Ayr report: Grand Morning glory for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox

Mon 15 Jan 2018

The successful Grand National partnership of Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox were successful at Ayr when Grand Morning won the Racing UK Maiden Hurdle.

Having just his second start over hurdles following a promising debut at Hexham, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old showed reserves of stamina not dissimilar to stablemate One For Arthur, the hero of Aintree in April.

Grand Morning (4-1) stayed on stoutly in testing conditions, having looked beaten before the turn for home, to defeat Nando by a length and a half.

"It was pretty attritional and he gave him a lovely ride," said Russell.

"He's still immature but he's certainly got an engine. He's not backward. He learned a lot at Hexham and if he keeps progressing we might have a nice horse on our hands.

"He does have a knee action so we'll keep him to soft (ground) this year before we go over fences."

Too Many Chiefs (4-1) appears to be developing as an Ayr specialist as he notched a third course win for Sharon Watt in the Jump To It And Join Racing UK Handicap Hurdle.

Donald McCain's good run continued when Hills Of Dubai defied a nine-month absence in the Biggest Jumps Season On Racing UK Chase.

Despite his time off, he was still sent off the 3-1 favourite and the result was never in doubt as Brian Hughes jumped out and made all the running on the chasing debutant.

Baby Ticker (6-1) scored for the Callum and Donald Whillans team, while there was also a win for Kenny Johnson's 13-year-old Rosquero (9-1) in the totepool Betting At Handicap Chase.

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