PhD Earns Top Marks
Wed 23 Mar 2022
WINNER 23 OF 2022: PARK HILL DANCER, trained by Nicky Henderson OBE and ridden by Mr Zac Baker: 'The Exeter Supports Point To Point Maiden National Hunt Flat (Amateur Jockeys')' over 2m 1/2f at Exeter.
A private purchase, after his P2P Bumper win at Barbary Castle in December, he looked a picture in the paddock (see the image gallery included). When Zac came into the paddock to meet the owners, he was kind enough to say "It's an honour to be wearing these silks." He knew his instructions and we stood in front of the big screen in the paddock to watch the race.
Setting off to the fore, he disputed the lead on the outer for much of tha race. We saw rivals one by one start to come off the bridle and 4f out, he was in front. Zac gave him a squeeze and he soon drew clear. In the final furlong, Zac was able to take two long looks over each shoulder to look for a challenger, but all he could see was a 10 length gap. Coasting home, he won very easily, by 17 lengths.
Watch the full race replay here: https://www.racingtv.com/videos/watch/horse_racing_replays/381715-exeter-supports-point-to-point-maiden-national-hunt-flat-amateur-jockeys-5
There wasn’t too much that Zac could report following the race besides “It was the easiest winner I’ll ever ride!” Here's the Racing Post meeting review: https://www.racingpost.com/news/race-reports/tears-flow-as-24-year-old-chris-barber-trains-first-winner-under-rules/545583
Timeform rated it a a 100+ performance, saying: "Well bred and successful in a point bumper in December, made a winning debut under Rules for a top stable, a class apart from rivals mostly trained in amateur yards; disputed lead, travelled well, went on over 3f out, drew clear, won easily.”
Syndicate manager Tom says: "Firstly, a huge congratulations to his syndicate of owners on his fine victory yesterday. He took the prelims very well and looked a picture in the paddock and was Racing TV’s paddock pick by some way. He not only looked the part in the paddock but he more than looked the part on the racecourse. I felt Zac gave him a great ride, exactly the ride that we instructed to give him. He ensured there was a good tempo throughout and as he gradually turned the taps on, he broke the spirits of the rivals in behind and left them trailing in his wake. The thing that was most pleasing for me to see was that he did go at a good pace but then quickened from that which isn’t the easiest thing to do. A seriously impressive run and one that ensures a very exciting future for him and his owners.”