Saturday 16 December 2017

Dancer steps up to plate for Glassonbury

Tom Peacock

One or two betting tickets may have been needed to be retrieved from the floor after the improbable success of Curragh Dancer in Plumpton's Novices' Handicap Chase yesterday.

As the field passed the stands with a lap of the Sussex track remaining, jockey Andrew Glassonbury was the first of the five jockeys to administer the whip on his mount, a particularly idle customer.

Furthermore, the 10/11 favourite King Of Leon never appeared to be in any trouble and steadily drew the other riders lower in the saddle.

But nothing is ever guaranteed in racing and King Of Leon ran down the second-last fence, toppling over on the other side and throwing the event wide open again.

His fall took Curragh Dancer (17/2) wide and the baton passed to Alldunnandusted, but he handed it over again with an awkward jump at the last and allowed a puffing Glassonbury to pounce.

"I thought there was a chance I could be second turning into the straight but one horse fell, and the other one in front started pulling himself up and gave mine something to aim at," said Glassonbury, who later made all the running aboard Bach To Front (12/1) in the the bumper.

Paddy Butler, who trains Curragh Dancer just a mile away at East Chiltington, said: "I've had my fair share of bad ones, but at home he works like a good horse.

"For some reason he never really does it on the racecourse, but he did run a similar race to that at Folkestone in January when he dropped away and came back to finish second. Andrew's a tough man and he gave him a great ride."

Emma Lavelle, trainer of King Of Leon, nearly had the same experience at the penultimate flight of the Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle but De Welsh Wizzard (9/4) recovered from his blunder to win well.

The At The Races Sky 415 Handicap Chase went to Colin Bolger on board Absolute Shambles (13/2), which dug out a little more than Reblis on the run-in.

Irish Independent

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