​Champ Barber off the mark under Rules

  • Posted: Tuesday, 24th October 2017
  • Author: Carl Evans
  • Photo: Carl Evans

Britain's Connolly's RED MILLS champion point-to-point handler is off the mark as a licensed trainer.

Jack Barber saddled Smart Boy, ridden by Ian Popham, to land a handicap hurdle at Plumpton yesterday evening, picking up £3,249 for the winning owners. The result means the trainer now has a last-and-first record, his only previous runner, Doctor Tiger, having chased home two rivals in a three-runner event at Worcester last week.

Six-year-old Smart Boy was bought for £10,000 by Barber at Goffs UK's January Sale earlier this year, and ran him once on the point-to-point circuit when he finished runner-up, beaten a short head, behind four-year-old Taking The Mickey at Littlewindsor.

Running off a mark of 92 yesterday Smart Boy bolted up by 30 lengths, prompting Barber to tell the Racing Post's course reporter: "Smart Boy is a proper hurdler, and he would have won his point-to-point but for missing the last. There's a 0-130 at Taunton next Wednesday and I'll have to put him in that as the handicapper is sure to react."

The winning trainer later Tweeted: "Thrilled is an understatement to have my 1st winner under rules today @plumptonraces. Well done to my top team and @ianpopham! #smartboy"