Just Cameron put up a gritty performance to upset the odds-on Duke Of Navan in the Back Of The Net at BetVictor.com Novices’ Chase at Ayr.
Joe Colliver set out to make all the running on the Micky Hammond-trained eight-year-old and was 15 lengths clear of the 1-3 favourite at one stage in a three-runner affair.
Just Cameron (4-1) was making his chasing debut and looked to be there for the taking when headed by Duke Of Milan between the last two fences. However, Colliver’s mount got away from the last fence the better and kept the hot-pot at bay a neck. Island Confusion was 25 lengths away last of the trio.
“He won over hurdles for us at Sedgefield earlier on in the year. He has the make and shape of a chaser and we thought we’d go as far as we could over hurdles so we decided to put him over fences,” said Hammond. “He jumped well in the main and coped with the ground though I think he’ll be better on better ground. It was a good start to his chasing career.”
Slowfoot could be in line for a trip to Aintree’s Grand National meeting this spring after making a most impressive start to his jumping career at Plumpton under Tony McCoy. As a seven-year-old the Jim Best-trained gelding is a late starter to the National Hunt game, but placed form in Group company in his native Germany is a measure of his talent.
The 5-2 chance faced a decent test on his British bow in the maiden hurdle, with Keys and Santa’s Secret having already shown up well over obstacles, but Slowfoot dispatched of them with the minimum of fuss to leave connections dreaming of bigger and better things.
McCoy cut a confident figure throughout the two-mile contest and although Keys also moved sweetly into the straight under Daryl Jacob, Slowfoot’s change of gear from the last flight home sealed a six-length success. Best said: “It all went to plan and he’s nice type. We’ll have to go back and reflect now and think where to go. I suppose you could think of Liverpool (Aintree) or something like that. Let’s not forget it was his first run over hurdles today and it’s not easy for them [in the mud] out there.”
McCoy told At The Races: “He was good. He was a little bit fresh and you could tell he hadn’t run for over a year. He was a little bit green at the hurdles and was having a bit of a look around, but it was a good professional performance he’ll only improve for it I would think.”
Tom Scudamore enjoyed a double on the afternoon from just two rides, initiating the brace aboard David Bridgwater’s 3-1 shot Nomadic Storm in the ATR Prize Rush On Facebook Handicap Chase. Scudamore was soon on the mark again as David Pipe’s Rathealy (9-2) came good in the attheraces.com/cheltenham Handicap Hurdle.
Bridgwater was also in the winner’s enclosure for a second time as 11-4 shot Ringa Bay claimed the Howden Insurance Brokers Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, a first winner under Rules for rider Jake Launchbury. Launchbury was having his first ride back after a controversial 21-day ban for nearly taking the wrong course at Ludlow.