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Ascot Double Act

20-January-2018 19:31
in General
by Admin

We enjoyed an impressive double at Ascot on Saturday on a tremendous day for the yard with all eight of our runners in the money.

Things didn’t really go our way in December during a period when we weren’t entirely happy with the horses.  But we felt they had really turned the corner in the last week and they are now running as we expect them to perform.

Drumcliff was the first to strike by twelve lengths in the two mile three furlong Handicap chase with the help of a skilful ride by my sister in law Aine O’Connor.

Acting Lass then maintained his unbeaten record over fences with a decisive success in the £75,000 bet365 Handicap Chase.

The two winners took our score for the season to 39 at a strike rate of almost 25%.

Drumcliff didn’t enjoy much luck over hurdles so it is good to see him doing so well at this early stage of his chasing career.

He won nicely first time at Wincanton a couple of months ago and looked in a different league to his rivals as he pulled well clear in the closing stages.

We thought he probably wanted better ground than he encountered at Ascot but he coped fine and fences are definitely seeing the best of him. The great thing about Drumcliff is that he is relishing life at the moment.

I took a bit of a punt in pitching Acting Lass into a handicap against much more experienced horses on his third start over fences.

I ran him at Ascot as the handicapper put him up only two pounds for his last win at Leicester nine days earlier.

The plan was for Noel Fehily to hit the front at the last fence. So much for pre-race tactics!

I wasn’t sure how well he was going over the first three-quarters of a mile but he took off racing down the hill once things opened up in front of him and looked in control from that point.

In the end he won comfortably by two and a quarter lengths from Kilcrea Vale despite idling in front.

He and Drumcliff both have bright futures. So, too, has Air Horse One who keeps being raised by the handicapper despite not winning.

I was proud of the way he kept on so bravely under top weight of 11 stone 12 lbs to finish second to Jenkins in the Handicap Hurdle.

He deserves to have his day in the sun given a bit of respite from the handicapper.

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