Further success for Alcester's Dan Skelton and Wilmcote's Olly Murphy
ALCESTER trainer Dan Skelton and Wilmcote handler Olly Murphy both enjoyed success last weekend, with pride of place going to the Skelton stable star Roksana in the Grade 2 Matchbook Betting Podcast Mares' Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday, writes David Hucker.
After a wide-margin success on her seasonal debut at Wetherby, Roksana had finished third to leading staying hurdlers Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, form which gave her a major chance in the race and saw her sent off the odds-on favourite.
Coming into the last flight alongside Magic Of Light, who was seeking a hat-trick of wins in the race, Harry Skelton nudged Roksana into the lead soon after touching down and she came right away on the run-in for an easy win.
Just 15 minutes later, the stable brought up another graded race winner when Faivoir landed Haydock Park's Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle, getting up right on the line to collar Minella Drama.
This was the fourth win in as many rides on Faivoir for jockey Bridget Andrews, with the winner being quoted at 25-1 by the sponsors for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Two days earlier, Skelton had introduced a promising recruit to hurdling at Ludlow in the shape of Calico, a three-time winner on the flat in Germany, who went clear on the run-in for a smooth success and is one to note for the future.
Two winners at Wincanton on Thursday, including the well-bred debutant Sure Touch, the first horse he has trained for Robert Waley-Cohen, and one on the flat at Chelmsford on Friday set Murphy up for a busy weekend which saw the Wilmcote trainer send out six runners across three courses on Saturday, with Brewin'upastorm making a successful return to hurdles at Taunton.
He was due to saddle another five runners at Hereford on Sunday, but overnight snow forced the meeting to be abandoned.