Search

FREE GoGoDragon! stickers in today's EDP and Evening News!

Click here

Norfolk farmer enjoys shock Highland National success

16:36 03 May 2012

Newmarket-based trainer Neil King,  jockey Trevor Whelan and racehorse owner Robert Bothway, from Fundenhall right, with Cerium, the shock 33-1 winner of the  2012 Highland national at Perth, Scotland.

Newmarket-based trainer Neil King, jockey Trevor Whelan and racehorse owner Robert Bothway, from Fundenhall right, with Cerium, the shock 33-1 winner of the 2012 Highland national at Perth, Scotland.

Archant

A south Norfolk farmer had one of the biggest thrills of his life when his horse won the Highland National in dramatic fashion against the odds.

Robert Bothway, from Fundenhall near Wymondham, was given an emotional roller-coaster ride as his 33-1 outsider Cerium won the feature race of the Perth Festival on Friday – with young jockey Trevor Whelan needing all his skill to stay in the saddle after a last-fence blunder.

But happily the horse and jockey, who took advantage of falls by two of the leading fancies three fences out, remained intact to win the three-mile seven furlong Handicap Chase by 22 lengths. In testing heavy conditions only two of the 11 horses finished.

The horse’s success, which earned £13,000, was the best yet for owner Mr Bothway, and the biggest of the 20 wins in the jumps season which has just ended for Newmarket-based trainer Neil King. It was also the biggest of 13 wins for conditional jockey Whelan, 23.

“Mr Bothway is a very loyal and enthusiastic supporter of my yard and he thoroughly deserves a big win,” said Neil, who is one of a handful of jumps trainers at Flat racing’s HQ, and has 35 horses at his St Gatien Yard.

Mr Bothway and Mr King were unable to attend the race in Scotland but celebrated their success at the Larling Angel on Friday evening, before the horse arrived back at the stables after an epic near 900-mile round trip.

Mr Bothway, an arable farmer at the Grange, was unable to go to the race because his 98-year-old mother Barbara was critically ill. But he was pleased that he told her about the horse’s win before she died at her Wymondham home on Sunday.

“Mother took it on board before she went into a deep sleep. ‘How wonderful, how wonderful’, was the last thing she said’.

Mr Bothway, 75, a former point-to point rider and trainer, who also used to train greyhounds, admitted: “I nearly had a heart attack at the last fence.”

He added: “We knew the horse wanted it hock deep, the softer the better.”

The victory fully vindicated Neil’s decision to send the 11-year-old bay gelding all the way to central Scotland, despite his lack of a race win for over five years. Friday’s win was Cerium’s eighth in a 31-race career stretching back to 2004.

“He’s a lovely horse. He was fifth in the Grand National at Aintree in 2009,” said Neil of the former Paul Nicholls and Paul Murphy inmate.

“He wants four miles and he loves the soft ground. Although he had not won for five years he was only beaten a neck in a staying chase at Warwick.”

Another long trip could be in the pipeline for Cerium’s next test as he is being primed for a three-mile six furlongs veterans chase at Cartmel, Cumbria, on June 6.

“That will be his next race – but only if the ground is right. If not he’ll be going on his summer holidays,” said Neil.

0 comments

Other Diss sport

16:41
Brian Whitwood on his way to top scoring for Elmham with a fine 73. Picture: MIKE WYATT

After some wet weather of late, the sun shone on the cricketers and several sides took full advantage, writes Mike Ridout.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Cricket.

Norfolk League Division One leaders Happisburgh chased down 200 to overcome bottom side East Harling, writes Tim Porter.

Sunday, June 21, 2015
New Zealand's Atunaisa Moli, center, is tackled by England's Charlie Ewels, left, and Will Owen during the Rugby Junior World Championship final match at Cremona's Zini stadium, Italy, Saturday, June 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)

England’s hold on the World Rugby Under-20 Championship title came to an end, with former Diss Rugby Club junior Will Owen among the players beaten by New Zealand.

Saturday, June 20, 2015
England's Joe Marchant (left) and Will Owen in action against France during the 2015 RBS Six Nations U20 match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Former Diss Rugby Club junior Will Owen is set to start for England in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship final in Italy this evening.

Most Read

14:44
Norwich City 2015-16 Home Kit revealed

Norwich City Football Club has unveiled a new ‘half and half’ kit, inspired by the club’s 80 years at Carrow Road.

Read more
Premier League
11:36
Swedish U21 international defender Joseph Baffo (number 17) shadows Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond during England U21s 1-0 European Championship group win last month. Picture: AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Swedish U21s’ European Championship-winning central defender Joseph Baffo is reportedly still on Norwich City’s transfer radar.

Read more
Nathan Redmond
Friday, August 1, 2014
Ed Doe,  pictured with Ken Bowman

Saturday saw the Diss Golf Club captain, Ken Bowman, host a competition involving all categories of members, specifically to raise funds for his chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Read more
50 minutes ago
Ryan Jarvis' famous strike against Liverpool for Norwich City. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Lowestoft Town have pulled off a massive coup by beating a host of Football League clubs to the signature of Ryan Jarvis.

Read more
football
Friday, May 29, 2015
A winning smile from John Gaskin.

Six-year-old John Gaskin from Attleborough won gold at the prestigious Lincolnshire 9th Regional Championships in Grantham.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 29°C

min temp: 19°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition