SUE SMITH hopes Vintage Star’s class will shine in Boxing Day’s £40,000 William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby.
Second to Jonjo O’Neill’s Irish National hero Shutthefrontdoor on his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle, Vintage Star then chased home the gutsy Hey Big Spender in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle.
It was the first time that jockey James Reveley had ridden the Trevor Hemmings-owned chaser – and the partnership is retained for Friday’s race.
High Eldwick-based Smith, who saddled the now sidelined Cloudy Too to victory in the race 12 months ago, said: “All being well, Vintage Star will go to Wetherby on Boxing Day to take on Malcolm Jefferson’s 2012 winner Cape Tribulation.
“He is in excellent order at the moment. He has run well in both his starts this year and obviously at Newcastle he had James Reveley on for the first time.
“Hopefully, Vintage Star should put in a good run around Wetherby as the race is right up his street. I am not 100 per cent sure about headgear for him. He has been going that well at home that I haven’t contemplated it yet, but it’s not an impossibility.”
Wetherby is to create an outside Wall of Fame to celebrate the West Yorkshire course’s rich jump racing history.
The innovative concept will consist of a permanent outside exhibition, to be installed ahead of the 2015-2016 season, with huge photographs and information highlighting the role that people and horses have played since the track first staged racing in 1891.
Racegoers are being given the chance to vote for their favourite Wetherby champions from a shortlist of 14 contenders at the upcoming racedays on Friday and Saturday.
The shortlisted horses are Cumbrian Challenge, Mister McGoldrick, Ollie Magern, One Man, See More Business and Supermaster.
As well as Neville Crump, who trained three Grand National winners from his Middleham stables, human heroes include the Dickinson family, Charlie Hall, William Temple Lipscomb, Gordon Richards, Arthur Stephenson and Nigel Twiston-Davies.