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Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA (Left) - A winner at Newbury last night


It's been an in and out period but the winners are still there - it's just been a bit patchy of late.

There's still plenty of cheer though as CARAVELA won a thriller at Newbury last night whilst HATS OFF TO LARRY continued his consistent performances and Scott McCullagh rode his first winner for the yard.

We'll start with Jon & Julia Aisbitt's CARAVELA last night though and a smashing ride from Silvestre de Sousa, although it was a close run thing as the long time leader was only collared in the shadow of the post.

Having lost her maiden tag in September at three, the daughter of Henrythenavidator has made a promising start to her 2018 campaign and got off the mark on her third start this season as SDS had to sit and suffer before bringing the top weight home.

Dropping back in both grade and trip, CARAVELA was slowly in to stride in the Class 5, mile and a quarter handicap for four year olds and upwards.

She was clearly travelling within herself all the way round but it was a question of when the gaps would appear in the closing stages and just when it seemed everything was working out to perfection, a gap closed as soon as it opened at the furlong marker meaning that the last 200 yards were all she had to reel in Jean Genie have been switched inside.

But she got there - just - leaving Mick relieved and delighted.

"This filly doesn't help herself at times as she often struggles to find her stride out of the gate, but having said that, she also needs to be allowed time to get into a rhythm and relax in her races.

"Silvestre didn't panic, although I did when the door closed with a furlong to go and she only just got there on the nod!

"She's done everything we've asked of her this year, inproving on her Brighton reappearance in May to finish third at Lingfield three weeks ago.

"The Jean Genie was only a short head behind us on that occasion and they've finished, stride for stride exactly the same this time around in a lesser grade.

"She's got plenty to build on after that and she will go in again. Fillies like her can blossom in the second half of the season and I see no reason why she can't because she's got a lot going for her.

On Monday evening at Windsor, HATS OFF TO LARRY continued his upward curve with victory under Charlie Bishop at Windsor.

He recorded his first career victory at Beverley two runs ago and ran creditably at Chester last time up finishing fourth in a blanket finish. Monday only saw three runners line up but his victory confirmed the notion that the son of Sixties Icon has become a reliable competitor who is now coming intro his own.

Off of a mark of 73, three pounds higher than his maiden victory, HATS OFF TO LARRY took the Class 4 mile and a quarter contest in convincing fashion, staying on strongly to account for Oh It's Saucepot and the favourite Bid Adieu to please the Boss who has always had a soft spot for William Harrison-Allan's four year old gelding.

"He's a lovely sort this with a big frame and he's always been willing. He was consistent last year and was always thereabouts but having him gelded and getting another winter behind him has seen him come good.

"He looked like a stayer to start with but bringing him back to an extended mile and a mile and a quarter - that looks like his trip because he can grind it out if there's a decent pace on.

"That was a worry with only two to race against but they went a good clip and that played into his hands."

Lastly, mention must go to Scott McCullagh who rode his first winner for West Ilsley last week at Nottingham as ICONIC BELLE took the hands and heels apprentice race in fine style.

This went unreported on these pages, mainly because our intrepid reporter needed a break from Coventry and sent himself to Warsaw on an ambassadorial role to take in the delights of the Polish Derby.

The delights of the Sweet Partnership's ICONIC BELLE have only just been realised in 2018 as the daughter of Sixties Icon took until her four year old campaign to break her maiden tag but she's up and running now, that being her second win in five outings.


"Good for Scott to get off the mark for us and ICONIC BELLE is a willing partner. He's ridden winners in Ireland and is more than competent and he'll hopefully improve for a change of scenery with us.

"He didn't get it right yesterday in a similar contest at Yarmouth but ICONIC BELLE was carrying a penalty for her Nottingham win, so let's just say he's got plenty of ability but plenty to learn.

"He will though because he's got a good head on his shoulders and is willing to work hard. The rest will look after itself."

Posted By: Wilsley News