Progressive Yeats Mare Impresses In Aintree Grade 3
Lanzarote Hurdle winner West Balboa (7m Yeats - Rostellan, by Flemensfirth) continued her upward curve with an impressive performance in Saturday’s Grade 3 Hurdle at Aintree.
The Dan Skelton-trained mare was raised five pounds for her valuable victory at Kempton and was sent off favourite as she stepped up to three miles for the first time. Racing towards the back of the field under Harry Skelton, she began to make headway from four out and was pushed along to lead from the second last. Running on strongly from the final flight, she was ridden clear to win by five lengths, as Pounding Poet (Yeats) completed a 1-2 for their Castlehyde Stud sire.
“She looked fabulous today,” the winning trainer later said. “The step up to three miles was always going to be a positive. We always knew we had a very good mare on our hands and the Lanzarote proved that.”
Grade 1 contests will be on the agenda next season, according to Skelton, who trains West Balboa for owners Bullen-Smith and Faulks. The daughter of Yeats has never finished outside the first two, with her performances in defeat including a Grade 1 second in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle last season. Bred by Frank Motherway and Billy Fitzgerald, she began her career with Aidan Fitzgerald, for whom she finished second on debut at Dromahane.