LUCY Alexander produced another moment for her already impressive scrapbook when excelling aboard Isla Pearl Fisher in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Handicap Chase at Musselburgh yesterday.
Just as Tony McCoy looked set for victory on top-weight Blenheim Brook, Alexander produced her mount in the closing stages to snatch an unlikely triumph by a neck.
The 8-1 winner is trained by her father Nick, who said: “It’s over three weeks since Lucy had a winner and she was more worried about going on the cold list when she arrived here today.
“I’m very proud of her as this was a lovely ride and she must have passed ten horses from turning in to the straight with four to jump.
“I didn’t give much for his chances down the far side but he’s a horse that has ability and we struggled to find a race for him after he fell early on at Newcastle last time. He’s won six times now and the dream is that one day he might be a Scottish National horse – he’s nine now but I think he’s still improving.”
Nicky Richards-trained Parc Des Princes and Dougie Costello won their fourth race together when the bottom-weight passed 11 rivals in the home-straight to pip Ubaltique from the opposite end of the handicap in the Weatherbys Printing Handicap Hurdle.
Costello said: “He’s never won for anyone over jumps and he’s also won twice on the Flat. He’s quite a character and when I said to Nicky he might benefit from cheekpieces, he said ‘don’t you think he’s won enough races for you!’”
Musselburgh racegoers were given an early Christmas present yesterday with the announcement that admission will be free at this Sunday’s meeting.
The East Lothian course took the decision to waive admission charges as a festive thank you. Anyone who has already bought tickets online can apply for a refund by contacting the course, while free tickets can be booked at www.musselburgh-raceourse.co.uk. There will be turnstiles open on the day but online booking is advised.
Musselburgh’s commercial manager, Sarah Montgomery said: “It was a late call in arranging this extra meeting and we hope free entry will draw a bigger crowd and generate a great atmosphere. It’s also a reward for our regular customers.”
Gates open on Sunday at 11am and the first race is off at 12.20pm.
Meanwhile, National Hunt legend Kauto Star is to be recognised in the renaming of the Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Clive Smith’s gelding, who has now been retired, managed to win the William Hill King George five times from six attempts on the feature afternoon at the Sunbury venue. The Grade One event, over the same course and distance, will be known this year as The Kauto Star Feltham Novices’ Steeple Chase (in memory of Nigel Clark) until approval has been agreed for a permanent renaming of the race.
Phil White, Kempton’s general manager, said: “It is an amazing legacy that Kauto Star leaves at Kempton Park, his achievements over the past six seasons are second to none and unlikely to be surpassed.
“Both William Hill and Kempton Park are honoured to mark the esteem that racing fans throughout the nation hold for Kauto Star and we are especially delighted to welcome the superstar back to Kempton Park on Boxing Day this year to let his adoring public wave him a fond farewell.”