Lalor took Aintree by storm last Friday, winning the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle for Kayley Woollacott and David Staddon. He was re-united with Champion jockey Richard Johnson on this occasion, a partnership that was successfull at the same venue this time last year. We all remember Richard Woollacott very fondly and he must take the credit for buying the horse from me with David. I bought him at The Derby Sale in June 2015 from Tom & Katie Rudd’s Busherstown Stud and had him for 12 months before passing him to the Nethercott Manor team now led by Kayley Woollacott who nurtured him into the performer he is now.
A day earlier Finian’s Oscar showed his class when getting his head back in front over fences in the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase for Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power in the colours of the late Alan & Ann Potts. This was his 3rd win over fences this season and was was unlucky not to get a clear run at the last fence in the Punchestown Grade 1 when carried out just as he was about to challenge on the run to the last fence. Sadly this was Finian’s last race as he succumbed to a bout of colic on his summer holidays. He was bought in November of his 4yo career and went on to win a Grade 1 race in 77 days. A record which will probably stand for a very long time. He will not be forgotten.
Spare a thought for Gordon Elliott’s Bless The Wings, bought for £16k at Doncaster Spring Sale, placed at two Cheltenham Festivals, 2nd in two Irish Nationals and now 3rd in a Grand National. An absolute legend at 13 years old. If there ever was an unsung hero, he is the one.