SWISS CHIME won not only his first race but the first flat race of 2019 when successful at Southwell yesterday in a novice median auction stakes
Only five lined up for the 12.35 and the stable runner was unfancied, going off the 10/1 outsider but his first foray on the fibresand proved a fruitful one as he beat the only newcomer in the field, Hanati by thee-quarters of a length under Kieran O’Neill.
The 3yo daughter of Swiss Spirit was quickly away from the stalls and was able to dominate her rivals throughout. Despite displaying a tendency to edge to the right, the result was never really in doubt and she clearly enjoyed the surface.
Swiss Chime spent her early career at Richard Hannon and after three runs and with a rating of 67, she moved to Harper Lodge Farm. In four previous runs for the stable last year, all over the minimum distance, she never really fired but clearly the fibresand has brought some improvement and although her rating yesterday was 11 pounds lower than the favourite, Point Zero, she defied the ratings to break her duck at the eighth attempt. Congatulations to owners, Ken Ivory and Mrs Valerie Hubbard.
Getting off the mark with its first runner was a great way for the stable to see in the New Year. The only slight irony was that had Swiss Chime been running a day earlier, she would have brought up win number 40 for the yard for 2018 which would have been an outright record. As it stood, Soaring Spirits’ win a week before Christmas was the 39th success, equalling that set in 2013.
The stable traditionally does well over the winter and last year recorded nine victories in the first two months of the year. At least this year has got off to the perfect start!