Khee glee for Morrison
Lingfield's emergency card of jumpers' bumpers was staged to serve as practice for hurdlers and chasers before they returned to the 'day job' but it opened up a different opportunity for Cousin Khee.
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Eighth in the 2011 Champion Bumper and just as impressive when taking a similar Polytrack event last month, Hughie Morrison's gelding is proving more potent without the obstacles as he cruised home a length ahead of Peintre Ster in the hands of Dougie Costello.
The 8-11 favourite for the Gratwick's Wood "Jumpers' Bumper" had finished fifth over hurdles at Kempton over the weekend.
Tony Stafford, representing owner Raymond Tooth, said: "Dougie said he felt like he could be a good 10- to 12-furlong Flat horse.
"Many of Hughie's good bumper horses have ended up better on the Flat, and I suppose he could either run in another of these, if there is one, or find a Flat maiden somewhere."
While Cousin Khee does have an entry in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, Stafford expects Tooth's former Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi, trained by Nicky Henderson, to be the representative.
"He definitely runs - Nicky says he has been great since his run at Kempton, and Barry Geraghty was very pleased with him there," Stafford said.
There was a distinctly Irish feel to the Furze Wood "Jumpers' Bumper", even if winner Representingceltic (7-2) is stabled in Epsom and was ridden by a jockey who grew up in the Surrey town.
Paddy Bradley has now scored from four rides in public, with the first of those coming on the same horse at the Kempton meeting where Cousin Khee last won.
Bradley, who turns 18 next week, is of Irish extraction and was always in the right position close to the pace.
Trainer Pat Phelan said: "I used to be involved in the original racing school in Ireland so bringing young jockeys through is dear to my heart.
"I've got two great kids in Paddy and Sophie Ralston, who are riding out here and have learned a lot from Ian Mongan."
Warren Greatrex feels his stable is turning a corner with City Wood (12-1) getting a well-judged ride from Jason Maguire in the Dencher Wood "Jumpers' Bumper".
"I wasn't happy with them a month ago but all three of mine ran well at Newbury on Wednesday and this horse has always shown a bit of ability," he said.
"We won't ask much of him this year."
The Lingfield Park "Jumpers" Bumper' saw 66-1 shot Border Station triumph in a tight finish, while it was a bit more comfortable for the Alan King-trained 3-1 joint-favourite Hollow Penny in the Billeshurst Wood event.
"I might make a Flat jockey of Choc (Robert Thornton) yet," said a smiling King.
"He's a fairly straightforward horse and he hated the heavy ground here last time."
There were two regulation bumpers as well, with Ben Case's 33-1 newcomer Un Ace besting 9-4 favourite The Stout Italian by a head in the Collier's Wood Standard Open NH Flat Race.
"The staff have had a few quid on as we thought she'd run well, and she can only improve" said the Banbury trainer.
Equally exciting looks Abigail Lynch (5-2 favourite), who took the Carewell Wood mares' bumper in smooth fashion.
"I think she could be quite nice," said trainer George Baker.
"Considering she won a three-mile point-to-point in Ireland, she has done well to win over two.
"The mares' bumper at Aintree looks an obvious race."