David Turner had the pick-me-up of a 33-1 winner as The Wiley Kalmuck gave his family their first winner of the season at Cottenham on Saturday.
Turner, from Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, is, though long retired, the winningmost rider in the history of the sport with over 340 victories. But he is currently fighting a brave battle against cancer and the £5 bet he struck on The Wiley Kalmuck will have proved a bigger tonic than any medicine.
Owned and trained by Turner’s father, Joe, and ridden by Jenny Gordon, The Wiley Kalmuck took advantage of the demise of the long odds-on favourite, Supreme Citizen, at the third last to beat Tom Cobbler by a hard-fought length in the Ladies’ Open Race.
Connections could not explain why The Wiley Kalmuck had suddenly hit form after a string of disappointments but pointed out that he was one of the best four-year-olds in Ireland way back in 1998.
The Turners went on to complete a double when Westfield John stayed on dourly to get the better of Play Alone in the second of three Cottenham Maiden Races.
The only other East Anglian winner on Saturday was The Red Boy, who was barely out of second gear in beating Filou du Bois in the opening Members’ Race. Trained at Bishop’s Stortford by Christopher Sporborg and ridden by Andrew Braithwaite, The Red Boy should go on to better things now that he has shrugged off a leg injury.
A competitive Men’s Open Race went the way of the Shropshire raider, Vain Minstrel, while Helmsley Flier proved himself a much improved performer with a dominant display of front-running under Wymondham’s Nigel Bloom in the Restricted Race.
Trained in Northamptonshire by owner Jenny Garley, Helmsley Flier would have registered the fastest time of the day had Bloom not eased right down in the closing stages in the knowledge that his mount was a distance clear of his nearest pursuer.
Similar trail-blazing tactics were successfully employed by Philip Hall aboard Little Farmer in much the faster of the two older horse Maidens. Runner-up Bush Hill Bandit did really well to get within three lengths of the winner and should not be long in getting off the mark.
The action drew to a close with a two and a half mile Maiden whic saw French import Freteval, trained near Banbury by Kim Gilmore, prove ten lengths too strong for Coole Glen.
Race One (Members’ Race):
1 C Sporborg’s The Red Boy (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite),
2 Ms A Embiricos’ Filou Du Bois (CUDH) (owner),
3 N Fyle’s Borrow Mine (CUDH) (Miss A Stennett).
Also: Storm Forecast (4), Granny Dick (5), Ceewardie (6), Mezzo Princess (7), Mackoy (8), Cedric Tudor (pu), The Burglar (ur). Four lengths, 10 lengths. 6m 30s. W £1.90. DF £3.90. SP 4-5 fav.
Race Two (Intermediate Race):
1 M Barthorpe’s Silver Spider (Southwold) (S Morris),
2 Mrs S Busby’s Corrie Mor (Farmers Bloodhounds) (P Cowley),
3 A W K Merriam’s Always On The Line (Dunston Harriers) (Alexander Merriam).
Also: Bedtime Boys (f), Rafter (ur), Sam’s Profiles (pu), Society Lad (pu), The Stag (pu). Three lengths, 15 lengths. 6m 21s. W £3.40. DF £6.80. SP 5-1 (Corrie Mor 7-4 fav).
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 M Parr’s Vain Minstrel (North Shropshire) (W Hill),
2 G Disney’s Master Pilgrim (North Cotswold) (owner),
3 Mrs L Bolton and R Fuller’s Brother Of Iris (East Essex) (A Ayers).
Also: Gallant Glen (4), Croft Court (5), Dancing Laird (pu), Ivory Coaster (ur), Whatchowillie (pu). Four lengths, four lengths. 6m 25s. W £3.30. DF £8.10. SP 4-1 (Dancing Laird 7-2 fav).
Race Four (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 J M Turner’s The Wiley Kalmuck (Suffolk) (Mrs J Gordon),
2 C Hall, A Cooper and Mrs Wilkins’ Tom Cobbler (Southdown and Eridge) (Mrs P Hall),
3 Miss P Theobald and J Philp’s Triple Eaves (Easton Harriers) (Miss P Theobald).
Also: Hay Dance (4), Forest Run Forest (pu), Supreme Citizen (ur). One length, 15 lengths. 6m 23s. W £14.80. DF £16.10 (winner with any other horse) SP 33-1 (Supreme Citizen 2-5 fav).
Race Five (Restricted Race):
1 Miss J Garley’s Helmsley Flier (Pytchley) (N Bloom),
2 Messrs Marks, Boddington and Dean’s Carlton Brae (East Sussex and Romney Marsh) (P Hall),
3 N Benstead’s Tritium (Southdown and Eridge) (owner).
Also: Sapega (4), Ballycotton (5), Parsonhumfrywebber (6), Glad All Over (7), Aughmor River (ur), Gerej (pu), Heir Of Gold (pu), American Paddy (ur), Lord Drakkar (pu), The Vintage Dancer (f). A distance, two lengths. 6m 21s. W £3. DF £5.10. SP 3-1 (Aughmor River 5-2 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race – Division One):
1 C Hall and A Cooper’s Little Farmer (Southdown and Eridge) (P Hall),
2 Ms A-M Hays’ Bush Hill Bandit (Thurlow) (R H Fowler),
3 The Crofters Club’s Kustom Kit Grizzly (Bicester with Whaddon Chase) (R J Barrett).
Also: Brea Hill (4), Altar Society (Ref), Cardinal Bud (f), Cawkwell Princess (pu), Ginger Bug (pu), Professor Tag (pu), Second Thoughts (pu), Threes Company (pu). Two lengths, 10 lengths. 6m 23s. W £6. DF £70.30. SP 4-1 (Kustom Kit Grizzly evens fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race – Division Two):
1 J M Turner’s Westfield John (Suffolk) (J Owen),
2 S Wood and D Wales’ Play Alone (West Norfolk) (N Bloom),
3 Mr and Mrs Cooke etc’s Young Tribune (Cottesmore) (R J Barrett).
Also: Age Of The Moon (f), Alston House (pu), Carpenter’s Mate (pu), Full Of Vodka (pu), Grey Fusilier (ur), Paleface Perhaps (pu), Swiss Farm (pu), Unforeseen (pu). Twenty lengths, five lengths. 6m 40s. W £14.60. DF £3.90 (winner with any other horse). SP 5-1 (Alston House 11-4 fav).
Race Eight (5, 6 and 7yo Maiden Race – 2½ miles):
1 S Wilshire’s Freteval (Grafton) (P Cowley),
2 Mrs J Wilson’s Coule Glen (Pytchley) (S Morris),
3 J M Turner’s Fine And Dandy (Suffolk) (J Owen).
Also: Koumba (4), Teeton Fizz (5), Jims Belief (6), Macrobert’s Reply (7), Killough Hill (8), Bede (ur), Jones Shadow (pu), The Glen Road (ro). 10 lengths, 10 lengths. 4m 56s. W £12.60. DF £6.90. SP 2-1 fav.