Milan Wins Again at Plumpton!

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Milan Bridge won the 3 miles 1 1/2 furlong steeplechase at Plumpton on 14 April, his first race since winning there in December. On this occasion he was ridden by Tom Cannon, who rode an ideal, positive race, filling Milan with confidence and racing prominently until taking the lead on the final bend into the home straight. He stayed on well despite a late challenge from the runner-up. Milan’s jumping was excellent and, at times, exuberant which was good to see. He is clearly loving his job and should progress further.

That win, the third for the yard in seven runs in two weeks, takes the yard’s strike rate for the season to 22% which places Sarah well inside the top 10, by strike rate, of the Racing Post’s list of the top 100 trainers. A level stakes bet of £10 to win on every horse sent out by Sarah this season would have netted you over £375 – another statistic only bettered by three other top 100 trainers, in fact nearly all make a loss on that measure!

The photograph of Milan flying over the last fence is courtesy of Darren Cool Images.

Nickle Back ran in the Grade 1, two mile novice chase (the Mughall) at Aintree on Grand National Day, Saturday, 13 April. We had hoped to run him in the 2 1/2 mile Manifesto on Thursday, 10 April but we decided against that as the ground was too soft for him and heavy in places. The ground had improved by Saturday and, although we knew that the trip was really too short for him against 2 mile specialists, we decided we had to let him take his chance as it would be his last opportunity before losing his novice status. Not surprisingly, things did not go his way, as there was some bumping at the start which meant that he couldn’t get his usual quick start. He tried his best and put in some very good jumping but the dead and holding ground didn’t enable him to make the most of his high cruising speed and impressively quick jumping. It was worth trying and he is fine after the race. He is a wonderful horse and will win some more exciting and valuable races over 2 1/2 miles on more suitable ground. Nickle, led up by Ollie Watson, looked fantastic in the paddock and rightly won the prize for the best turned out horse!

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