Sussex trainer jumps to it for new-season success

Aaly with Emma Medlam, Maigh Dara with Toni Fogden and  Hong Kong Joe with Dominique Mouchlia   Picture by Jeannie Knight
Aaly with Emma Medlam, Maigh Dara with Toni Fogden and Hong Kong Joe with Dominique Mouchlia Picture by Jeannie Knight

WEST Sussex trainer Lydia Richards, who has an excellent success rate both over jumps and on the flat, has made an outstanding start to the

new jumps season.

Based at Funtington, near Chichester, she sent out her flagship roan chaser, Venetian Lad, to finish third on his seasonal reappearance at Fontwell Park, and then followed up with an eyecatching 33-1 win when Aaly won a three-mile, three-furlong handicap hurdle there

the same day, both with Marc Goldstein in the saddle.

Richards trains from premises set in 40 acres, which include two all-weather gallops, a grass gallop, indoor school, stables and associated facilities.

She trains both over jumps and also on the level, where one of her best flat horses, Double M scored 13 wins on the flat and 21 places during his racing career, earning almost £45,000 in prize money.

She currently has 11 horses in training for both Flat and jumps and also has a couple of brood mares, whose offspring feature strongly in

her yard with great success. Demoiselle Bond, now six, is a chestnut mare, who was home-bred by Richards, scoring three wins and several places on the flat.

She is now in foal to Foxwedge, by Fastnet Rock, a champion three-year-old Australian colt and sprinter now standing at Whitsbury

Manor Stud in Hampshire, and is expect to produce a foal that will be an exciting racing prospect.

Richards’ eye-catching Fontwell winner, Aaly, a seven -year-old Milan gelding, has been with her since he was a yearling, had won two point to points before running under rules, and has plenty more to offer.

His full sister, Leyla’s Gift, is now five and is another to follow, having had three preparatory runs in National Hunt races.

Venetian Lad, nine years old, is a firm favourite both with local racegoers and his owners’ partnership group. He retains all his ability

and enthusiasm and has earned almost £30,000 in prize money for his owners, with plenty more to come.

Following the sad death of a partnership member, the rare opportunity to acquire two shares in him is on available and now is the time to snap up rewarding ownership with this striking roan.

There is another youngster in the pipeline, set to become a partnership horse, who really caught the eye on a recent visit to her stables.

During an open morning for her owners, this unnamed two-year-old bay gelding by Avonbridge, out of Baytown Flyer impressed.

His dam won nine times on the flat and was placed nine times.

In addition, his sire, Avonbridge, won three Group races, including the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye in his racing career which spanned

2002-2005. In his final year, Avonbridge was named European Champion Sprinter at the Cartier Racing Awards.

Other horses being brought on include Maigh Dara, a five-year-old by Cecique, who won his second bumper race in Ireland a year ago before

joining Lydia. He will run in another bumper race very soon. Hong Kong Joe, a four-year-old by Oasis Dream is due to have his first run shortly.

The partnership horses (Venetian Lad and the Avonbridge gelding) offer affordable racing and plenty of potential reward. They are run with ten per cent shares available and monthly training costs including all racing expenses, jockey fees and travel.

Contact Lydia if you are interested, on 07803 199061, while they are still available.

JEANNIE KNIGHT