TOM Ellis broke his own record for number of winners in a season in the trainers' championship when Master Templar triumphed at the Warwickshire meeting at Mollington, near Banbury, in front of a big Bank Holiday Monday crowd. Ellis had eclipsed last year's tally of 62 for the campaign when Pass The Glass won at Dingley on Sunday.
But with Dundrum Wood's walkover at Edgcote last month not counting towards the championship, it was Master Templar's victory in a match for the Butler Sherborn Warwickshire Hunt Members, Subscribers & Farmers Race which saw him set a new mark in the trainers' standings.
With Jack Andrews taking over the reins on the eight-year-old from his sister, Gina, as he chases the men's riders' championship, the Jenny Hayward-owned eight-year-old made the running before Largy Mountain jumped ahead at the fourth-last under James King. However, Andrews galvanised his mount on the run-in to claim the spoils by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Ellis, who is based at Marton, near Rugby, said: "I was dreading today. This meeting has been very good to us and very bad. I broke my leg here in 2015 and that was the end of my riding career. I view that as the record. It is nice to do it here on home soil."
Master Templar has contributed four wins this term, and the trainer added: "He keeps plenty back for himself and is not an easy ride, so I am lucky with the two pilots we have and some brilliant novices coming through behind them."
Ellis had trained and ridden Stormy Pass to take this contest at Ashorne in 2006 for Hayward, who commented: "When we were younger to win the hunt race was the highlight of the year and it's still the same."
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