NEZAR regained the winning thread and gave Harper Lodge Farm its first win of 2020 when getting his head in front at Wolverhampton yesterday. The success came over seven furlongs under stable apprentice, Sophie Ralston by a short-head at the rewarding odds of 14/1!
A previous three times course winner, including once over course and distance, the nine-year-old chestnut son of Mastercraftsman was on a fairly handy mark, just one pound higher than his last win at the track back in May of last year.
Drawn four of 10, he was always handy although was a tad too keen in the early stages of a steadily run race. Turning into the straight, he found a gap and kept on well to gain a narrow success and take his record to four wins out of 13 starts at Dunstall Park and two out of seven for Sophie Ralston.
Given the horse’s fine record at the course, perhaps the surprise was his starting price of 14/1! However, the yard has not been really firing during the last couple of months so that might help explain the double figure odds starting price but whatever the reason, owner, Mrs Doreen Carter will have been delighted. She took over ownership of the horse a year ago and has been rewarded with a second success. What a great start to 2020 for Doreen, who has three other horses in training at the yard.
One of two stable apprentices, Sophie Ralston, will also be pleased to be off the mark for the year. She rode seven winners for Dean in 2019 at an impressive 12% strike rate.
Last year the stable had a record year with 42 wins but it has found winners hard to come by in recent weeks. Hopefully, Nezar’s success is a welcome tonic and the start of good things to come in the early part of 2020!