There were plenty of shock results at Southwell on Tuesday with 125/1, 50/1 and 25/1 winners. However, Lydford confirmed the promise he had displayed on his hurdles debut at Leicester earlier this month by going one better in the second division of the two miles maiden hurdle. Rated 92 on the Flat when handled by Roger Varian, the Fastnet Rock gelding was transferred to Dan Skelton during the Autumn. Racing a shade keenly on this occasion, he tracked market rivals Midnight Centurion and Great Ocean for the majority of the race before being unleashed at the second last. Not surprisingly, the four year old possessed too much speed for his opponents to win comfortably by a length and a half. A strongly run two miles is ideal and he is one to bear in mind for a decent handicap during the second half of the season - he would be tailormade for something like the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh in early February. Lydford was highlighted as a horse to follow in the November Update.
Looking further ahead, it appears Willie Mullins is set to take the wraps off a host of his stars this weekend and beyond. Ireland's champion trainer has entered the likes of Appreciate It, Dysart Dynamo, Ferny Hollow, Galopin Des Champs and Sir Gerhard at Navan, Cork and Punchestown on Saturday and Sunday respectively. All we need now is some rain and the jumps season in Ireland is ready to take off, albeit a few weeks later than normal.
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