AS Yorkshire basks in a heatwave, Helperby trainer Jim Turner is hopeful that the aptly-named Bondi Beach Boy can prevail in the £12,500 Coachman Caravans Quality Handicap at Beverley this afternoon.
The six-year-old gelding has recorded five of his nine career victories on the Westwood and warmed up for today’s test with a third place finish at Wetherby. “The handicapper has had his say, though, which won’t make life any easier, but he’s back in form now and the ground has come right for him,” said Turner whose late brother Tom bred the horse and has a bar named in his honour at the track.
Malton-based George Chaloner takes the ride.
Richard Johnson recorded his fastest ever half century of winners when completing a double at Newton Abbot.
Fifteen times runner-up to the now retired AP McCoy, Johnson is bidding to become champion jockey for the first time.
He travelled to the Westcountry to ride Bells of Ailsworth and Easily Pleased to victory following a short-priced treble at Perth on Thursday.
“It’s definitely my fastest 50,” said the rider who is 25 winners clear of his nearest pursuers. “Staying in one piece is a key part of the job and, while things have been going well, the championship is a marathon and I’m not taking anything for granted.”
Young jockey Finian O’Toole gets another chance to showcase his skills when he partners Alderbrook Lad for in-form Middleham trainer Micky Hammond at Market Rasen tomorrow.
O’Toole, a 10lb claimer, recorded his very first victory as professional aboard Alderbrook Lad at Cartmel last Sunday and will be hoping to add to this success.
Yet the biggest threat to Alderbrook Lad could come from stablemate Master Of The Hall who won at Hexham two outings ago. Both horses run in the colours of the Masters Of The Hall partnership whose number includes Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority.