Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Trebles for Richards & Russell

11-December-2023 15:32
in General
by Admin

Ayr staged a cracking eight race card on Monday with plenty of runners - it was like going back in time - and it was dominated by two of the North's leading trainers Nicky Richards and Lucinda Russell. Top 40 entry Florida Dreams made heavy weather of getting off the mark at the second attempt over obstacles in division one of the two miles maiden hurdle. The Doyen gelding was much more relaxed beforehand compared to his hurdles bow last month and he managed to wear down longtime leader Phantomofthepoints close home. A neck scorer, the pair pulled clear of the rest and owner Jimmy Fyffe suggested afterwards that the winner could return to Aintree for the Grade 1 Formby Novices' Hurdle on Boxing Day. One got the impression his trainer wasn't quite so enthusiastic when interviewed afterwards. On this evidence, a step up in trip wouldn't go amiss.

Stablemate Aubis Walk hadn't been seen since pulling up in the mares' handicap hurdle at Newbury in March. However, the former Irish pointer made a successful start to her chasing career when making the most of a lenient looking mark of 116 in the two and a half miles handicap chase. Given a confident ride by Sean Quinlan, the Kenny Alexander owned mare jumped neatly and accurately throughout before being produced at the last. A superb leap there secured a comfortable one and a half lengths win. With the assessor unlikely to be too harsh, the daughter of Walk In The Park ought to win plenty more races over the larger obstacles. One got the impression Quinlan thought he would win from a long way out and it was a fine ride.

Lucinda Russell's three timer included victories for the unbeaten pair Rocheval and Inox Allen in novice hurdles. The former travelled smoothly throughout the opening juvenile novice hurdle, while the latter showed a willing attitude to get the better of Irish raider Annaghbeg. Keep an eye on the Nicky Richards trained Milcree who finished third behind Inox Allen. A UK point bumper winner when handled by Brian Harding, the five year old showed signs of inexperience before finishing strongly in the closing stages. A half-brother to a three miles plus winner, he will stay further and ought to win over timber this winter. Chasing will be the Milan gelding's long-term job.

I am currently working on the Christmas Special, which will be published later this month in time for the Festive programme. Please head to the Publications section of the site to order your copy, if you haven't already. 


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