A racehorse bought for £540 at a sale of cobs made it six wins out of nine for the stable of Kieran Price when landing the £1,000 Timico Mixed Open Race at Ystradowen in Glamorgan on Saturday.
Price, who trains at Ynysybwl near Pontrypridd, revealed how he came upon talented Spencer Moon when saying: “My son, Luke, and I buy a few cobs, and went to Exeter Cob Sale. We saw a thoroughbred coming up through the car park, and I said to Luke, ‘That looks interesting’, but he said ‘We don’t need any more thoroughbreds’. Anyway, we put in an enquiry at the sales office, but they couldn’t tell us anything about the horse, so we looked him up on the phone and found he had a rating [under Rules] of 115. We bought him for £540, took him home and gave him a year off.”
How Spencer Moon came to be offered at a non-thoroughbred sale is unclear, but he has proved worth every penny paid by the Prices. He won five point-to-points last season carrying the colours of owner Kevin Salter, finished third in Chepstow’s Dunraven Bowl and won a hunters’ chase at Fontwell.
Now a 10-year-old, Spencer Moon could be a candidate for the £25,000 Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup, a hunters’ chase over three and a quarter miles at Cheltenham’s Friday evening hunters’ chase meeting on May 4. However, it would need to keep raining and for the ground to be soft before Price considers that option. Byron Moorcroft, who drove Spencer Moon to a narrow victory over runner-up Frelia, says: “Everyone wants to ride at Cheltenham, but he would need soft ground. He jumps class, and if I’m ever wrong at a fence he just comes up out of my hands. I’m just the pilot.”
Spencer Moon (5/1) won by three-quarters of a length from Frelia (5/4 favourite), with a further six lengths back to Tiger Rag (25/1) – 12 ran, and the first three are now qualified for the Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup, as are all open-race winners from this season before the cut-off date of April 28.
Timico manages information technology and cloud storage, networks, unified communications and mobile phone solutions for some of Britain’s household-name companies. Now in its second year as a national sponsor of point-to-pointing, it also backs steeplechasing’s blue riband, the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.