THERE was no fairytale ending for George Moore after 32 years as a trainer as his final runner Wolf Shield failed to give the trainer a triumphant swansong at Doncaster.
After being prominent in the early stages of the Sky Bet Handicap Hurdle over an extended two-and-a-half miles, the nine-year-old was last of 14 finishers behind course specialist Night Of Milan.
Moore, who sent out more than 900 winners from his Middleham base, could still raise a smile. “It’s all done and dusted. We’ve been preparing for it for three months,” he said.
“I feel good. Everything has worked out well, except the last couple of runners could have run a bit better. I’m looking forward to doing something else, something different. We have been very lucky and we’ve had some great owners.”
Among Moore’s best horses were his two Northumberland Plate winners Highflying and Toldo.
The 10-year-old Night Of Milan, unplaced in last year’s Grand National, is trained at Saltburn by Keith Reveley, whose son James missed the ride following a fall earlier in the afternoon. He was taken to hospital with suspected concussion and replaced by Harry Challoner.
Owner Richard Collins said: “He’ll come back here next month for the veterans’ chase.
“He’s on a half-decent mark. He might go for another hurdle race after that.”
Meanwhile, Gonalston Cloud could be the silver lining for Brigg handler Nick Kent after the nine-year-old followed up last month’s Catterick success in game style in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase.
Ridden by Malton-born Andrew Tinkler, the winner stuck to his task really well to see off the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Hollow Blue Sky by nine lengths.
“We’d have liked the ground softer, but he’s been brave there and kept going. He loves it and came out of his last race at Catterick really well,” said Kent.
“We’d like to go for a staying race, maybe something over three-and-a-half miles. He won five out of six point-to-points last year and he did win two on fastish ground, which wouldn’t have been ideal for him.
“I was concerned about the ground and did think about pulling him out. Andrew said he was just outpaced mid-race. I decided to run him here as I knew it would be on. He’s been in three races since he last ran but all those were called off. I’ve 14 horses on the go at the minute, but I’d love to have more.”
Racing staff from Yorkshire feature on the shortlist for the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.
Lauren Lucas and Gemma Hogg, from the Middleham yard of Micky Hammond, feature in the Newcomer and Leadership categories respectively.
Samantha Dwan, based with North Yorkshire handler Nigel Tinkler, is one of three contenders for the Dedication to Racing Award while Raye Wilkinson, attached to the Middleham yard of Mark Johnson, is shortlisted for the Rory MacDonald Community Award.