Jockey Josephine Gordon heads for Musselburgh to do the double on Ladies day
Josephine Gordon can take the limelight with a double in front of a sell-out crowd on Ladies Day at Musselburgh tomorrow.
She flies north for just two rides and can steer Ice Gala to victory in the premier event, the Stobo Castle Ladies Day Gold Cup (4.00).
The filly showed bags of promise last term, finishing third on her debut at Newmarket and was favourite when beaten in a photo finish there next time.
She again headed the market when fourth at Newbury and finally broke the ice in easy style when odds-on at Catterick before finishing an excellent third when stepped up to Listed class at Newbury on her final juvenile outing.
She overcame trouble in running and a hefty bump entering the final furlong to make a successful reappearance at Salisbury, coming home more than three lengths clear in a competitive handicap over 7F.
Ice Gala faces the same trip tomorrow when she takes on her elders for the first time. With a hefty 10lb weight for age allowance, she can take this valuable prize and keep up her family tradition. Her dam, Ice Palace, won at Listed level and has already produced a Listed winner from her five offspring to be successful.
Miss Gordon then sits out the action until the final event when she partners Needs to be Seen in the Silk Series Lady Riders Handicap (5.30). The gelding showed promise when placed in his two races on the level in Ireland before joining John Ryan in Newmarket for whom he won over hurdles on this track in November.
The four-year-old has yet to score on the flat, but has been placed in three of his five races in that sphere so far and ran well on his reappearance at Newmarket a fortnight ago. He was denied a clear run a quarter of a mile from home, but kept on well up the hill to finish third. That was his first run after a break of two months break and he will be fitter now.
William Haggis, who trains Ice Gala, sends three runners up from Newmarket and they all have major chances. Aplomb cost 125,000 guineas as a yearling and won one of his two races as a juvenile and was fourth on his return to action at Newcastle in April when the drop to the minimum trip and a tardy start proved to be too much. He stepped up to 7F and ran much better recently when second at Ascot in a competitive affair and can go one better in the Madeline Cup (2.50) over that same trip.
Stable companion Just Benjamin will be fancied in the following event, the Gaynor Winyard Handicap (3.25) after opening his winning account at Brighton recently, but here I prefer the chances of Rochester House. The three-year-old did not run last year, but has been a model of consistency since finishing second on his debut over ten furlongs at Newcastle in April.
He then made all the running to win easily over an extra quarter of a mile at Pontefract and has finished third at Yarmouth and York. He comes from a very good family full of stamina and this sharp track will suit his style of forceful running.
Selections: 2.50 Aplomb; 3.25 Rochester House; 4.00 Ice Gala; 5.30 Needs to be Seen