Jefferson tastes sweet success with Brownie

TRAINER Malcolm Jefferson did his homework and Brooklyn Brownie did the rest as he raced to his fourth course success in the £20,000 [email protected] Festival Chase at Perth yesterday.

Only four runners set out on the three-mile journey, with Backstage – who had unseated his rider in the John Smith's Grand National – starting favourite but pulling up before the third-last fence.

Brooklyn Brownie took up the running approaching two out and went away to beat Ollie Magern by 14 lengths, with Selection Box a further 29 lengths away in third. Jefferson said of his 10-1 winner: "The weights were not in his favour, but when I saw the race had cut up we had a closer look. Backstage had run in the Grand National and Ollie Magern is not as good as he was, so we thought we would take a chance – it is a nice prize to win and it is nice to keep it in the north."

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Vicki Dobbin, former wife of jockey Tony Dobbin, saddled her first winner under Rules when Leading Man won the Weatherbys Bank Champion Stayers Hunters' Chase in the hands of Nathan Moscrop.

Tom O'Brien made the most of his first ride for the Martin Todhunter stable when bringing Grand Union – backed from 11-1 into 15-2 – home in front in the Novices' Hurdle. Grand Union burst through between Ballymacduff and Proficiency to lead in the last 50 yards and win by a head.

Venetia Williams and stable jockey Aidan Coleman completed a first-and-last-race double, with Ciceron (8-11) and Quartz De Thaix (7-2) taking the trainer's score for the season to 46.

Peter Monteith was full of praise for jockey Wilson Renwick after watching him land the Bill And Bunny Cadogan Memorial Handicap Chase on Nelson Du Ronceray in the colours of David Johnson.

Monteith, who won the race last year with Cantgeton, said: "Wilson gave him a particularly good ride. The problem is that Nelson Du Ronceray is only tiny and he will probably be sold to go point-to-pointing."

At Perth today, Gringo is the choice in the Getyourbetson Novices' Chase. A decent performer over hurdles last year, he made an excellent start over fences at Sedgefield last month after returning from a lengthy break, running out a half-length winner over an extended two miles despite being hampered by a faller two fences from home.

At Punchestown yesterday, Willie Mullins captured his fourth Grade One of the week and his sixth success overall as star mare Quevega got every inch of the three- mile trip in the World Series Hurdle.