Chantal Wootten has created her own piece of Hickstead history following her outing at this year’s prestigious Derby meeting.
Following her win aboard Purple Moon in the Tattersalls and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) final, the 30-year-old has become — after receiving confirmation from the RoR — the first person to have retrained, produced and ridden two different horses to win the same final.
Her previous win in the event came in 2009 aboard the ex-Willie Mullins-trained Blackcurrant.
“It really is amazing,” said Wootten, who is assistant stud groom at Fittocks Stud in Upend. “Although Purple Moon has raced over hurdles, he is classed as a Flat horse as that was what his last run was over, so the fact that I have won the final with both a National Hunt and Flat horse makes it even better.”
While her win aboard Blackcurrant holds its own special memories, it is her most recent triumph aboard the former Luca Cumani-trained 11-year-old she is most proud of.
“When I first started showing with Purple Moon my main goal was to win at Hickstead and now I have accomplished that,” said Wootten. “Most of this season has been a write-off through injuries and he had been forced to miss most of his preparations shows so I was not overly confident of being placed.
“In the initial go round he refused to behave and was pulled in 25th, but he gave the judge a perfect ride.
“He was in a gung-ho state of mind, but the judge was an old-fashioned hunting judge and they were a match made in heaven.
“I was shocked when I was called out and it was quite surreal. It was probably the proudest moment I have had with him.”
Although there is still a chance of reaching the Horse Of the Year Show (HOYS) later this year, Wootten is not certain to enter Purple Moon in it.
“There is a HOYS qualifier on August 10, but I am not too fussed about going there as I don’t want to over do it with him” said Wootten. “He deserves a break and we may just go to the Fenland Country Show later in the month and have some fun.”
Wootten had further reason to celebrate on Thursday after her five year-old Royal Marskell, trained in Exning by Alison Hutchinson, won a 1m3f handicap at Leicester.
“I have had him from a foal but it is now only coming together,” said Wootten. “I know lots of people would have given up on him, but he has been waiting in the wings and his now getting his time to shine.”