Former Point-to-Point rider Adrian Wintle is now a more familiar figure at flat racecourses, running just 34 horses last season for three Jumps winners.
However, a welcome National Hunt winner in the opener at Stratford yesterday advertised his claims as a dual purpose handler. Ennistown took up the running two out in the Allan Atkonson Memorial Handicap Hurdle, and maintained an advantage to the line, winning with a little in hand under Tom Bellamy.
This is the first Jumps winner this term from the Westbury-on-Severn trainer from just 10 runners. By contrast, there are 4 winners on the board from Flat runners.
Also successful at the same Stratford fixture was D J Jeffreys, formerly assistant to Charlie Longsdon, who took the plunge with a licence of his own to train three years ago. Establishing oneself as a new trainer is far from easy, but operating from a new base at Hinton-on-the-Green near Evesham, DJ has accumulated 4 winners from 29 runners to date this season, and the horses are running especially well at present. Even if the sport is currently operating quietly, with small fields, the Jeffreys stable has plenty of placed efforts, an excellent sign of a healthy enterprise.
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