Marown looks another nice long-term prospect for Nicky Richards if his hurdles debut at Ayr on Thursday is anything to go by. A big strapping gelding by Milan, he won his only bumper at Newcastle in March looking a strong stayer in the process. Tackling two and a half miles for his jumping bow, Brian Hughes' mount jumped well, especially over the last three flights, before running on strongly to beat the well supported Sirwilliamwallace by two and a half lengths. The pair pulled ten lengths clear of the third. The winner will be even better over three miles later in the season and, all being well, he will be jumping fences in the Autumn. Expect Marown to remain low key for the time being but he is the sort to turn up in something like the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree in the spring - his owner Trevor Hemmings is always keen to have runners at the Grand National meeting.
The card rounded off with a bumper and it was won emphatically by newcomer Champagnesuperover. Trainer Olly Murphy spoke positively about the Jeremy gelding in One Jump Ahead (page 100) and he translated his good homework to the track with a wide margin win. Adrian Heskin sat motionless throughout as he breezed clear inside the final couple of furlongs to win by sixteen lengths. Bigger tests lie ahead but the five year old couldn't have made a better start to his career.
The Scottish venue supplied the only jump racing on Thursday but it was a decent day for One Jump Ahead with Marown (5/2), Endlessly (6/1), Portrush Ted (11/4) and Champagnesuperover (3/1) all winners on the card.
I am heading to London for the weekend because I am working in the Racing TV studios. I will therefore update the Diary on my return.
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