King claims Ludlow treble
A review of the action from Ludlow on Wednesday, where Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson teamed up for a treble.
Alan King, three winners at Ludlow.
Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson delighted favourite backers when notching a 6/1 hat-trick with Label Des Obeaux, Tara View and Master Blueyes.
Tara View was the only one of the trio to go off at odds against and though she made hard work of completing a four-timer in the Weatherbys General Stud Book Goes Online Mares' Handicap Hurdle, it was a case of job done.
King wanted to get a run into his six-year-old ahead of the EBF Mares' National Hunt Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final at Newbury on March 25.
It did look like On Demand was going to lead all the way, but Tara View (11/4 favourite) wore her down on the run-in to win going away by two and a quarter lengths, with the rest of the field well beaten off.
"She was hating the ground, but I wanted to get a run into her so I could go for the EBF mares' final at Newbury," said the Barbury Castle trainer.
"I wouldn't think she'd run again until Newbury. She's a grand mare and is much better on good ground. She has a bit of class about her."
The other two were much easier winners as their short odds had suggested.
Label Des Obeaux got off the mark over fences at the fourth attempt when leading from start to finish over three miles in the Downton Novices' Chase.
The 1/3 favourite was only really threatened by Hit The Highway, but never looked in danger of defeat as Hutchinson brought his mount home with 13 lengths in hand.
"He certainly wants a bit of cut in the ground. Hopefully that will have given a lot of confidence because that's the first decent race he's had in his life," King told Racing UK.
"He campaigned at a pretty high level last year and he's run very well in his three runs this season, but these novice chases are hugely competitive. This is the first easier option we've had.
"He's a tough horse and I was delighted with him today.
"Handicaps is the more likely route at Cheltenham. He won't go to the RSA, he's in the four-miler (National Hunt Chase) which would still be a possibility and we'll probably stick him in the Ultima and see."
Master Blueyes (2/5 favourite) was rewarded for good efforts in his three previous efforts over jumps when enjoying an empathic success in the Weatherbys Hamilton Juvenile Hurdle.
Leading before two out, the four-year-old grey trounced Irish rider Long call by 18 lengths.
The in-form duo were denied a four-timer when Beneagles just failed to peg back Town Parks (11/4) in the Onibury Maiden Hurdle.
There was a short head in it at the line after Richard Johnson had swept past long-time leader Shanroe In Milan two out on Kerry Lee's six-year-old.
Pougne Bobbi (9/2) ran out an authoritative winner of the Attwood Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase.
Jerry McGrath never had the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old out of the race before setting sail for home after jumping the fifth-last fence.
From that point, Pougne Bobbi was in no danger and went on to score by nine lengths from Pull The Chord.
Shantou Rock (1/4 favourite), trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry, comfortably landed the odds when making all the running in the Bromfield 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle.
The Philip Hobbs-trained Persian Snow (5/2 favourite) made virtually all under amateur David Maxwell to take the February Hunters' Chase by 13 lengths from Bear's Affair.
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