Real deal for McCain and Maguire
Real Milan helped Donald McCain and Jason Maguire to boost what are already three-figure seasonal totals for the trainer and jockey in the Download BetVictor Spincast App Now Novices' Chase at Ayr.
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Maguire was the first to reach a century of winners late last month as he vies with Richard Johnson for second-place in the jockey standings, while Cheshire-based McCain is the most successful trainer in the country in terms of actual numbers.
Real Milan has now only been beaten twice in seven starts and has a perfect record from two starts over fences as he supplemented a ready victory at Carlisle by pulling away from Netminder.
While not flattered by his margin of four lengths, the 1/2 favourite still needed to be scrubbed along by Maguire to keep track of the leader and only asserted himself properly approaching the last.
"The ground is drying up, so it's very tacky out there, but I was very pleased with his jumping," said Maguire.
"He might be helped by going in a more competitive race but he is two from two and has done nothing wrong. He jumped the ditch well, and by then the race was sort of over."
It was some compensation for Grahame and Diana Whateley, who have smart sorts like Captain Chris and Menorah with Philip Hobbs, after disappointment over another of their McCain horses at the same course the day before.
McCain tweeted: "Nice to get a winner for the Whateleys after losing Baltimoar yesterday, great supporters and a sad loss."
Peter Buchanan, who steered home two of Lucinda Russell's treble on the first day of the meeting, helped the combination to continue their momentum in the opening Follow Us On Twitter At BetVictorRacing Maiden Hurdle.
It was a flawless hurdling debut from 5/4 favourite No Deal, who had also won a bumper and a point-to-point.
On a day of family combinations, Emma Sayer enjoyed a memorable first victory over fences aboard her mother Dianne's Sergeant Pink (3/1) in the BetVictor Exclusive Antepost Offer Cheltenham 2013 Handicap Chase.
The cheekpieced gelding looked reluctant during the course of the race but suddenly revived his interest in the home straight and cut down the 5/4 favourite Gleann Na Ndochais, who looked booked for victory up until the final fence.
"Down the back he went from travelling well to dropping the lot," the jockey told Racing UK.
"I didn't think he was tired, and turning in we passed one, he picked up the bridle again and he has done it all right.
"I've been desperate to get that first win over fences."
If Sayer requires a role model, she would be advised to choose Lucy Alexander, who excelled once again in the BetVictor Cheltenham Festival Antepost Pioneers Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase.
Alexander and the game grey mare Tipsy Dara (11/4), trained by her father Nick, rode their luck at times but ran out a comprehensive winner.
Callum Whillans was another to be bold from the front on his father Donald's King Kalium (13/2) in the BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle and they had enough gas left in the tank to hold 10/11 favourite Rowan Road by two and three-quarter lengths.
"He jumped himself in front and I was like a reindeer driving the sleigh," said Whillans jnr.
"He made a mess of the last but he was OK and I just kept kicking. He had a breathing operation in the summer, and hopefully that has made the difference with him."
Pas Trop Tard continued on his upward curve under Michael 'Badger' McAlister (11/4) in the BetVictor.com Handicap Hurdle.