Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Lingfield victory for Ben

Happy scenes in the Winners Enclosure

Good things come to those who wait & Top Ville Ben’s Owners have been very patient while their fantastic horse recovered from a hairline fracture in 2020 & necessitating almost 12 months off the track.

Its always hard for a highly rated 9 year old coming off that sort of break, but Ben had shown in the Becher ( before his fall) & 3rd in the Wetherby Boxing Day feature this time that he was no back number. With a few runs under his belt he loved the small field & heavy ground on offer here & his Owners loved the look of the excellent prize money on offer – hence a speculative entry from Phil when it looked as though the Doncaster ground might be too quick next week.

It was really hard on Tommy Dowson to miss the ride following the ban handed out at Chepstow off Skycutter, but Alain Cawley was a most able deputy & rode a beautifully judged ride from the front. Behind every good horse is the pair of hands who steer him at home every day, & our Conditional jockey, Joe Williamson has been settling him beautifully since he took over in 2020.

Hopefully we’ll see both Tommy & Joe win on him in the future – Ben has been lightly raced and still has so much to give. The National is his main target this season providing the ground is soft – not often seen nowadays – and next stop is likely to be a valuable Chase at Doncaster at the end of February.

Our second runner of the day at Lingfield was last seasons five time winner, Bushypark. After a winning chasing debut at Kelso, Bushy was third at Haydock, and wisely pulled up here by Stuart Coltherd when his chance had gone. Not the biggest of horses, although a solid jumper, Bushy made one or two small errors at costly times in the race, and it remains to be seen if he can show progress over jumps or wether he better as is a fine staying hurdler, he certainly proved that last season.

Top Ville Ben in the field today, photo by Marcus Andrews
Another legend at Turnout today, Lady Buttons

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