Lambe's winning Ayr raid
TYRONE trainer James Lambe has never been slow to make long journeys in search of a winner and his adventurous philosophy paid dividends at Ayr with an 84/1 double.
Yesterday's card at the Scottish venue had to survive a morning inspection, and Lambe was delighted to see the action get the green light as Tony McCoy booted home his two winners on the way to a personal treble.
The 17-time champion jockey was at his brilliant best as he partnered Forestside (16/1) to a short-head victory over favourite Talkin Sence in the staying handicap hurdle.
"It's good to put AP up and it's good to get a winner," said Lambe. "Forestside might win again but after racing on that ground, you'll not see him for a couple of weeks at least."
Just over 30 minutes later, Lambe and McCoy were back in the winner's enclosure with Seader (4/1), which thwarted another raider in the shape of Noel Kelly's Mighty Whitey.
Derek Fox sent Mighty Whitey into an early lead and most of the way up the home straight, it looked as if they would make all the running but McCoy was in no mood to be beaten and got Seader up by half a length.
That success completed a 122/1 treble for the Moneyglass, Co Antrim native as earlier he had ridden Tap Night to an impressive debut success over fences for JP McManus. A recent purchase for the Limerick millionaire, the six-year-old had a verdict over the smart Captain Conan over hurdles last season and could take high rank over the larger obstacles.
The 4/9 favourite faced just three rivals on his chasing debut and was five lengths down after a slow leap three out.
However, he made up the ground effortlessly to win by five lengths. "He was a bit novicey at a couple, but he jumped well in the main and he was entitled to win it off his mark," said winning trainer Lucinda Russell.
Tap Night's impressive success saw Russell complete a treble as she also claimed the first two races with very nice prospects. Green Flag was giving 10lbs to each of his rivals in the opening novice hurdle but, despite getting tired after the last, he had enough left to beat Lambe's Ballybogey by 10 lengths.
Peter Buchanan was aboard Green Flag, and gave Imjoeking (7/2) a near-identical ride to beat Halo Moon by three lengths in the maiden hurdle.
If Ayr survives a further inspection this morning, Irish trainers will be hoping to plunder more of the mediocre prize money on offer.
Lambe must decide whether to send out Ballybogey for the second time in 24 hours in the opener, while Stuart Crawford is represented by Fine Rightly in the bumper and Jim Dreaper has each-way possibilities with Radharc Na Mara in the handicap chase.