Double joy is a family affair for Alexanders

Nigel Twiston-Davies' Imperial Commander is out the Gold Cup. Picture: PA
Nigel Twiston-Davies' Imperial Commander is out the Gold Cup. Picture: PA
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FATHER and daughter combination Neil and Lucy Alexander completed doubles at Newcastle yesterday, although the brace was initiated in extremely fortunate circumstances.

Favourite Zaru was well clear and all set to collect until stumbling after jumping the final fence in the Bernie’s Bolt For Diabetes Novices’ Handicap Chase, which allowed the Alexanders’ Papamoa (11-2) to come through for an eight-length win.

“We were very lucky. He’s a very lazy horse, but he keeps galloping and his jumping got better as the race went on,” said winning jockey Lucy Alexander. “He could probably do with some headgear at some stage.”

There was no fluke about the second winner, however, as Lucy Alexander showed of her strength in the saddle to get Northern Acres up by a neck in the H Malone & Sons Conditional­ Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. The 6-1 shot is part-owned by BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght.

Nick Alexander said: “Cornelius will be delighted. He had to battle a bit harder than he did here last time and I wasn’t sure he would have the stomach for it, but he stuck at it well. I think he’ll be better on better ground and we’re looking at a two-and-a-half-mile race at Perth’s April meeting.”

There was further Scottish success when Lucinda Russell and Peter Buchanan landed the feature R F Henderson Ltd Handicap Chase with 14-1 shot Devotion To Duty. Russell said: “The plan now is to go to ­Carlisle on 30 March. He does love it round there.”

Meanwhile, a lung infection means Imperial Commander has again been denied the chance to bid for more glory in the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies was convinced the 12-year-old was back in the same form which saw him defeat Denman and Kauto Star in the 2010 event. Having pulled up with a broken blood vessel the following year he missed a whole season, but came back at Cheltenham in January with a fine run when only narrowly denied by Cape Tribulation in the Argento Chase.

Twiston-Davies said: “He’s got a lung infection so he won’t be going to Cheltenham, that’s that. What can you do, it’s an absolute sickener but they are very delicate creatures. I’m sure he’s still as good as ever, he’s been in great form, but you can’t rush them. Hopefully he’ll be okay for Liverpool.”

SELECTIONS

Catterick

2.20 King Fingal

2.50 D’Gigi

3.20 Va’vite

3.50 Exotic Man

4.20 Takaatuf

4.50 Rumbavu

5.20 Je T’aime

Fontwell

2.10 Heronry (nap)

2.40 Chestnut Ben

3.10 Billy Twyford

3.40 Speedy Bruero

4.10 Oscar Tanner

4.40 Nudge And Nurdle

5.10 Leave It Be

Kempton

5.30 Riskit Fora Biskit

6.00 Punditry

6.30 Elsie Bay

7.00 Spifer

7.30 Steelcut

8.00 Lily Edge

8.30 Chez Vrony

Lingfield

2.00 Stand Guard

2.30 Johnny Splash

3.00 Custom House

3.30 Hawaiian Dream

4.00 Pullmen

4.30 Pategonia

5.00 Young Jackie

Double

Heronry

2:10 Fontwell

Riskit Fora Biskit

5:30 Kempton