Racing: Cheers for the Diddy men

GLASSES WERE raised to Diddy Rymer in a Chesterfield pub last night after the mare landed the Plum Pudding Claiming Hurdle at Towcester.

Diddy Rymer, trained by Sue Smith, was scoring for 15 regulars of the Royal Oak at Brampton, a partnership headed by the licensee, Richard Younger. The celebrations were tinged with regret, however, as Diddy Rymer was claimed for pounds 6,000 for other owners and will now be trained in Wiltshire by Simon Earle instead of in Yorkshire.

It was the bookmakers' turn for some Christmas cheer when Sierra Bay had everything go his way to help him to victory at Towcester. Oliver Sherwood's eight-year-old had failed to complete in five of his six previous outings and was the 13-2 outsider of four.

But Sierra Bay eased home eight lengths clear of the favourite, Buckland Lad. Sherwood's wife, Tarnya, insisted: "He's not a monkey, he's just a bit quirky. Some days at home he'll take off with his lad, other days he'll be as quiet as a lamb. But he has always worked like a demon.

"Today everything was perfect for him. At Uttoxeter on his last run he made a monumental blunder and he sulked after it." Oliver Sherwood was absent from the track and his wife added: "This is the first time I've done a winner with him not here."