THERE was disappointing news for Ryedale racing fans last week when it was revealed that top-class chaser Waiting Patiently would not be returning Ruth Jefferson's Norton stables, instead he will be trained in Wales by ex-jump jockey Christian Williams, writes Colin Russell.

The talented but fragile ten-year-old gave Ruth her greatest training success when just a day after the funeral of her much-missed father Malcolm he went to Ascot and beat the great Cue Card in the 2m5f Betfair Ascot Chase in February 2018.

That was the last time he won, but he has been placed on all his completed starts since then, running particularly well when finishing third in the 2019 Tingle Creek over two miles at Sandown, and then showed his remarkable versatility by finishing runner-up to Frodon in the three-mile King George VI Chase at Kempton last Boxing Day.

However, he will no longer be a northern-trained horse as his owner, the former jump jockey Richard Collins is sending him to Christian Williams whose best horse to date has been Potters Corner who won the 2019 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

Ruth Jefferson said: "At the moment Waiting Patiently is at home with his owner and he is not coming back to me. He has been a fabulous horse to train, he was a joy to have in the yard and I was lucky to have him.

"You need horses like him, he was our first Grade 1 winner, he was our only Grade 1 winner so far, but we are always hoping for another."

Explaining the change of trainers, owner Richard Collins, himself a former jump jockey, said: "There has been no fall out. I rang Ruth to tell her and we had a chat for about half an hour. She is a very good trainer and has done a fine job with him so it wasn't an easy decision. I felt that I should either make this move or retire him. It wasn't a case of sending him to one of the top trainers like Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson, would they have done a better job than Ruth? I don't think they would have done.

"I wanted to think outside the box and so he is going to Christian Williams who has unique facilities that I feel will suit him. He will be out on the beach or in the water of the estuary and I hope the change of routine and environment will benefit him.

"I feel that Christian's style of training will suit him. He is known for giving horses more stamina, and that's what Waiting Patiently will need as I think, if he is going to go on and win again, it will be over three miles."

Williams, who trains on the coast at Ogmore by Sea in Glamorgan added: "Malcolm and Ruth have done a brilliant job with him and it is a privilege to get him. It is great to be sent a top-class horse like him."

Last week was a memorable one for Malton-based jockey Joanna Mason, who rode four winners including three from three rides at Ripon on Saturday.

Her good spell began at Beverley on Tuesday when she partnered Contrast for Mick and David Easterby to win the mile-and-a-quarter handicap at Beverley. A 7-1 shot he hadn't won since September 2019, and had finished well beaten on his two previous starts in 2021. However, he had dropped a few pounds in the ratings, and from his ideal draw in stall one, he crept up the inside and won going away by three and a quarter lengths.

Joanna's luck ran out in the next couple of days for she went all the way to Yarmouth for one ride on Wednesday, but was beaten a nose on Old News for Norton-based Linda Stubbs.

Linda though took two horses on the long trip to East Anglia and enjoyed better luck with her other runner for Oakenshield gave her winner number four of what is proving her best season she took back her licence in 2019.

Ridden by Hollie Doyle, he scored a cosy three-quarter length success to win for the first time for his Norton trainer, who bought him out of Kevin Ryan's yard for just 4,500 guineas at Newmarket in the autumn of 2020.

After one ride at Yarmouth Joanna Mason had two at Hamilton Park the following day but was again suffered a frustrating defeat when Where's Jeff lost out by a short head to the Keith Dalgleish-trained Home Before Duck who was ridden by Sam James, in the mile handicap.

On Saturday though her luck changed in no uncertain style for she had three rides for three different trainers at Ripon and won on all of them.

The first to strike was Copper And Five, who is trained by Ruth Carr at Stillington near Easingwold and landed the 1m handicap. Formerly with John Gosden, he runs in the colours of his breeder Sally Doyle but though he ran plenty of decent races last season, he had a tendency to pull very hard and had never won.

But he seems to have struck up a good relationship with Joanna, for the first time she rode him was at Doncaster in June and she settled him well and he gained his first win when scoring by a length.

Saturday was his second win, and this time he settled well and then showed plenty of determination to score by a length and a quarter from the Tim Easterby-trained Golden Oasis.

Afterwards, the winning trainer said: "Joanna gave him a good ride, they seem to get on well together."

Joanna's second win was on Dubai Instinct in the mile and a half handicap for her grandfather, Mick Easterby and cousin David Easterby. The five-year-old had run a fine race on his previous start at York when beaten a head by Bollin Joan, but even so looked to have plenty on his plate on Saturday.

Nevertheless, he was a decisive winner for having raced in the first two throughout, he drew away in the closing stage to win by the best part of three lengths.

He was another cheap purchase having been bought for just 4,500 guineas at Newmarket last October having formerly been with Marlborough trainer Brian Meehan, and was winning for the first time since changing stables.

Joanna's fine day was completed by Ginato for Helmsley-based Roger Fell in the concluding 6f maiden handicap. With blinkers on for the first time, he was well fancied to break his duck, and though he didn't have the clearest of passages, he ran on in good style to win by a length and a half and get off the mark at his 15th attempt.

After riding her first ever treble at odds of 86-1 Joanna said: It has been a brilliant day. I couldn't wish for better and I'd like to thank everyone who let me ride their horses."