REG BOND hasn’t been racing for a year but the Pocklington owner is clearly a lucky charm when he does - after Ladies Are Forever won the Group 3 Totepool Summer Stakes at York Races for the third time in four years.
Bond has suffered two bouts of pneumonia and broken an arm in three places, as well as continuing to battle an inoperable brain tumour, in the 12 months since this redoubtable mare last claimed this five furlong £60,000 race.
And despite a late run from Frankel’s half-sister Joyeuse, who made the winning margin a neck, it was clear from a couple of furlongs out that jockey Danny Tudhope and Ladies Are Forever would not be denied.
The six-year-old has now won this race on every occasion she has contested it and her trainer, Brawby’s Geoff Oldroyd, was tearful in the winner’s enclosure following the successful completion of the hat-trick.
“She was never getting beaten,” he said. “I was just emotional for Reg. It is the first time he has been racing in a year. He broke his arm in three places and was in hospital for three or four months.
“He got pneumonia twice. A filly like this takes some keeping. We haven’t over-raced her and we have looked after her.
“Danny kept asking her because as soon as you relax a couple of strides she just downs tools. It is unbelievable for a mare to win a Group race three times.
“The only year she hasn’t won is when she had a wind operation and missed it. She loves fast ground and we will keep racing her.”
Bond added: “She keeps winning Group 3 races - every race she runs in is a tough one that we put her in.
“She loves York and she eased up in the end.”
Westow trainer Paul Midgley enjoyed a Knavesmire 1-2 as Line of Reason (4-1) edged out Silvanus by three quarters of a length in the Acturis Stakes.
He said: “He’s in decent fettle. He did a piece of work with Monsieur joe before that horse won here and it was exceptional. He loves fast ground and he has a big cruising speed.”
Ventura Shadow (16-1) pipped favourite Pres Rapide in a photo-finish to give Malton trainer Richard Fahey his third York winner of the season.
The Musley Bank handler has endured six second places on Knavesmire this season but the 16-1 shot, giving jockey Paddy Mathers his first victory on the track, reeled in Pres Rapide to take the spoils on the line.