Search

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Family and friends have gathered to bid farewell one of Diss’s true characters - Des Tebble.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Anglian Combination and Thurlow Nunn Leagues are guaranteed representation in the last four of the Norfolk Senior Cup after the quarter-final draw was made.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A student from Diss has just been called up by a national football team.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Harleston Town will be looking for revenge as well as the chance for some Norfolk Senior Cup glory this afternoon.

Most Read

Friday, October 3, 2014

Diss U11 maintained their 100pc league record this season with an emphatic victory at Tasburgh. Will Cunningham made it two hat-tricks in two games and was joined in the hat-trick club by Harvey Whymark who found his scoring boots at last.

Read more
Mon, 15:35

Robbie Brady’s power-packed display softened the blow of Martin Olsson’s injury absence in Norwich City’s crushing Championship win over Brentford.

Read more
Martin Olsson
Mon, 07:30

Jonny Howson sparked Norwich’s great leap forward for Alex Neil.

Read more
Ivo Pinto
Monday, April 6, 2009

Yasmin Goodswen, aged eight, had the fight of her life to beat a national kickboxing champion.

The young battler from Harleston Kickboxing Club entered her first kickboxing fight, winning all three rounds.

Read more
Friday, March 9, 2012

DISS TOWN U9 entertained league leaders Drayton with goalkeeper Lewis Allen having an outstanding game. Diss got off to a good start with an early goal from Christoher Lymbery after some fine midfield play from Caleb Palmer and Max Bowen. Drayton were pressing hard to get the equaliser, but were met with some good defensive play from Liam Hamling and Dylan Wilby. Louis Land was battling well in midfield with Thomas Lymbery working hard up front to keep possession. William Frary’s fine running from midfield helped take the pressure off the Diss defence. After several great saves from Lewis Allen Diss broke away ending with a fine strike from Benjamin Cohodar coming off the post. Drayton finally got the equaliser in the last minute of the game. Final Score 1-1.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up