Former winning jockey, Colin Brown, recalls his three Kingwell wins, the Desert Orchid era and missing out on a winner to Peter Scudamore
Tuesday, 14th February 2017 – This Saturday (February 18th) Wincanton will stage its Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle trial in the form of the Grade Two, Betway Kingwell Hurdle which is run over a two mile distance.
With over half a century of past winners, we look back with former jump jockey – Colin Brown - on winning three Kingwell contest and why he missed out on a fourth!
Colin Brown, said: “The Kingwell Hurdle was one of my favourite races at Wincanton which I won three times – it should have been four!
“My first win in 1982 on Walnut Wonder was a great training feat by David Elsworth. Walnut Wonder was a chaser but had fallen earlier in the week at Fontwell Park Racecourse. Thankfully, neither of us were hurt and fortunately, I had caught him immediately after the first fence! Little did I know, that David being a master of multiple entries, has entered Walnut Wonder in the two mile Kingwell Hurdle. So we thought ‘blow it, let’s have a crack at the Kingwell’ and we won!
“The following year (1984), Elsworth and I team up again with the legendary Desert Orchid. Dessie was still a novice with four hurdle wins to his name. We won the Kingwell Hurdle easily and went on to line up in the Champion Hurdle but it didn’t work out, in fact, I pulled him up. Dessie’s owner suggested we try blinkers, so blinkers were added when we took part in the Welsh Champion Hurdle – again, we pulled up and our next run at Kempton saw us hit the deck after Dessie stood off a mile.
“The following season, we decided to try our luck over fences – you should never be afraid to put a horse over a fence regardless of a potted hurdle career – and as you know, the rest is history with Dessie being an 80’s racing legend.
“I should have won the Kingwell in 1987 which was claimed by Peter Scudamore on Hypnosis with my mount – Barnbrook Again – scraping home for a placing. Hypnosis was originally my ride, but having won the former Ladbroke Hurdle in Ireland (in January) on Barnbrook Again, I opted to keep the ride in the Kingwell. To be fair, Scu rode a great race and in his traditional style – the pair shot out and made all the running.
“I was lucky enough to win the Kingwell Hurdle once again in 1988 on Floyd – a classy hurdler that had won many top races. After our February victory, we united once again for at The Festival after which I retired from race riding.
“The Kingwell has always been a cracking, competitive race.”
ITV Racing returns to Wincanton to broadcast the Betway Kingwell Hurdle live on ITV4. Coverage starts at 10am with The Opening Show and afternoon racing from 1:30pm taking in races from Ascot, Haydock Park and Wincanton.
Tickets for the Betway Kingwell Hurdle Raceday start from £16 grandstand entry and £21 for premier enclosure. The raceday is complimented by an impressive seven-racecard with former legendary jockeys returning to Wincanton to rekindle their Somerset association. Book now on 0344 579 3014 or visit wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Huw Williams, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, said: “Racegoers are in for a real treat this Saturday with a high quality seven race card that includes the Betway Kingwell Hurdle.
“I’m thrilled that Yanworth will line-up and am delighted that the feature race has attracted 10 classy Champion Hurdle contenders. Final declarations will be announced tomorrow morning.”
About Wincanton Racecourse:
Wincanton Racecourse is situated in the heart of Somerset – home to rural jump racing. Wincanton stages 18 meetings each season. Please find more details at wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk and through Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook facebook.com/WincantonRaces
Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2015: £174.2m), attendances (2015: 1.95m), total prize money (2015: £43.9m), contribution to prize money (2015: £19.9m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.
For further information please contact:
Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or firstname.lastname@example.org