RACHAEL BLACKMORE AND ME TOO PLEASE TAKE THE GOFFS UK NICKEL COIN MARES’ BUMPER
The concluding contest on day one of the Randox Grand National Festival, the Grade Two Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, saw the second Irish-trained winner of the afternoon as Me Too Please scored for trainer Arthur Moore.
The five year old travelled well throughout and, after hitting the front two furlongs from home, stayed on well to finish a length and a half in front of Elle Est Belle.
Winning trainer Moore was not present, but Blackmore said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to ride a big winner like this for Arthur. He was very good to me in my early days - when I was in college I used to go and ride out there, so I’m delighted to ride a winner for him today.
“He said she was in very good form at home and he was happy with her coming over. It looked a very hot race on paper, but he was happy with her, and we got a lovely passage through the race.
“He did tell me, ‘try not to be down the rail’, and of course I was down the rail for some of it, but when it works out, it’s great. I probably got a split a bit early in the race, which left me in front a hell of a lot longer than ideally I wanted to be, and she just showed a little bit of greenness when the rail went away, but galloped all the way to the line. It was a very good performance.
“She’s a really high quality mare. She’s improved, I think, since her bumper win at Down Royal, and took another big step up there. A very nice mare for the future. I think her hanging was immaturity, more than anything. She was always going straight in front.”
Dan Skelton, trainer of runner-up Elle Est Belle, said: “She’s brilliant. She’s run in the two Championship races and she’s placed in both so I’m very proud of her. She was last off the bridle there today and has got loads of class, so I can’t wait to go hurdling with her.”
Jockey Harry Skelton added: “She’s a good mare. I was about two lengths down on Rachael (Blackmore) with a furlong and a half to go and I just couldn’t get by her, but she’s very exciting for next season and we’re looking forward to that.”
Pam Sly, trainer of fourth-placed Evens favourite Eileendover, said: “She just didn’t pick up like she had done before, but I’ve had a job getting her fit. I gave her a month off and it’s taken me a long time to get her back to where she was, so I’m not too disappointed.
“I’ve said all along that something would come along and beat her, and when I saw how the winner Me Too Please was bred - by Champs Elysees out of an Authorized mare - I thought she might be the one.
“She’ll probably run on the Flat now - if we can get her in the stalls. We haven’t tried her yet, as I said we’d wait until after she had run here.”
Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 1f
1 Me Too Please – Arthur Moore IRE 5-11-00 Rachael Blackmore 14/1
2 Elle Est Belle – Dan Skelton 5-11-00 Harry Skelton 5/2
3 Miss Lamb – Jedd O’Keeffe 5-11-00 Jack Garritty 20/1
NR: Code Name Lise (self certificate)
Distances: 1½l, 1¾l, 3l
Time: 4m 7.18s
Unplaced Fav: Eileendover Evens (4th)