Ashforth's Angles: Hoping for better luck for Pearce clan


Simon Pearce: finding rides and winners elusive

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

 By David Ashforth 6:00PM 29 JUN 2016 

THE list of trainers and jockeys I particularly want to see doing well is a long one. Some are doing well but others are riders struggling for decent rides and trainers lacking decent horses, or even indecent ones. One of the trainers on the list is Lydia Pearce who runs stable debutant Pass The Moon at Yarmouth (3.50).

If you are bald (this applies mainly to men) you will remember the golden years of races confined to lady amateur riders. Mrs L Pearce, four times champion, was one of the best.

In 1992 she excelled herself, winning 13 races at a strike rate of 33 per cent, including the prestigious Queen Mother’s Cup at York on Sea Goddess. Four years later she won the same race on Make A Stand. The following year’s Champion Hurdle winner was then rated just 62 on the Flat.

Many of Pearce’s rides were on horses trained by her husband, Jeff Pearce, and in 1998 their Newmarket yard sent out a record 43 winners. Then disaster struck.

In 2001 Jeff Pearce was given a four year prison sentence for causing the death of the stable’s travelling head girl Catherine Marr the previous year through careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Lydia took over until her husband was released in 2003. Results resumed pretty much as before until 2011 when the BHA disqualified Jeff for three years in connection with the running of a non-trier, Sabre Light, in 2008.

Lydia took the reins again but it has clearly been a struggle and last year the yard won only one race, which is a shame. Captain Navarre is Pearce’s best horse. He won at Kempton in March and Sexy Secret at Chelmsford in January. Both were ridden by the Pearces’ son Simon, himself finding rides and winners elusive. I hope that more horses and winners come their way.

Dazzler finding it hard to dazzle

The same might be said of Darryll “Dazzler” Holland, although the 44 year old international jockey returned to Britain this year trailing a rich history of big race successes, albeit mainly several years ago.

Holland was announced as Charlie Hills’ stable jockey but although half his rides and six of his 13 wins have been for Hills, the term “stable jockey” no longer seems applicable. In the last two weeks plus this Wednesday and Thursday only four of Holland’s 21 rides have been for Hills, who has had 39 runners during the same period.

On Thursday, none of Hills’ nine runners at four different meetings will be ridden by Holland, who has rides for Clifford Lines and Alan Bailey at Yarmouth (3.20 and 3.50) and for Mark Tompkins at Epsom (8.20).

The picture’s clearer with P J McDonald (I’m not sure he’s got first names. Maybe his parents couldn’t afford them). He’s Ann Duffield’s stable jockey and is riding Benediction for her in the seller at Yarmouth (2.50). Duffield rarely (if ever) has a runner at Yarmouth and she’s found a weak race. What more can I say? Nothing, I’ve run out of words.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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