AMATEUR jockey Clare Twemlow made a dream comeback to the saddle at the July Course on Saturday after lifting this year’s Newmarket Town Plate.
In her first racecourse appearance since breaking her back in an accident on the town’s Long Hill gallops in 2009, the 34 year old rode the perfect race aboard hurdler Raifteiri to land the 343rd running of the three-mile, six-furlong contest.
Keeping her mount handy throughout the race, Twemlow, winner of the inaugural John Smith’s People’s Race at Aintree back in 2008, made her decisive move aboard the five year old, trained in town by her partner Neil King, at the four-furlong pole, before racing to a 12-length victory.
“I am absolutely delighted with the win, but it was a little bit of a surprise,” said Twemlow.
“I am really grateful to the owners for giving me the opportunity to ride the horse in the race. It was just one of those dream rides where everything went to plan.”
The victory for the gelding, owned by the Across The Pond Partnership, also marked a first winner at the track for St Gatien handler King.
“It is a fantastic race to win, what with the history behind it, and is another thing I can put on my CV,” said King.
“Barry Williams and Nolan Catterwell, two of the horse’s owners, watched the race and it gave them great delight seeing him winning.”
King confirmed that Raifteiri’s next outing is likely to be in a three-mile novice hurdle at Uttoxeter next month.