Lucy Alexander’s stock continues to rise, and she was seen to great effect on Or De Grugy in the TurfTV Handicap Chase at Musselburgh yesterday, the second leg of a 39-1 double. She will be back at the track today with some live chances of adding to her success.
Having whittled her allowance down to 3lb in recent seasons, it is only a matter of time before the conditional jockey joins the fully-fledged ranks.
Or De Grugy (4-1) looked booked for second at best as Richard Johnson on The Big Freeze held a five-length advantage turning into the home straight. Alexander refused to panic, however, and while some jockeys may have attempted to quickly make up the ground, she bided her time and was still a length down jumping the last. Their progress was relentless by then and Alexander cosily got on top approaching the line to win by a length.
Five of the ten-year-old’s previous six victories over fences had come at Kelso, and a return to the Borders track is on the cards.
Both of Alexander’s winners were trained by her father, Nick, who told Racing UK: “Lucy said he was flat to the boards and he’d be better on a stiffer track.
“She didn’t give him a hard race. He’s a smashing horse. A year ago he was rated in the 120s but I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as that again.
“Hopefully there’s a little bit more to come, especially if we can get back to Kelso.”
The opening first division of the JRF Chimney Specialist Handicap Hurdle was a real family affair as Nick Alexander saddled a one-two with Lucy on the winner, Goldtrek (7-1), and her younger brother, Kit, a student at Durham University, on runner-up King Brex.
“It’s been a brilliant day,” said Alexander snr. “I think Lucy was extra determined. Her brother was breathing down her neck and it was a bit like when they were eight years old and racing on ponies.
“I hope Kit doesn’t turn professional – I’m hoping he becomes a bookmaker and then we might make some money out of the game, eventually.”
The best horse on show throughout the day was undoubtedly Donald McCain’s 8-11 favourite Doyly Carte, who won the Buy Your 2013 Annual Members Badge Today Mares’ Only Maiden Hurdle by 11 lengths without coming off the bridle. A four-year-old filly by Doyen, she is a half-sister to the high-class Flat performer Dandino and, just like him, is owned by the Elite Racing Club.
Owners’ representative Tony Hill said: “These are really exciting times with her. She couldn’t have won any easier and while I know the opposition was hardly Cheltenham standard, it was thrilling to see her do that. We’re delighted with having Donald as a trainer – his regime and everything about him is first class.
“I’m not sure about plans but at this stage we’d be dreaming of Cheltenham.”
Tim Vaughan’s Dovils Date (6-4 favourite) made the long journey from Wales worthwhile with an easy victory in the Glow-Worm Renewable Technology Juvenile Hurdle under Johnson.
Civil Unrest (3-1) made a nice chasing debut for James Ewart and Brian Hughes, while Venetia Williams, who was out of luck with a short-priced favourite in that race, made amends when Monetary Fund (7-2) landed the Racing UK November Handicap Hurdle under Aidan Coleman.