SOPHIE RALSTON rode another winner today, Fantastic Flyer, at Chelmsford which made it three wins from ten rides for Harper Lodge Farm this year at a very healthy 30% strike rate.
For the Harbour Watch filly (pictured at home last month), it was her sixth win in 19 starts since her first victory in April last year. One of seven runners in tonight’s fillies’ handicap over 6f, she took a keen hold early on and soon forged her way to the front. Having looked as though she was doing too much early on, it would have been no surprise if the 9/2 third favourite had run out of gas in the home straight but she stayed out in front and won by half a length from Siena Mia. This was a good performance off 2lbs higher than her last and highest winning mark, back in September last year.
The filly first won off 45 and was racing off 72 tonight, excluding Sophie’s 5lb claim. If she can learn not to do too much early on, there should be more improvement in this very likeable 5yo, who was winning for the first time for owner Martyn McGuinness. He took over the horse at the back end of last year, so congratulations to Martyn.
Sophie may have drawn a blank in her working holiday in Cyprus but she’s come back to home soil and continued where she left off…in the Winner’s Enclosure! She’s had seven rides this week which have produced a winner, two seconds (both frustrating short head defeats) a third and a fourth. The third was on Nicky Baby earlier in the day at Chelmsford, when the pair were beaten just a length at 20/1.
For the stable, it was the first of the month but the third this year as the stable edges ever closer to 500 winners. Who will be the horse to achieve it and who will be the winning rider? You probably wouldn’t want to back against it being Sophie Ralston!