HORSE RACING - Felicie Du Maquis has Grade Two in sight following impressive success at Warwick - The Leamington Observer

HORSE RACING - Felicie Du Maquis has Grade Two in sight following impressive success at Warwick

Leamington Editorial 4th Jan, 2023   0

CLIVE Boultbee-Brooks is already looking forward to next season when Felicie Du Maquis tackles fences but a Grade Two outing over hurdles beckons before that after the progressive mare maintained her unbeaten record under Rules at Warwick.

The Herefordshire trainer appears to have unearthed a smart prospect in the daughter of Saddler Maker, who followed up her last time out win at Lingfield with a commanding front running display in the Poundland EBF Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Barely putting a foot wrong in the two miles and five furlongs prize, which was claimed 12 months ago by Love Envoi, who went on to land the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival, the 4-1 chance cruised home by four and a quarter lengths.

Boultbee-Brooks, who also owns the seven year old, said: “It was lovely seeing that. She loves going from the front and this ground really suits her down to the ground as does this sort of trip.

“She had a good schooling last season in points and she came under rules with plenty of experience and knew her job last time out.

“Tommie (O’Brien, jockey) felt there was a lot left in the tank at the end of the race. She is a chaser at heart and next season is going to be interesting.”

Assessing future plans Boultbee-Brooks earmarked the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Jane Seymour Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown Park on February 16, which Love Envoi claimed on route to her Festival triumph, as the next target for Felicie Du Maquis.

He added: “We are going to breed out of her at some point so getting black type will be part of the journey.

“Tommie mentioned about going to Sandown in February with her for the Grade Two there so fingers crossed it stays wet. I think we have to keep her rolling on this sort of ground.”

Henry Daly believes Bowenspark has ‘more talent than most’ after completing an across the double for the Ludlow handler when getting up in the closing strides in the Happy New Year From Poundland Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Having sent out Blenkinsop to score at Newbury the Grade One winning handler was on hand to watch the Walk In The Palk gelding follow up his debut success at Uttoxeter 49 days ago by a neck in the concluding two mile prize.

Daly said: “It is rare for one of mine to win first time out as I don’t get them wound up for it. They do normally have more talent than most if they win first time out, therefore on the back of that you have to assume he has more talent than most.

“He has got this funny head carriage. Mick Meagher (racing manager to owners the Hemmings family) and I have had various conversations about it through when he first arrived, but Mick said don’t worry about it that is just the way he is.

“I will be loathed to go hurdling at the moment as it is not a great time to run. You would have to assume he would win and then you would run out of opportunities by the end of the season as you have only run three times.

“I would imagine the Aintree bumper would be on the agenda but we will see. It is a nice problem to have.”

Kayley Woollacott saw her emotions change in the space of about 100 yards after The Kings Writ secured his first success in more than four years when getting the better of a dramatic finish to the Poundland Conditional Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase.

Looking booked for second after the last the 11 year old gelding finished with a flourish under Ben Godfrey to reel in likely looking winner Midnight Moss and prevail by a nose to score for the first time since scoring at Exeter on December 20 in 2018.

Woollacott, celebrating her first winner in 206 days, said: “He has been booked for second a lot of times in his life and it was pretty gutting to think he was going to get another one.

“He was pretty tough up the run in, but he missed the second last and if he hadn’t of done that I think we would have been alright. His jumping had been class up to then.

“He was incredibly well-handicapped on his best form. He had a rough old season last season and he has just needed to come down in the weights. He loved the track here and this series is perfect for him.

“His owners couldn’t be here but they are incredibly supportive and are good friends and he has been good to them.”

Ben Case breathed a huge sigh of relief after Bashers Reflection survived a final flight error before opening his account at the sixth time of asking in the Poundland Novices Handicap Hurdle, which the 4-1 chance claimed by half a length.

Case said: “He just lost his back end over the last and in that ground it is hard to get going but in fairness the horse battled away when the other horse came to him.

“We thought the step up in trip (to two miles three) would help him however I was not sure if he was going to handle the ground but there was only one way to find out.

The Banbury handler also provided an update on stable star Cobblers Dream, who is set to defend his Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle crown at Kempton Park on January 14 after having his chasing career put on hold.

Case added: “I think we are going to go back for the Lanzarote Hurdle with Cobblers Dream.

“He schooled well over fences at home early in the season and he hasn’t done too badly in over them but I think we will go back over hurdles.”


Advertise with the Leamington Observer to reach your audience

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.