Liberty Court kicked off proceedings, shedding his maiden tag under rules in style at Taunton under Richard Johnson for his owners Derek Passant and Glenn Butt.
10 minutes later, Lamool (pictured) scored at Ludlow under Michael Byrne on what was his first start for us and his owners Jeff and Rachel Frost, having been purchased from the Arqana Sale in France the previous November. A smart flat performer in his youth (he finished fifth in the German Derby in 2010), he went on to become a real favourite in the yard and won a further five races, including four novice hurdles in the 2015/16 campaign. An hour later, the treble was completed by Steve Clarke’s Stonethrower, scoring under then 10lbs claimer Alan Johns! He joined the yard in 2010 and had already won four times for us prior to his Ludlow success.
Lamool was also a 9th April winner in 2016, but we have to go back further for our first winner on that day, courtesy of Hawkhill, owned by Royston Smith, a lovely man who joined us as an owner very late in his life but gained tremendous enjoyment from Hawkhill’s successes. Out of a Listed-winning mare on the flat, herself a daughter of Sadler’s Wells, he had been pretty useful in that sphere in Ireland, but a win at Huntingdon in the hands of Richie Killoran (who will soon be featuring in the ‘where are they now’ segment on the blog!) on 9th April 2012 was the first of five wins over hurdles that season, culminating in Listed success at Kempton Park in October.
However, despite being a winning machine and in tremendous form at the time, I do seem to remember Tim (pictured far right, green with orange sash) managing to get him beaten in a charity race at Exeter two months after his Kempton win. The attached photos, though not great quality, are proof!