Tom Lacey trained his first Grade 2 winner on Saturday when Adrimel (7/2) produced a gutsy performance to win the Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick. The six year old was making it three out of three over timber and was almost certainly suited by the step up to two miles five. A winner at Sandown and Haydock earlier in the season, he was fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and, having raced prominently throughout, he stayed on well after the second last to fend off a whole host of challengers. A neck winner from Mint Condition, it remains to be seen where he heads next but the underfoot conditions will dictate his programme because the former pointer wants plenty of cut in the ground.
It was a good day all round for followers of One Jump Ahead and the Updates. In addition to Adrimel's win, Teahupoo (4/1) made a winning start to his career in Ireland when scoring at Fairyhouse. Admittedly, the result may have been difference had Youmdor stood up at the last but it was still a fair effort by Gordon Elliott's charge. A winner at Auteuil in October - beat the subsequent Newbury winner Good Ball - he was bought privately soon afterwards on behalf of Robcour and he looks a fine long term prospect.A gelded son of Masked Marvel, it is unlikely he will trouble stablemate Zanahiyr in the Triumph Hurdle but the four year old is open to plenty of improvement and appears to have the physique to jump fences too. Teahupoo featured in the French Revolution - Part II section in the November Update.
Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers article in OJA highlighted Gerri Colombe and the Gordon Elliott trained gelding was an easy winner on his Rules debut in the concluding bumper on the same card. Previously handled by Colin Bowe, he was purchased for £240,000gns by agent Mags O'Toole on behalf of Robcour at the Cheltenham March Sale. The five year old looked a strong stayer as he ran his rivals into submission powering away to win by 24 lengths.
Arguably the most impressive winner of the day was Eileendover's win in the Listed mares' bumper at Market Rasen. Pam Sly's filly had won two junior bumpers at Huntingdon and Wetherby by an aggregate of 45 lengths and she took this step in trip and grade in her stride. Taken wide leaving the back straight, the daughter of Canford Cliffs was always going strongly and she quickened clear to record a six and a half lengths win. I spoke to her trainer at Catterick in November and the plan is for the four year old to run on the Flat at some stage this year. One would imagine she will be given an entry in the Cheltenham Festival bumper and bid to become the first winner from her age group since Cue Card in 2010. She is a tremendous prospect.
Finally, it was somewhat galling to see Imperial Alcazar the Pertemps Qualifier at Warwick having tipped Fergal O'Brien's charge in the valuable staying handicap hurdle at Haydock in the November Update. The seven year old benefited from a much more patient ride on this occasion and was full value for his two and a quarter lengths win. There was a feeling amongst his owners that the Vinnie Roe gelding was well handicapped and so it proved. Stamina wasn't an issue either.
Thank you to all those clients who emailed following Adrimel's victory, it is much appreciated. Well supported from 7/1 into 7/2, it was a well hatched plan by the Lacey outfit.
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