Maireads Ivy, who has never finished out of the first two in her 14 races at Crayford, continued a Kentish love affair by running away with a Ladbrokes Golden Jacket Trial Stakes on Saturday night.
Derek Knight’s Hove based stayer wound up 2017 by landing the Kent St Leger (714m) quickly followed by retaining her Boxing Day Marathon crown over 874m. This latest victory extends her fantastic Crayford record to nine wins and five seconds, so it’s no wonder her connections are eyeing up the £17,500 Cat 1 Golden Jacket, starting on February 13th.
Clearly relishing the return to her favourite track after finishing third in Romford’s Mitch Millward Marathon Final, the Matt Evans & Joy Rice owned Nov ’14 daughter of Hondo Black (evens fav) powered away on the second lap to beat Jim Daly’s North Sea Tiger by nearly eight lengths in 46.17 (-30). Fellow Millward finalist and Jacket hopeful Barricane Tommy was back in third after early crowding.
Evans, a most enthusiastic, albeit nervous owner who follows Ivy everywhere and can always be heard cheering her on from trackside said: “What a fantastic bargain buy she has turned out to be, we are so proud of her. We thought her unlucky to meet trouble from a tricky draw in the Romford final, but still ran a gallant race – her little bent nose is now getting quite famous as well.
“She adores Crayford, and Derek has her absolutely spot on, the only problem is I age five years every time I watch her race! We know she’ll be up against the best in the Jacket, it’s a prestigious event with a great top prize and it’s almost a fairytale to be in contention.”
Saturday’s other Jacket Trial Stakes saw a local 1-2: Nick Carter’s Kent Leger finalist Glenbeg Vale leading home Kate O’Flaherty’s Geminis Ace in 46.65 (-30).
TV Trophy champ & Millward winner Goldies Hotspur impressed with 45.30 solo trial (N) on the back of a 23.50 sectional. That was an improvement on December’s first look (540 solo) and trainer Patrick Janssens and owner Andy Pelley confirmed she will be aimed at the event.
A supporting 540 open turned into a real family affair, when the Mullins brothers shared the spoils – the judge unable to split John’s Oakfield Caesar and David’s Millroad Susie.