No Duffer in National picture
Latest news from Doncaster where No Duffer opened up the possibility of a crack at the Grand National.
Paddy Brennan: Won aboard No Duffer
No Duffer opened up the possibility of a crack at the Grand National with a gutsy success from Long Lunch in the Bet365.com Handicap Chase at Doncaster.
Just 24 hours on from winning in a tight finish at Cheltenham on Theatre Guide, Paddy Brennan once again came out on the right side of a photo to a staying handicap.
Sent off at 9-1, Tom George's No Duffer was up there throughout with Ziga Boy, but when bottom weight Long Lunch passed them both he looked sure to score.
To No Duffer's credit, though, he battled back tenaciously to win by a nose, with five lengths back to Ziga Boy.
"I'd like to make it look a bit easier, but it's nice to keep edging them," said Brennan.
"He was brave and never gave up. The dream is the National, we just need to persuade the owners."
Owner David Robey said: "He's our only horse in training. This was a step up in class today, but there haven't really been any races for him.
"Both Paddy and Barry Geraghty have said he's the right type for the Grand National, we'll have to start thinking about it."
Amy Murphy has made a very bright start to her training career and notched a third win of the season when Kalane breezed to victory in the Bet365 Handicap Chase.
Always highly regarded by previous trainer Charlie Longsdon, she was not disgraced behind a decent yardstick in Desert Queen first time out this season.
Confidently ridden by Jack Quinlan, the 5-2 favourite cruised past Always On The Run approaching the second-last and come home 17 lengths clear.
"I don't think she stayed three miles on her first run and she was a lot sharper today," said Quinlan.
Murphy said: "There's a race back here on the 29th, a Listed for mares' only.
"She's always needed time between her races, but now she's older I'd hope that will be long enough.
"Charlie and Noel (Fehily) loved her, she was third to Annie Power in a Grade One at Punchestown once."
Permit holder Phil Middleton went out on a winner as Satanic Beat (7-2) defied top weight in the Bet365.com Handicap Hurdle.
Due to run on Friday, travel problems prevented that and Ryan Winks steered him home to beat Back To Balloo, trained by his father, Peter.
"I wanted to go out on a winner so that's it now," said Middleton.
"He was due to run yesterday, but I couldn't close the ramp on the horsebox and by the time I fixed it it was too late.
"This lad has been sold to run in Switzerland."