Ashforth’s Angles: Hoping ‘Slippers’ is among the winners

Niall 'Slippers' Madden: has come to Britain for a six-week stint

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Hoping Madden and Sadik are among winners
By David Ashforth 6:01PM 15 NOV 2016

DON'T tell me about bad luck. I had a 33-1 and 25-1 winner at Hexham on Wednesday, in a double, and the day before they ran the meeting was abandoned. It's heartbreaking.

Now I'll have to look at Kempton's twilight card. It's a bit like going shopping. I don't know about you but as soon as I get into a department store I feel drowsy and want to sit down. In that respect, Kempton's a bit like Marks & Spencer.

On the other hand, the card does throw up the name of Sophie Scardifield, an apprentice at Michael Bell's yard. As you're probably too lazy to find out for yourself I've done it for you and jolly interesting it is, too.

Don't correct me if I'm wrong but Scardifield was educated at the Europa Gymnasium in Germany, is fluent in English and German, is an accomplished handball player, plays the piano and flute and sings (proper singing) and rides. She probably sings while she's riding.

"She's a rider in the rain, She's a rider in the rain, And she's goin' to go to Chester, She's a rider in the rain." (With apologies to Randy Newman).

Except it's not Chester, it's Kempton, to ride Kissinger (6.10) who on his debut ran roughly as fast as the two-year-old's namesake.

Scardifield, having her sixth ride, will doubtless have to wait for her first winner. When she does, perhaps she'll accompany herself on the piano to celebrate.

Meanwhile, at Chepstow, Niall "Slippers" Madden, who won the 2006 Grand National on Numbersixvalverde but who has had a declining number of rides and winners in Ireland in recent years, has two rides for Anthony Honeyball (12.50 Soulsaver and 1.20 Pure Vision).

Madden, 31, has been riding for Harry Fry and won a valuable chase for him on Thomas Brown at Aintree earlier this month.

That was Madden's first win in England for over eight years, from few rides, and it will be interesting to see how he fares during a planned six-week stay.

The ones I really want to win are Porters Lane and Sussex Road, at Warwick (2.05 and 3.15) even though they've both got the proverbial cat in hell's chance.

It's easy to pick holes in trainer Aytach, known as Jeff, Sadik's record which is one of occasional wins by cheap, moderate horses who are often ‘no-hopers' but Sadik's training work is literally a labour of love.

Ten years ago Jeff's son Cengiz, known as Gus, committed suicide. He had been the enthusiastic driving force. With Jeff holding the licence, first in Ireland in the mid-1990s then in England, the partnership won nine races with Crusoe and trained other multiple winners including Miss Pennyhill and Green Go.

Sadik's decision to carry on was in part a tribute to his son. He bought Sussex Road for £2,500 last December and Porters Lane for £600 in April.

They aren't very good and Sadik hasn't had a winner for over two years but let's hope one is on the way.

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