novice Hurdle, and he’s a big price on his second start over obstacles. He’ll travel within himself as he has a high cruising speed but it’s very likely he’ll need Novice handicaps before he’s going to be properly competitive. He’s had his problems so a safe trip round and learning more about the jumping game is his first mission, if he can get involved it’s a bonus.

Henry with Pullman Brown

In the handicap hurdle to round off the card we are double handed with Wemyss Point and Zig Zag, the latter being fit from the flat but Wemyss having winning course form. His summer form can have a line put straight through it, he’s a winter horse and will remain so in future. We’d find it hard to split the pair of them and there’ll be some competitive rivalry between Tommy & Adam as they take both the rides. Wemyss has a good number of his Owners attending this afternoon – and Zig Zag will also be well supported, Gary & Kate have been long standing Owners for us and we wish them lots of luck on this exciting afternoon of Grade 1 Jumps action.

Zig Zag with Tommy

Weymss in the parade ring at Wetherby

Once the Wetherby action is complete we turn our eyes to the flat at Newcastle under the lights. What a contrast! We have course winner ‘Man of Verve’ returning after a break in the 6 o’clock race and he is capable on his day, springing a 80-1 suprise here back in the Spring. He’s had a nice break and this is a good place to make a start, a fair galloping track and he likes the surface. Good luck to his small group of Owners, one of whom is legendary trainer Jeremy Glover – famous for his several Cambridgeshire Handicap wins amongst a highly successful career – and Jerry also was a top NH jockey who was placed in the Grand National. It’s an honour to be training horses for such an experienced horseman.

Man of Verve looking stunning  in the pen last week having a play

We round off with commenting on the excellent run from Northern Girl for 2nd yesterday at Wetherby, a highly promising  start to the NH campaign for her Owners The Topspec P’ship & Ownaracehorse. We also had Jaycol’s Star in the race who was going well but hampered by a faller, he was not disgraced finishing mid field and there is more to come from this juvenile. 

Northern Girl leading the field yesterday

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