Manton handler Brian Meehan landed the first race on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, following Take The Helm’s (8/1) success in the £50,000 Sun Bets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap over a mile.
Ridden by Adam McNamara, the five-year-old son of Monsieur Bond stayed on well in the home straight to score by three-quarters of a length from Jamie Osborne’s Reckless Endeavour (22/1) in second.
Richard Fahey’s Gallipoli (6/1), was a further neck behind in third.
Take The Helm was fourth in this race last year and winning trainer Meehan, registering his first winner on the All-Weather in 2018 was delighted.
Meehan said: “Take The Helm did that nicely. Normally he would have run a few times but he didn’t this year as he had a few issues to deal with, so he didn’t get down here.
“We’ve taken our time with him and he looks really fresh. He needed his run the other day and he was in top form today.
“We’ll get him back on the turf now for some of the nicer handicaps in the spring over seven furlongs as that is his best trip.
“He gets a mile, particularly around here, but I think that seven furlongs is his best trip. He’s done it well today and we can make some nice plans for him.”
Winning owner John Threadwell added: “That was a fantastic run from Take The Helm. We thought the cavalry might catch him, but they never arrived!
“I think he is improving – that is the key to him. He was fourth in the race last year, so it was great to win today.”
FIRST ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONSHIPS RIDE A WINNING ONE FOR MCNAMARA
Apprentice jockey Adam McNamara made the most of his first-ever ride on All-Weather Championships Finals Day steering Take The Helm to victory in the £50,000 Sunbets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap for trainer Brian Meehan.
“I went to ride him out at Mr Meehan’s last Friday and he felt in fantastic form, and I knew he was bouncing – he’s made my job easy,” said the apprentice jockey. “Mr Meehan said bounce him out and ride him confidently.
“The fast pace in this suited him – he is not a horse who quickens, he is just a grinder. He was in a good position throughout.”
This year McNamara has moved south to be based with trainer Roger Charlton having previously been with the Yorkshire-based Richard Fahey and for whom he rode 56 winners.
“I am loving the new job,” he said. “Mr Charlton has been very good to me. He was a lovely bunch of horses and fantastic staff – they have made the transition very easy. I am glad to be there.”
The jockey has a second ride later today in the 32Red 3 Year Old All-Weather Championships on Breathless Times for his boss. Summing up chances he said: “Breathless Times is thrown in deep end a bit; we don’t know how good he is but he is a progressive horse. It is very early in his career, but if he progresses again from his last run he should have every chance. He doesn’t have the best draw in nine.”
ENDEAVOUR SECOND IN THE OPENER
Reckless Endeavour came with a late run up the inside rail to secure second for trainer Jamie Osborne, jockey Nicola Currie, and owners Melbourne 10 Racing in the opening Sunbets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap over a mile.
The Kodiac five-year-old gelding was looking to follow a fifth at Wolverhampton with a return to the Lingfield Park winner’s enclosure, having won here over course and distance in February, but went down by three quarters of a length to 8/1 chance Take The Helm.
The trainer commented: “He has run a good race in many ways. His finishing second has reflected the season that the owners, Melbourne 10 Racing, have had.
“A nearly season – a good season with 18 winners for the Melbourne 10, but quite a lot of runner-up prizes too.
“We will go home and analyse the All-Weather season and will come back next year with a new plan of how we are going to cut down on the number of bridesmaids appearances that we have had, and become the bride a bit moré.”