WALTZ Darling was given a peach of a ride from James Reveley to land the feature race at Musselburgh yesterday.
Dropped out towards the back in the early stages, the 14-1 chance came from off the pace to beat Ballyvoque by a neck in the William Hill – In The App Store Handicap Hurdle.
Reveley said: “Normally it pays to be handy here but that’s the way this horse likes to be ridden and he settles really well. He can idle in front but he stays well too and this was a nice prize.”
Waltz Darling is trained by Reveley’s father Keith and the jockey added: “He will go back over fences but it was worth coming for this – he’s very versatile as he’s won on the Flat and three times over hurdles. Our horses seem to go well at Musselburgh and the ground is always nice.”
Tony McCoy, on a rare visit to the East Lothian track, took the opening William Hill – Bet On The Move Maiden Hurdle on John Ferguson’s 1-5 Arabic History. The result could have been different as Apterix was still in front when giving Danny Cook a heavy fall at the final flight and he was stood down for the remainder of the card with an arm injury. Cook had headed to the Edinburgh circuit in a rich vein of form, having built up a good recent relationship with trainer Sue Smith following the impromptu retirement of Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania.
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Cook said: “I don’t know how bad it is yet, but I’m in a lot of pain. I’m going home and I’m going to Newcastle (hospital) for an X-ray.”
Cook’s agent Bruce Jeffrey added: “Danny said he’s battered and bruised. He’ll have a hot bath and see how he feels in the morning.”
The only Scottish winner on the penultimate card of 2014 north of the Border was Snapping Turtle for Donald and Callum Whillans in the William Hill – On Your Mobile Handicap Hurdle.
Meanwhile Coral have launched a £100,000 bonus initiative linking the Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals. The winner of the 2014 Coral Welsh Grand National, run at Chepstow on 27 December, will earn a £100,000 bonus should the horse then win the Coral Scottish Grand National on 18 April, 2015.
Coral’s sponsorship of these two historic Grand Nationals will total 49 years combined when the Welsh Grand National gets under way on the last Saturday in December.
Coral last week signed a five year renewal of the Scottish National with Ayr, taking the sponsorship through to 2019.
Run For Free was the last horse to do the Welsh-Scottish “double” in 1992/1993, while Earth Summit also showed that winning both Nationals is possible – albeit three years apart – when he won the race in Scotland in 1994 and in Wales in 1997.
David Brown, managing director at Ayr said: “Anything that helps attract the very best horses to Ayr for this great race is welcomed.”
Also announced yesterday, by the British Horseracing Authority, is a new series of 11 races for veteran chasers. The chases, worth a total of £400,000, will commence in January 2015 with ten qualifying races culminating in a final at Sandown on 2 January, 2016, with all horses that start in a qualifier eligible for the final. The races will also provide centrepieces on Sundays, with eight of the 11 events scheduled for that day.
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