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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Reckless rockets into reckoningHeadlines
Henrietta Knight

Henrietta Knight might have retired last year but her influence on jump racing continued through two of the winners on the card at Lingfield.

Although the exciting Sgt Reckless has only raced under the care of Knight's friend and near-neighbour Mick Channon, who took on many of the horses when the triple Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer relinquished her licence at the end of May, he has strong links to the old operation.

Carrying the colours of Tim and Camilla Radford, who remain Channon patrons with ex-Knight stars Somersby and Calgary Bay, Sgt Reckless (13-8) coasted home on his debut in the spring and had no problems coping with a 7lb penalty in division two of the Forest Row Standard Open NH Flat Race.

Knight, who was joined by husband Terry Biddlecombe in the winner's enclosure, still assists Channon and said: "I've just been on the phone to Mrs Radford. She says he'll go for the Supreme Novices' at Cheltenham and won't go for any more bumpers."

Ballygarvey (9-4) had looked to have a bright future when winning for Knight over hurdles exactly a year ago, but failed to build on that during the campaign and is now with Philip Hobbs. A return to Lingfield initiated a change in him, as he ran away with division one of the Ted Long Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.

Jockey Tom O'Brien said: "He was a bit keen to start with, but once he got going he was good. He was with Henrietta, who had schooled him fantastically well. It took him time to settle in, but he looks exciting."

Sir Alex Ferguson made a surprise visit to watch division one of the all-weather bumper, but only arrived by the skin of his teeth. His horse I'm Fraam Govan was sent off the 4-9 favourite and appeared to be cruising around the home bend, but weakened into fifth behind Paul Webber's Koolala (25-1).

Webber said: "She had been going well at home and has some good Kayf Tara stamina in there. I might keep her under wraps until the mares' bumper at Sandown in the spring."

A resolute Sunny Ledgend (5-1) defied the 2-5 favourite Maringo Bay in the Marsh Green Beginners' Chase for father and son Andrew and James Martin, who are better known from point-to-point racing.

Martin snr, who trains near Chipping Norton, said: "It was his first time over regulation fences and he was very green and idling. I think it helped when the other horse came alongsides."

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