Fox Appeal back in business
A review of the action from Ludlow on Wednesday, where Emma Lavelle was delighted to see Fox Appeal return to winning ways.
Fox Appeal (right) and runner-up Calett Mad (green) are both in the mix during the early stages at Ludlow.
Emma Lavelle was rewarded in her decision to listen to advice from Richard Johnson after he steered Fox Appeal to a first win in more than two years in the Tanners Champagne Handicap Chase at Ludlow on Wednesday.
Although the champion jockey's suggestion of fitting a tongue tie on the nine-year-old after riding him at Ascot failed to produce a win last time out at Newbury, there was a much more satisfying outcome on this occasion. .
Prominent throughout the extended two-mile-seven-furlong contest, the 4/1 shot stayed on best of them all to pass the post with five lengths in hand of favourite Calett Mad and claim a first win since November 2014.
Lavelle said: "That was great. There is no getting away from the fact that he had dropped to a very nice mark, but he did it really well.
"He did seem in great order and I think the run at Newbury was better than the result. He definitely showed he was on his way back.
"In fairness Richard Johnson rode him at Ascot and said that we should try a tongue tie. We put it on for Newbury and it helped him.
"I said to Richard this morning that he told me to put it on, so he'd better go and win now!"
She added: "It would be the logical thing to do have a go at veterans' races now, as he could be tailor-made for that.
"My only concern is that three miles around Ludlow is different to say a Sandown. He has got a good record on quick, sharp tracks."
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Colin's Brother followed up his recent success at Bangor when forming the middle leg of an across-the-card treble for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies in the Tanners Wines Handicap Chase.
Despite being briefly outpaced, the 9/2 winner finished with a flourish to take victory by five lengths and add to the double the Naunton handler claimed at Ffos Las.
Twiston-Davies said: "I am delighted with him. He won well last time and he won even better this time.
"He finished really strongly and I would probably say that two and a half miles is his best trip.
"It now just depends whatever races there are over two and two and a half miles for him. There is a good handicap in him."
Alan King celebrated his 1400th winner since starting out back in December 1999 after Tara View, his only runner on the card, ground out victory by half a length in the G C Rickards Ltd EBF Mares' National Hunt Novices' Hurdle to claim a second successive win at the track.
King said of his 3/1 scorer: "That was great. She battled away very well. The ground was probably as soft as she would want it, but she got away with it.
"She jumped really well and I was hoping she would run well. We will work backwards from the mares' final at Newbury.
"That was my 1400th winner over both codes. I am very proud of that and it is 'well done' to the team."
Kilcrea Vale looked a potentially useful recruit to fences when forming the middle leg of a treble for trainer Nicky Henderson in the Alfa Aggregate Products Novices' Chase.
Jumping well throughout, the 15/8 chance took the two-and-a-half-mile prize by 19 lengths to initiate a double for winning rider Jeremiah McGrath.
The pair also teamed up to good effect in the concluding Russell's Big Five O Birthday Standard Open NH Flat Race which newcomer Top Ville Ben (11/8) secured by three and a half lengths.
River Wylde (3/1) and Daryl Jacob kicked off the three-timer for Seven Barrows when leaving behind a disappointing bumper effort at Cheltenham with a seven-length success in the Tanners Cava 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle.
The well-supported Goal (7/1) hit the back of the net for trainer Tracey Watkins when obliging by a length and a half in the Tanners Prosecco Handicap Hurdle (for Lady Amateur Riders).
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