Morney takes National honours
News of the action from Plumpton where Morney Wing showed plenty of resolve to win the At The Races Sussex National.
Morney Wing heads for home in the Sussex National
Morney Wing showed plenty of resolve to win the At The Races Sussex National at Plumpton under substitute jockey Paddy Brennan.
Noel Fehily was booked to ride the 12/1 chance in the feature event of the afternoon at the East Sussex circuit, but despite having earlier ridden a winner, stood himself down after feeling unwell.
The Charlie Mann-trained eight-year-old jumped boldly throughout the three-and-a-half-mile contest and took over the running from Azure Fly three fences from the finish.
Dawson City emerged as the biggest danger on the run to the last, but Morney Wing was not for catching and passed the post a length and three-quarters the good.
Mann said: "He did it well and jumped well, so we're delighted.
"Unfortunately Noel got stood down just before the race with flu, so we got Paddy and it all worked out.
"He was unlucky at Fontwell a couple of starts back and ran well at Sandown last time, so we were more than hopeful going into the race.
"We might look at something like the Midlands National or the Eider with him as he obviously stays well and loves soft ground."
Lambourn-based Mann, who trained high-class chaser Celibate in the 1990s and most recently struck Grade One gold with Air Force One in 2008, has a reduced string these days but is pleased with how the season is going.
He said: "We've only got 15 horses now and that's our 18th winner of the season. The horses are in good order and things are going well.
"This is a good start to the year and long may it continue."
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Baron Alco led his rivals a merry dance in the Ultimate Guide To The Jumps attheraces.com/jumps Novices' Chase to provide Gary and Jamie Moore with a winner at their local track.
Having chased home subsequent winner Whisper at Cheltenham last month, the six-year-old was a warm order as the 13/8 favourite and excelled in the jumping department.
Solatentif came home well, but Baron Alco had enough in the tank to prevail by two and a half lengths.
Laissez Dire was still travelling strongly when suffering a fatal injury in a fall four fences from the finish.
Moore senior said: "The form of his Cheltenham race was franked and it's great, but it was unfortunate the other horse fell.
"He was all out to win and has had a tough race. I'm hoping his handicap mark (140) stays the same.
"We might try to find another little novice for him somewhere and we could look at the two-mile-five novice handicap at the (Cheltenham) Festival.
"It was two miles and one (furlong) today, but I think he's a bit better over further, to be honest."
No Comment completed a hat-trick for Philip Hobbs, JP McManus and Barry Geraghty in the Follow At The Races On Instagram EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.
The six-year-old was runner-up to the talented but now sidelined Robin Roe on his hurdling debut at Aintree in October and had since won at Market Rasen and over this course and distance.
No Comment is 20/1 with Sky Bet for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
"He seems to have improved in his last couple of runs. I think the hood has helped him settle better," said Geraghty.
"It was a nice race to win, but it wasn't the strongest of races. I can't imagine his targets will be too high."
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