The Nicky Richards trained Glittering Love (6/5) made it two wins from as many starts since sent chasing this winter. A four times winner 'between the flags' last season when handled by the trainer's daughter Joey, the Winged Love gelding won off a mark of 92 at Hexham less than a fortnight ago. Raised nine pounds and stepped up to three miles at Ayr on Wednesday, he was given an excellent ride by Brian Hughes to outstay market rival Present Flight, who travelled better throughout. A length and a quarter winner, he will be even more effective over further and is crying out for extreme distances. His hard fought victory will hopefully ensure the handicapper isn't too harsh when reassessing the seven year old.
In contrast, I thought for the second time this season the well touted Sebastopol was given an ordinary ride in the two miles novices' hurdle earlier on the card. Absent since finishing fourth behind Thomas Darby at Cheltenham in late October, the winning pointer returned with a nasty wound hence the fact he has spent 68 days on the sidelines. While the slow ground almost certainly didn't play to his strengths, he would have benefited from a more positive ride from the hometurn. Despite staying on after the final flight, the first two had already set sail for home and Tom Lacey's gelding finished third, three lengths behind Irish raider Whoshotthesheriff. Held in high regard by his stable, I am convinced Sebastopol is much better than he has shown in two races over timber this season. Hopefully, he will come good in the spring, possibly over further. He is a three miles winning pointer and yet has been ridden for speed in both outings this Autumn/Winter.
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