THE husband and wife team of trainer Ann Hamilton and owner Ian were celebrating at Ayr last Monday after their useful hurdler Runswick Royal landed the £12,000 Class 3 two-and-a-half mile handicap hurdle.
The eight-year-old, whose wins in the past included Kelso’s Morebattle Hurdle battled well under a good ride by Ryan Day to win at 8-1 by a neck from the fast finishing Isaacstown Lad and Ian Hamilton said: “He’s had his problems with a leg injury but was back to his best."
The other Class 3 race on the card a two mile four furlongs £15,000 Handicap Chase disappointingly attracted only four runners and the only non- Irish runner Chidswell, the 6-4 favourite, from Nicky Richards' yard in Penrith stamped his class over the race to win comfortably by three-and a half lengths from Angus Milan.
Nicky Richards said later: “Brian Harding who usually rides him but is injured suggested that Craig Nichol ride him prominently today and it did the trick.”
Fife trainer Nick Alexander had only one runner because of the testing ground but it was a winning one when Craiganboy produced a great run from the last fence to win the two mile two furlong novices handicap chase at 14-1 with Grant Cockburn timing his challenge to perfection.
Lucinda Russell’s horses continue in fine from and Kilbree Chief (4-1) won the three-mile three-furlong staying chase with Tim Scudamore riding while Dumfries trainer James Ewart was on target with Sky Full Of Stars (9-4 favourite) in the two-mile handicap hurdle.
North Yorkshire-based Scot Mark Johnston sent Golden Jeffrey (5-4 fav) north to win the concluding national hunt flat race with amateur Alex Ferguson riding.
Ayr’s next meeting is on March 10 and 11 featuring seven races both days with the Friday highlight the Eight Exclusive Cheltenham Races On Racing Uk Handicap Chase over two miles four furlongs. Mike Smith is likely to run course winner Las Tunas in this.
Saturday’s feature race is the McCarthy & Stone Handicap Chase for the Hugh Barclay Challenge Trophy with leading jockeys Brian Hughes, Brian Harding and Henry Brooke likely to be in action.