Ashforth's Angles: Pop to Dunstall Park to chat with Abdullah


Khalid Abdullah: not often at Wolverhampton but perhaps today’s the day

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By David Ashforth 6:00PM 26 SEP 2016 

IF YOU fancy having a word with Sir Michael Stoute and Prince Khalid Abdullah then it might be worth popping along to Wolverhampton and joining them in the parade ring before Aberlady runs in the 6.10.

I’ve been to Wolverhampton quite a lot of times and never seen either Stoute or Khalid Abdullah there but that’s probably just coincidence. If they’re not there you could try Monmore dogs on Thursday, just down the road.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton’s Class 6 0-55 Handicap Division 1 (6.40) has its own appeal because it features the rare appearance of runners trained by both Ilka Gansera-Leveque and Suzzanne France.

Both have small stables, Gansera-Leveque in Newmarket and France at the splendidly named Cheesecake Hill House at Malton. They don’t have many horses nor many winners although anyone following Gansera-Leveque’s runners blindly could have made a level £1 stake profit of £99 since the German vet started training in 2012.

She has had winners at 80-1, 40-1, 28-1 and, last month, 25-1. That was Robbie Roo Roo, who is Gansera-Leveque’s runner in the 6.40, to be followed by Annoushka in a maiden race (8.10).

Gansera-Leveque’s website features Bart Cummings’s engaging if debatable observation that “Patience is the cheapest thing in racing but most people don’t use it.”

It’s a quality, along with plenty of others, that France has needed since a fall in 2007 caused serious injuries that ended her riding career and demanded a lot of determination and help to enable her to start training in 2011.

Two of the yard’s four horses are running at Wolverhampton, Whispering Wolf in the 6.40 and stable stalwart Stamp Duty in the 9.10. Stamp Duty gave France her first winner as a trainer, in an amateur riders’ race at Wolverhampton in 2012, ridden by Aaron James, who is the assistant trainer.

Success even in a small race is bound to mean far more to trainers and owners for whom victory is rare than for those for whom it is commonplace. Success for France at Wolverhampton is unlikely but unlikely things happen in racing, which is one of its appeals – unless you’ve backed the favourite.

Moonlit Show won’t be favourite for the Listed Blenheim Stakes at Fairyhouse (3.20) but Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes is taking the plunge with his recent Haydock maiden race winner. There are only seven runners and there’s prize money down to sixth place, albeit only €500, which is always encouraging. Good luck.

Ditto if you’re trying to solve another of those apprentice races with interesting conditions, in this case the 5.30 at Ayr. It’s for riders who haven’t ridden more than 20 winners prior to April 29, with allowances based on winners ridden before September 24.

It means that a lot of punters will be drawn to top-weight Osteopathic Remedy because his rider, Adam McNamara, having ridden only eight winners by the end of April, has now ridden 43 from this year’s 347 rides.

On the other hand, Osteopathic Remedy is 12 and hasn’t won for two years and 20 races. It’s never easy.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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