Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Friday at Aintree & Sedgefield & video

Top Ville Ben today in the 2.50… seen here spread eagling his field at Wetherby on Boxing Day

We’re back to Aintree for a drier day after getting absolutely soaked yesterday with Lady Buttons & Dares to Dream. Buttons ran a blinder for Tommy in the Red Rum handicap Chase, she jumped beautifully and he had her perfectly positioned throughout – it was just too big a task to beat the younger unexposed rival giving him ten pounds on that ground. We were all immensely proud of her though, and this was a wonderful way to finish her 2018/19 National Hunt Campaign. We have receivd so many heartfelt messages, ‘good lucks’ and congratulations on email and Facebook – she has a huge following and certainly didn’t let her fan club down yesterday. Some photos from our day and the video of her 2nd place.

Tommy with Phil’s Dad, Geoff

Dares to Dream would probably have preferred better ground in the bumper, she ran a bit keenly and justs didn’t pick up on the rain softened ground but she remains a lovely prospect for Mares hurdling next season for her Owners.

Jodie leading Dares to Dream back in

Sean covered in mud after the last, think the colours might need a hot wash!

The excitement wasn’t finished after racing. Following the bitter disappointment of ‘Blaklion’ suffering a setback last week, Owners Darren & Annaley Yates were reluctant to let their first National runner dream slip away. Phil had a good look at both Outlander & Don Poli who were both offered for sale  with the National entry and both Phil & Darren preferred the year younger and strong stayer, former RSA winner, Don Poli.

The lovely head of Don Poli

Don Poli joins us

The rain continued to pour but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm to have a National runner and fair play to the ultra game & sporting Darren to go to £170,000 to secure multiple Grade 1 winner, Don Poli.

Signing the Goffs docket

The post sale interview

It’s a hugely exciting day for all the team tomorrow, and he becomes part of our Saturday duo that is completed by Nautical Nitwit in the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle.

Phil was up and out riding his new National horse this morning on the track and his words were ‘lovely horse’ , later going on to say he liked him that much he might make a comeback on him in next years Foxhunters!  Watch this space but I think he’s more likely to  be running in next years Eider Chase and hopefully the National again rather than Phil having to make a crash 3 stone diet.

On TV riding Don Poli this morning

We are pleased to say that ‘Blaklion’ is on the mend and with luck he’ll be back next year to run in Darren’s distinctive black initialled colours.

Blaklion with Meg this morning

And on to today…. it’s not just Aintree we also have the Mares,  Savannah Moon & Jupiter’s Way at Sedgefield with Tommy riding them both. Savannah is having her first start for us since leaving Gordon Elliott’s. She qualifies for novice handicaps after this, and can be quite a keen goer. Tommy will be hoping to get her settled so she can run her race, there isn’t much strength in depth in this Mares Novices Hurdle, best of luck to Hambleton Racing. Jupiter’s Way is also having her first start for the yard, she is by a stallion we like in Josr Algargoud, and she is ideal for 3 mile mares handicaps once she gets a mark. She is ridden everyday by Victor who owns and bred her, and he’ll be driving them to Sedgefield  and leading up Jupiter’s this afternoon.

And now onto our big hope of the day…TOP VILLE BEN  in the 2.50 at Aintree, the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices Chase.

Ben last time out pictured here with his work rider, Jennie Durans

7 year old Ben put his RSA Cheltenham capsize well behind him with an emphatic win at Wetherby 17 days ago, but obviously he faces a far sterner test today trying to find 16 pounds improvement to mix it with the likes of Topofthegame and the 157 rated ‘Lostintranslation’ . Sean had him in a great rhythm out in front last time and we are just hoping he can do the same thing this afternoon, he will obviously love the ground and the flat left handed track is ideal. We think he’s a big price at 20-1 and he now faces just 5 rivals with Drovers Lane a late non runner. If all continues to go to plan he could make up into a Grand National Horse with more experience under his belt. Very best of luck to his Owners, The Harbour Rose Partnership and safe return for our three runners today 🍀🐎

Top Ville Ben relaxing

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