No place like Ludlow for Vic
The old adage of horses for courses is certainly applicable to Land Of Vic after she made it four wins from as many visits to Ludlow in the EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Mares' Novices' Chase.
Sean Bowen: Rode Land Of Vic to victory
One of three in a line at the final fence, the Peter Bowen-trained nine-year-old seemed to have thrown her chance away when appearing to hand the initiative to Aces Over Eights after making what looked to be a costly error.
Gathered in by Sean Bowen, the even-money favourite found an extra gear up the run-in to reel in the Kerry Lee representative before getting up by a short head.
Haverfordwest handler Bowen said: "Two and a half miles would not be ideal for her, but she got there in the end. That's her fourth win here now, so it must be her lucky track.
"It looked like she'd thrown the race away at the last, but all she does is stay. You would not think Ludlow would be ideal for her, as she is not the quickest and she just keeps galloping.
"It is amazing the mare she is out of (Land Of Glory), we had a winner with one yesterday and so did Philip Hobbs.
"Her first run back at Cheltenham was on the back of nearly 18 months off and it was a very hot race last time at Newbury on her first start over fences and she might have just bounced.
"She has got a bit of black type over hurdles, so hopefully she will be able to win a Listed chase."
Noel Williams celebrated his first winner at the track after Theatre Goer benefited from a well-judged ride from the front by William Featherstone in the extended two-mile-seven-furlong mares' handicap hurdle.
Although faced with a host for dangers turning in, the 9-2 shot continued to find plenty from the front to repel the late challenge of Tambura by a length and a half and register her second win under rules.
Williams said: "She is only tiny, but what she lacks in size she makes up for in guts. She deserved that. That is my first winner at the track so that is another ticked off the list.
"It was her first win under rules in more than a year, but since she has won she has run very few bad races in between.
"Will Featherstone gave her a lovely ride. His 5lb claim was invaluable as she really did need that little bit of help.
"He got his fractions spot on. Turning in they were ganging up in behind, but as soon as he went for her she quickened."
The Donald McCain-trained Valleyofmilan (9-1) put his departure last time out at Doncaster behind him when capturing the feature His Royal Highness Prince Of Wales Challenge Trophy by a length and a half.
Nicky Henderson's River Wylde (30-100) had little trouble in following up his recent course success in the novice hurdle, while Seymour Star (22-1) proved age is just a number as the Alastair Ralph-trained nine-year-old opened his account in the maiden hurdle.
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