Citrus no lemon after Plumpton win

Citrus provided former England cricketer Craig Kieswetter with his first winner as an owner when coming out on top in an eventful Ryan Vehicles Novices' Hurdle at Plumpton.

Craig Kieswetter: Former cricketer had a winner at Plumpton

Kieswetter, forced to retire from cricket with an eye injury, is now trying his hand at professional golf but made his name playing for Somerset, hence the link with David Pipe's Pond House stable.

The trouble began when Black Ceasar almost refused at the first, unseating Tom Cannon.

Come the second flight the loose horse cannoned into Sunday Royal who badly hampered Ermyn's Emerald and Give Him Time, taking them all out of the race.

Tom Scudamore took advantage of on Citrus (5-1) and made the running – but only just held on from the fast-finishing Bubsy Burbidge by a neck.

Kieswetter said: "It was carnage, but as long as the lads and horses aren't injured we'll take it. A win's a win and we're pretty chuffed with it.

"I hope it's not always like that, but it's a good start."

Scudamore said: "It was interesting, wasn't it? It's not ideal with all those loose horses flying about and we were lucky at the top of the hill.

"I wonder if it's worth having an outrider as we saw it happen at Cheltenham at the weekend.

"After the first couple of hurdles I'm not sure what he expected at the third, but fortunately he's very brave."

Gary Moore's Baron Alco (4-7 favourite) was the star on show and he only faced one serious rival in the SIS Novices' Chase in Wishing And Hoping.

The odds-on favourite was not really travelling as well as his opponent, though, when that one fell with half a mile to run.

"I wasn't that happy with him to be honest as usually he is very exuberant and takes you forward, but he was very flat," winning rider Jamie Moore told At The Races.

"That's why I pulled him out to try and get him racing, to try and get him into the bridle.

"He's a very genuine horse, but I wasn't happy with him today. He's won, which is the main thing.

"The only time he grabbed hold of the bridle was turning in. At Cheltenham he laid upsides Marracudja who is a very fast horse, but today he couldn't lay up with the other one and we weren't even going that fast.

"He was a neck behind Rock The Kasbah last year and they talk of him as a decent horse, but he'll have to improve on today."

Neil Mulholland's Earls Fort (11-10 favourite) brought up his hat-trick in the Plumpton Racecourse Twinned With Pompadour Racecourse Amateur Riders' Handicap Hurdle, ridden by James King.

"It went according to plan and he's probably won with a bit up his sleeve," said King. Touch wood he keeps on winning so hopefully he'll win again.

"I'm quite tall so we'll have to see how my weight goes, I'm 20 now so we'll see this time next year if I turn professional."

The switch from Rebecca Curtis to Oliver Sherwood worked for Minella On Line (7-4 favourite) in the Extech Handicap Chase.

Leighton Aspell was on board and said: "We just got underneath a couple of fences, back in trip he was under pressure a bit.

"He travelled strongly between his fences and with a cleaner round of jumping he'd have won easier. He'll get further, he ran really well in the Grand National Trial last year."

Aspell doubled up on Nick Gifford's The Mighty Don (10-1) in the closing SW Catering Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Read More at Sporting Life

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