21 October 2021

Taipan strikes fences gold at Ludlow

21 October 2021

Fergal O’Brien was delighted to see Golden Taipan put a frustrating run of results behind him by claiming a first victory over fences at Ludlow

A three-times winner over hurdles a couple of years ago, the seven-year-old had proved expensive to follow since having his attentions turned to the larger obstacles – finishing second on four occasions.

Turning out just over a fortnight after placing third at the Shropshire venue, Golden Taipan was the 7-5 favourite for the Lord Ffrench Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Paddy Brennan’s mount took the lead before jumping the fourth fence from home – and while he was untidy at the last, he had plenty in hand and passed the post six and a half lengths ahead of Raya Time.

O’Brien, who is looking forward to saddling several runners at Cheltenham over the next couple of days, said: “I’m delighted for the owners and the horse.

“He’d bumped into Dr Newland’s good horse (Captain Tom Cat) and Donald McCain’s good horse (Presentandcounting), so he hasn’t had the luckiest time and it’s great he’s got his head in front.

“It’s good to get that done and keep the winners flowing. There’s nothing like winners to give you confidence and the horses are running well, so long may that last.”

The father-son combination of Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies landed the opening Ludlow Brewery Novices’ Hurdle with 8-1 shot Key To The Moon.

Key To The Moon jumps the final flight clear at Ludlow (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

The five-year-old had failed to get competitive in two bumper outings, but raised his game significantly on his jumping bow to defeat 8-13 favourite Full Of Light by two and a half lengths.

“We always thought he was nice,” said the winning trainer.

“He had to settle, which he did and he’s won, so it’s great.

“We’ll try to find another small race with a penalty.”

Sinndarella won at prohibitive odds (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

Jockey Alan Johns was banned for 10 days (November 4-13 inclusive) after the stewards found he had failed “to take all reasonable and permissible measures” to ensure his unplaced mount, Yambocharlie, was given opportunity to obtain the best possible placing.

Odds-on backers had better luck in the following KLF Insurance Ltd Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, with Sarah Hollinshead’s 2-5 shot Sinndarella readily accounting for her two rivals under Richard Patrick.

The John O’Shea-trained Just The Man was a 9-2 winner of the Vera Davies Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Adam Wedge, while Gina Andrews was seen to good effect aboard John Groucott’s Happy News (9-1) in the Ludlow Racecourse Supporting Racing Welfare Week Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase.

Imphal sent favourite backers home happy – striking gold as the 2-1 market leader in the concluding Butcher Woods Ltd. Novices’ Handicap Hurdle for Gary and Jamie Moore.

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