EXETER RACEDAY NEWS: Momella gains first Listed success in Join Racing TV Now Mares’ Chase

Published 2021/02/26

Momella secured the most notable success of her career when demonstrating that stamina is very much her forte with a tenacious success in the Listed Join Racing TV Now Mares’ Chase at Exeter.

Having failed to beat a rival in a Listed event at Warwick last time out, the Harry Fry-trained nine year old bounced back to form at the same level in the three mile prize, re-arranged from the previous meeting at the track, to complete a double on the day for winning jockey Sean Bowen.

The 5-2 favourite, who was placed at Grade One level over hurdles, kicked into overdrive after the last fence to power on under Bowen and hold the fast finishing Early Morning Rain at bay by a length.

Fry, recording his first winner in 48 days, said:

“I was almost beginning to forget what this feels like!

“They got her out of her comfort zone at Warwick and she didn’t jump and travel in her usual self. I was cursing having run at Warwick with this race only 10 days later and thanks to the weather it has played into our hands in Momella’s case.

“You could see very early on she was in a much better rhythm and Sean was at his brilliant best there, keeping her in contention without going for everything then after the last he had a real go and she has ground it out. She is a real tough mare.

“It has taken a lot of work at home to get her right and patience from the owners, as we know the ability is there but it has taken a while to get the confidence back but that is three wins over fences this season now.

“A spin around the farm on Wednesday morning with Ciara (Fry’s wife) through the woods, over the hunt jumps and back through the stream maybe re-invigorated her slightly. To win a Listed race is fantastic.”

Meanwhile Striking A Pose (2-7) moved closer to an appearance in the Grade Three European Breeders’ Fund Paddy Power ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final at Sandown Park (Saturday 13th March) after following his last time out Wincanton victory in the opening Kenn Novices’ Hurdle.

The Colin Tizzard-trained gelding holds an entry Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

However, an outing at Sandown looks more likely for the five year old, who ran out an 11-length winner of the extended two and quarter mile contest.

Joe Tizzard, assistant trainer, said:

“He is rated 130 and he was supposed to win like that. He is a gorgeous looking horse and it is just nice to watch all the way round with his ears pricked.

“He won a handicap last time and I thought we would go and bully a small field with a penalty. He is qualified for the EBF Final at Sandown in a couple of weeks’ time.

“He is probably not an Albert Bartlett horse but off 130, which you wouldn’t think would change, he might be competitive at Sandown.”

Looks Like Power (12-1) secured his first victory since April 2018 to give trainer Debra Hamer her first winner of the season to get the ball rolling for Bowen, with a front running five length success in the Chudleigh Handicap Hurdle.

The trainer’s husband, Paul Hamer, said:

“That’s the first winner of the season for us but we hadn’t seemed to be able to do much right as we have had a few seconds and thirds.

“Normally there is something to take him on but today he got an easy lead and it has worked. He has got into a good rhythm and seen the trip out well.”

Hamer also confirmed stable star and 2019 Pertemps Final runner-up Tobefair will not be making a fourth appearance at next month’s Festival after a setback.

He added: “He is off for the season now and unfortunately it means he won’t go to Cheltenham. He has picked up a little hind leg injury which he had before. I know he is getting on but hopefully he will come back.”