Alexander bosses Ayr action
A review of Monday's action from Ayr as Nick Alexander stole the show with his first treble.
In-form jockey Brian Hughes rode two of Alexander's winners
Nick Alexander stole the show at Ayr on Monday after landing his first treble under Rules, highlighted by Marlee Massie leading home a one-two-three for the trainer in the racinguk.com Chase.
The 4/1 chance made his chasing debut a winning one in the extended two-mile-five-furlong contest when holding stablemate Calivigny by a length and a quarter with the yard's other runner, Buffalo Ballet, a further neck back in third as the Kinneston handler completed his three-timer.
Alexander said: "I am delighted. I was hoping that we would have a good day, but they have been a little bit in and out before today so I was not confident.
"They have all run well and that is my first treble under Rules. It is just shame that Lucy (daughter and jockey) was not there to ride them.
"Marlee Massie hadn't seen a fence until 10 days ago. We thought we would give him a go over fences before he got too high over hurdles.
"Before the race, if you had asked me, I would probably have said Calivigny would win as he had ran over fences, but Marlee Massie would probably be the more progressive horse."
Gold Opera (8/1) got the ball rolling for Alexander when putting two pulled-up efforts behind him with a neck success in the Racing UK Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Chase to give jockey Blair Campbell a first success over fences.
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Alexander said: "He was very disappointing at Uttoxeter and Kelso. He is a bit of a quirky horse but he likes it around Ayr as he has run well over hurdles and fences there before.
"I was delighted to see him back on track and it is great for Blair Campbell, who used to work for me. He schooled him last week and that was his first winner over fences."
Titian Boy (5/6 favourite) formed the middle leg of Alexander's haul when defying a 15lb hike in the weights for last month's course success to take the Racing UK Day Pass Just #10 Handicap Chase by a length and complete a double for winning jockey Brian Hughes.
Alexander added: "Titian Boy made heavy weather of it, but he clouted the first in the straight and it was hard work after that. He hung on but I think he would have won by further had he not made that mistake. Brian rode him with a lot of confidence and it was very good to have him on board. He is still a big frame of a horse that should continue to improve."
Nicky Richards expects plenty more to come from Progress Drive after he justified his odds-on status in the Racing UK Now In HD! Novices' Hurdle.
Despite being made to work hard by outsider King Of Fashion, the 1/2 favourite pulled out just enough to prevail by a hard-fought length.
The Greystoke handler said: "He was a short price and he made heavy weather of it, but I still think he is a grand horse.
"He is a work in progress but he is far better than that. He showed he had a touch of class last time but he was nowhere near that form today.
"I expected him to be 10 lengths clear at the last, but that is racing for you and at least he won."
Trainer Katie Scott celebrated her first winner at the course after Lochalsh (10/1) took the second division of the Watch Racing UK In HD Handicap Hurdle by a length and a quarter, while Daytripper (7/4) from the the yard of Iain Jardine claimed victory by the same margin in the opening division to initiate Hughes' brace.
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