Investment that seems money well spent

PAUL Webber struck a dagger into the heart of economy doom mongers at Towcester on Monday evening … and could repeat the dose at the local course next week.

Webber proved there is still a bargain end to the racehorse market when Monkey Milan landed the concluding bumper in the hands of Denis O’Regan, rewarding healthy market support at odds of 3/1.

Despite showing some greenness on his debut, Monkey Milan could be identified as the winner two furlongs from home and should improve significantly for the experience.

Towcester stages two evening fixtures next week, on Tuesday and Friday, both of them starting at 5.40pm.

Webber expects to be re-treading the familiar path to the course from his Cropredy Lawn base as his current spate of rich early summer form continues.

Standing in the winners’ enclosure after the three-quarter length victory from Bennys Well, Tony McCoy’s only ride of the night, Webber also declared he would be back in the morning to gallop part of his string, including dual-purpose grey Australia Day.

Yet he was able to reflect on a job ‘well done’ when remarking: “Monkey Milan was one of three horses I bought on the same day at the Cheltenham Sales in December and they all cost just 20,000gns. It just shows you don’t have to spend a lot of money in this business.”

Considering the other two horses were Cantlow, the six year-old who chased home the Tim Vaughan-Saint Are in the Grade 1 John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Liverpool last month, and Lady Kathleen, second at Uttoxeter in a National Hunt Flat race on Sunday, the investment seems money well spent.

Hook Norton handler Peter Hiatt could also reflect on a satisfactory night’s work after his 15 year-old Keltic Lord had defied his advancing years to run third behind Ethiopia and the Peter Pritchard-trained Overton Lad in the 3m handicap chase.

There may have only been three runners in the hunters’ chase but the local country set were treated to an excellent finale as Stuart Morris savoured his first training winner under Rules with Coolefind, ridden by Jonny Bailey.