Champion jockey “AP” McCoy may have stayed south of the border, but a galaxy of supporting stars descended on Musselburgh for the opening of the winter jumps season at the East Lothian venue last Thursday and Friday, writes John Budden.
There were wins for long-distance raiders Richard Johnson on the Welsh-trained Dovil’s Date and Adie Coleman on Monetary Fund for Hereford-based Venetia Williams, paying her first ever visit to Musselburgh – but the star of the opening day was Fife’s Lucy Alexander.
Lucy (21), National Hunt’s outstanding female jockey, narrowly missed riding three winners during the afternoon.
Not just content with winning the opener on Goldtrek in a tight finish from King Brex – the mount of Kit, her brother – Lucy earned a roar of approval from the packed grandstand when she forced home local favourite Or De Grugy in the feature handicap chase.
The Big Freeze, partnered by the powerful and hugely experienced Richard Johnson, had been left a clear leader by the fall of Ballymacduff midway down the back straight, and the duo were still in front on the approach to the final fence, with the staying on Or De Grugy the sole threat.
Full report in this week’s News. On sale now.