Friday, 18 March 2016
Lucinda Russell on top form at Ayr Racecourse
By: Iain Ferguson
LUCINDA Russell returned to form with a vengeance at Ayr’s two-day March meeting on Friday and Saturday last week, saddling three winners and having several placed horses.
The Perthshire based trainer (pictured above) scored with 20-1 shot Shanroe Street in the maiden hurdle over two miles five and a half furlongs on Friday, and followed that success less than an hour later with The Cobbler Swayne (3-1) in the two mile four and a half furlongs handicap chase, beating 6/5 favourite Ballinvarig into second place.
Lucinda admitted afterwards she’d considered taking her horse out of the race because of the ground being soft but added: “I’m delighted I didn’t.”
On Saturday she was successful with Bold Sir Brian (3-1) in the AJ Gallagher Private Clients Handicap Hurdle – all three horses were ridden by Peter Buchanan who was also on the mark with Billy Billy (3-1) for Irish trainer Stuart Crawford in Saturday’s opening novices’ hurdle.
Another trainer at the top of his game is Nick Alexander, who trains at Kinneston Farm in Fife, and he saddled a double on Friday when Gold Opera rallied in the homes straight to win the novices’ chase under a terrific ride from Brian Harding, a replacement for Lucy Alexander who was stood down for the day after Benny’s Secret fell earlier in the afternoon.
Lucy should also have ridden Clan Legend winner of the two mile handicap hurdle for the James Barclay Trophy but her stand-in, brother Kit excelled himself to bring the horse home by five lengths from Marcus Antonius.
Saturday’s feature race, the Ortus Homes Handicap Hurdle for the Craigie Cup was won by Shades Of Midnight, the 7-4 favourite, trained by Donald Whillans and ridden by his son Callum who also rode W Six Times, trained by his uncle Alistair, to win the Ortus Homes Mares’ Handicap Hurdle for the Ayrshire Yeomanry Cup.
Ayr’s next meeting is the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival, the biggest meeting of the year in Scotland, on Friday 15 April and Saturday 16 April.
For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.
Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.