Double delight for local trainer

A review of the action at Ayr where local trainer Mike Smith saddled a double and Tom Scudamore's long journey paid off.

Tom Scudamore was back among the winners after Thistlecrack's defeat

Locally-based Mike Smith was delighted to advertise his training talents by saddling two winners at Ayr.

Smith, who trains around 25 horses from his yard in Galston, is hoping his brace in the opening two races in Scotland will kick-start his campaign.

Strong Economy had hinted his turn was not far away when runner-up at the track shortly after the turn of the year and comfortably went one better in the 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle.

The 4/1 shot travelled strongly under Stephen Mulqueen and readily pulled six lengths clear of Vertigo.

"He was very impressive," said Smith. "He likes it at Ayr, so we'll see if we can find another race for him here. He'll be fine on any galloping track.

"I think he's really next year's horse and he'll be a better horse over a fence."

Smith was soon on the mark once more as Glingerside caused a major upset in the Racing UK Novices' Hurdle.

David O'Meara's smart Flat performer Fattsota was the 1/4 favourite to follow up his first jumping success at Musselburgh, but former Nicky Richards inmate Glingerside was not for catching in the straight and passed the post two and a half lengths to the good in the hands of in-form jockey Henry Brooke.

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Smith added: "He was bought for quite a lot of money (48,000 euro) and then they threw him away at the sales and we bought him for £800. Coming to a smaller yard has maybe helped him.

"I knew coming into the race today he was coming right and I'm delighted to see him win.

"I have some very good staff and some loyal owners who have stood by me.

"I shoot from the hip and tell them how it is, but things are going well at the moment and I'm looking forward to the rest of the year."

The Marjorie Fife-trained Simmply Sam obliged as the 3/1 favourite in the Racing UK Day Pass Only 10 Handicap Hurdle.

The application of blinkers appeared to have the desired effect on Lucinda Russell's Newtown Lad (5/2 favourite) as he jumped and galloped his rivals into submission in the Racing UK In HD Chase.

Tom Scudamore, who was at Fontwell on Sunday and made the journey of almost 500 miles for two rides, was in the saddle for his first winner since Thistlecrack's surprise defeat on Saturday.

Russell said: "He's a very nice horse and should make a lovely staying chaser.

"I think the blinkers helped him a little bit. He's been running well, but his jumping was a bit shoddy here last time.

"He doesn't have an attitude problem, I think the blinkers just help him concentrate with his jumping more than anything.

"There's a nice novice handicap just after Cheltenham at Uttoxeter and we might give him an entry in the Eider, but we'll see.

"Hopefully he can progress."

Nick and Lucy Alexander combined to land the Racing UK Winter Season Ticket Handicap Chase with 11/1 shot The Orange Rogue.

Brian Ellison's Sam's Adventure (8/11) sent favourite-backers home happy by rewarding odds-on backers in the bumper.

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