Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winter Warmer for Primus Inter Pares

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winter Warmer for Primus Inter Pares

Article excerpt

Byline: By Nick Robson

Primus Inter Pares, eighth in the Ayr Gold Cup for David Nicholls, finally got off the mark at the winter game in the JP Morgan Cazenove Maiden Chase at Catterick yesterday.

Formerly a useful performer for James Fanshawe before his move to Nicholls' Thirsk base, he is now in the care of York trainer Noel Wilson.

After a couple of encouraging runs over timber, he seemed to be regressing rather than progressing but he showed some of his old dash to get off the mark at the rewarding price of 3-1.

Having only his second start over fences, he was given a confident ride by Wilson Renwick and scooted clear on the run-in for a three-and-a-half-length victory over Sparkling Taff, with four having been in a line over the second-last.

"He did it pretty cosily in the end," said owner Darren McIntyre. "He's always had it in him and it's just been a case of producing him at the right time. Now he's got his head in front, hopefully he can progress further."

John Forbes followed up a recent Sedgefield win with a pillar-to-post success in the Fellgill Novices' Hurdle.

After turning over a David Pipe odds-on shot last time he was sent off as the 10-11 favourite for this two-mile contest.

Paddy Brennan moved up to challenge on Sculastic two out, but a slight mistake put paid to his chances and Brian Ellison's charge cleared away for a six-length win.

"He's all about pace this horse," said Lorraine Ellison, assistant trainer to her father. "He has one pace ( Tom Dreaper rides him very well and knows how to use it.

"He might go to Market Rasen on Sunday, we will see how he comes out of this. He'll stay in novice hurdles until March as they are not great races and then he'll go handicapping. We won't have a runner at the Festival this year ( there are no Latalomne's anymore!"

Niza D'Alm gave Dougie Costello a nasty spill and he unfortunately broke a collarbone, with the rider's pain compounded by missing what was a facile success for Turbo Linn in the International Racecourse Management Mares' Only Standard NH Flat Race.

The ride on the Alan Swinbank-trained four-year-old went the way of Michael O'Connell, who had the pleasure of steering the 8-11 favourite to 28-length victory. …

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