Nothing Lucky about Landing win and Haydock beckons next
Last Updated: March 10, 2013 5:07pm
Tony Coyle has grand designs on a tidy pot at Haydock later this month following Lucky Landing's win at Market Rasen.
Coyle only has a small team of jumpers at his base in Norton, North Yorkshire, but his horses have consistently fought their corner all season.
Lucky Landing chose to illustrate the point on a bitingly raw afternoon which belied the notion of Lincolnshire being in the infancy of spring.
The 2/1 favourite showed no signs of fatigue after a close second at Carlisle on Thursday as he galloped six lengths clear in the Double M Novices' Hurdle under Brian Toomey.
Next stop for Lucky Landing is the series final of a valuable 'grassroots' initiative at Haydock on March 30.
Coyle said: "He was unlucky on Thursday - he got chinned on the line - but he's a good horse.
"We probably got away with it on that ground, and we'll run him at the end of the month in a £50,000 handicap at Haydock."
Punters seeking a quick buck from the opening race suffered a sizeable jolt when 1/6 favourite Spirit Of Shankly could finish only second to Gee Hi.
That Charlie Longsdon's five-year-old hot-pot was found to have bled through the nose during the TJS Van & Truck Rental "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle was of little consolation to anyone but his connections.
Longsdon said: "We thought he was a steering job, but life goes on."
Gee Hi, by contrast, looked the essence of vitality when he edged clear of the Noel Fehily-ridden Spirit Of Shankly two flights from home before extending his advantage to six lengths.
The Charles Egerton-trained 4/1 chance was also providing a first winner for 128 days for veteran rider Jimmy McCarthy.
McCarthy said: "It's been a bit quiet - it's tough for all of us - so you've got to take the opportunity when it comes your way."
Longsdon and Fehily did not need to wait for long for redemption, though, as Little Chip (6/1) left behind some moderate efforts to claim the Harry Hall "Happy 80th Birthday" Handicap Chase by three and a quarter lengths.
Longsdon said: "It felt like a bad race but Noel gave him a fantastic ride."
Topaze Collonges (7/2) later provided Longsdon and Fehily with a double in the Double M Handicap Chase, holding off the late thrust of Oranger.
Dominic Elsworth also gained plenty of kudos for his display on Sixty Something, who manfully shouldered top weight in the Calverts Carpets York Handicap Hurdle.
Elsworth's injection of pace as the field passed the grandstand for the first time proved decisive.
Paul Webber's grey (13/2) may have then idled along the run-in, but he still had enough about him to put Crowning Jewel in his place by a length.
"Since he's had a hood on he's been quite progressive," said Elsworth.
"He's a nice chasing prospect for next season."
There was further anguish for favourite-backers in the Delaney's Golden Birthday Bash Novices' Handicap Chase as 4/7 shot Cara Court blew his chance by jumping poorly.
Ohms Law (12/1) took full advantage of that one's trespasses to give Hinckley trainer Anthony Day his first winner under Rules.