Former amateur rider Richard Spencer is hoping to win the Goffs Spring Sales Point-to-Point Bumper on Friday for his Newmarket yard.
Spencer has declared five-year-old Aptly Put, one of ten horses in a race restricted to horses who have finished in the first three in a maiden Point-to-Point this season, and open to licensed and non-licensed trainers. Aptly Put scored at Kimble having finished third in an Irish Point-to-Point at Dromahane last year.
Johnny Bailey, who was in the saddle at Kimble, opted to take another mount in the race, but by the time that one became a non-runner Spencer was committed to crack Irish amateur Richard Harding, who rode the horse in Ireland. Spencer says of the gelding: "He won his maiden very well and in a good time – the race was only four seconds slower than the Open race on the same card. Hopefully he won't disgrace himself tomorrow, and I can't see the trip [two miles] being a problem. He won over two-and-a-half miles at Kimble and wasn't short of speed on that occasion."
Aptly Put was sourced for his current trainer by another former Point-to-Point rider, J D Moore, who now works as a bloodstock agent. Spencer says: "We bought the horse to have a bit of fun, but with a view to getting more horses into the yard. If he runs well we could sell him privately to stay in the yard, or send him to the sales. All options are open."
The first three in tomorrow's race are guaranteed a place in next week's Goffs UK Spring Sale, which takes place at Doncaster from Tuesday to Thursday – May 23 to 25.
Spencer rode 22 Point-to-Point winners before hanging up his saddle in March 2015 and taking out a licence to train at the home of Flat racing. He says: "If it wasn't for Point-to-Pointing I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. I loved every minute of it – it's good to put a little back by supporting Goffs' Point-to-Point bumper."
This is the second of two Goffs Spring Sales Bumpers, the first having taken place at Exeter last month. Other candidates for victory tomorrow night include the David Brace-trained Dunraven Doc, a son of Brace's stallion Doctor Massini; Culverwell, a dual winner this season for trainer Teresa Clark – who won last year's Subaru Restricted Final with Our Chief; and the Peter Fahey-trained Station Master, who is travelling across the Pennines from Yorkshire.
Leo Mahon, who won last year's race on the Alastair Ralph-trained Gustave Mahler, rides Draft Pick for trainer Tom Weston, while siblings Gina and Jack Andrews ride Dusty Pearl and King's Walden respectively.