Milan Native Impresses On Hurdle Debut
Milan Native (6g Milan - That’s The Goose, by Be My Native) made a winning start to his hurdle career at Navan on Sunday, when beating hot-favourite Raya Time in the opening Maiden Hurdle.
Third on his only previous start in a Leopardstown bumper at Christmas, he dropped down in trip to two miles for his hurdle debut on ground described as good to yielding. Ridden to chase the leaders by Jack Kennedy, he made good progress to take second approaching the second last and showed a good turn of foot to assert on the run-in, beating the longtime leader and favourite by a length and a quarter, under hands and heels. The front pair finished 13 lengths clear of the third horse.
Gordon Elliott, who trains the winner for Gigginstown House Stud, said after the race, “He's a big chasing in the making. He improved a lot from his first run. I'd say he could definitely step up in trip. He's a nice horse.” Bred by Eugene Condon, Milan Native is a full-brother to bumper winner Alice Pink (Milan) and a three-parts brother to Grade 1 performer Colour Squadron.
Meanwhile, over at Knockanard point-to-point, the Ken Budds-trained Mrs McRo (6m Milan - Mrs Avery, by Supreme Leader) beat West Vintage (Westerner) to win the Six-Year-Old Plus Mares Maiden. The bay, who finished second last time out, made late headway to deny her Trevor Hemmings-owned rival by a neck, providing her young pilot Alannah Budds with her first winner between the flags.
Bred by Michael Long, Mrs McRo is a full-sister to four-time winner Long Wave (Milan).