Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Double at Wetherby

Top Ville Ben in full flight – photo by Phill Andrews

We were back to Wetherby on Thursday and once again into the winners enclosure for another fantastic days racing courtesy of DISCAY & TOP VILLE BEN. After 3 winners on Boxing Day we were hoping the racing gods were still smiling on us, and when Top Ville Ben kept jumping away in the hands of Sean Quinlan and stretching his field, win number 55 for the year looked a strong possibility. Novice Chases are always nerve wracking to watch but Ben seems to respect fences far more than he did hurdles, and he never missed a beat on either circuit, galloping away to a wide margin win.

Bernard Dolan with Topville Ben

His small partnership of Owners were there to watch him and this was another step forward for their talented 6 year old – he is settling much better and a lot of hard work is done at home with Jenni teaching him to settle, he came to us with a runaway and box walking reputation and as a result looks a good value purchase now by Phil. We love the challenge of settling a buzzy one, and while Ben still has his quirks, this Beneficial gelding has improved so much in the last 12 months.

Ben with Jenni in the paddock

Ben may come back here for the Towton Novices Chase,  he has earned the right to a step up to Listed level following this performance and with a mark of 142 before this win, we’ll have to see what the handicapper does to him next Tuesday.

We waited until the last to get our double – and despite  him being by far the higher priced  of our two in the betting, Discay overcame the odds and top weight and kept sticking his brown neck out up the straight – despite flattening the last 2 hurdles,  he recorded his second win of the NH season. Discay has ran to a mark of 120 in the past but needs this level nowadays following 2 separate stints on the sidelines with leg problems. Luckily he is back fit and firing again and his Owners have been very patient.

Discay led back in by Meg & Julie 

Discay in the Winners spot

Bertie Blake tired in the ground but is ok following his run, a drop back to a trip short of 3 miles and a sounder surface beckons. We also had 2 in the Novice Hurdle, Archiposs  and Ice Galley who although weren’t placed, ran with some promise. Victor won Best Turned Out with Bertie, he looked in great order in the paddock.

Victor with Bertie

And as you can see from the photos below , our 2 novices  looked amazing too – it’s huge testament to our sponsors Topspec who provide such excellent feed and supplements – the best in the business. You can do all the work, brushing and rugging up  in the world but you have to put in the right fuel.

Ice Galley


Tall jockeys! Nathan and Adam who both rode for us in the Novice Hurdle

And finally, although Phil decided not to run Lady Buttons and wait for Doncaster today, it was a last minute decision and we were still all in our purple and white ties and scarves. Simon and Sarah brought their son Jack to the races and he looked fantastic in his newly knitted colours.

Jack Olley with Simon

We couldn’t have picked a better night to hold our Christmas Party, and many thanks to Owners who have sent us money, food and drinks to enjoy on the night. There was a great feeling amongst our team who work so hard to achieve these brilliant results, and we all sat down to pizza and watched a video made by Meg of all the winners over the past year plus a slideshow of some great photos and video clips. We hope to get this on YouTube and post it for everyone to enjoy too.


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