Sunday Round Up – Shock at Naas and Joy for Jewell at Plumpton
The Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle at Naas went the way of Gigginstown and Willie Mullin’s third string Mckinley under Paul Townend to muted crowds at a packed Naas this afternoon returning at 33/1 in the seven runner field.
The race had been highly anticipated with unbeaten Tell Us More for Mullins and Free Expression for Gordon Elliott prominent in the ante post Cheltenham markets set to battle out for this Grade One contest at the track and they both performed with credit filling the second and third spots in the finish but it was the Paul Townend drive on a responding Mckinley that came out on top at the line.
The winner had been pulled up last time out at Leopardstown but showed his best qualities here to bounce right back to form and score and put his name back in the picture for a trip to the Festivals this spring. Tell Us More seemed the likely winner two from home having put the free running Free Expression under pressure but couldn’t quicken with the winner when the line approached.
Over at Plumpton there was Sussex National joy for trainer Linda Jewell and up and coming jockey Tom Cannon who steered 11/1 Itoldyou across the line having picked up long time leader and race favourite Gorgehous Lliege two from home. It was a battle to the line as Viking Blond came from behind the leaders to snatch second place with Reblis once again running well at the track to finish third.
It will go down as a very big day for the trainer who had saddled a Group 3 winner on the level in the past but Itoldyou has now provided her with a very notable success over the jumps. Tom Cannon too continues to enjoy a nice run of things in the saddle and will be happy with the start to 2015.
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