Smart Novice Kicks Off Double For Mahler
Grove Road (6g Mahler - Dear Frankie, by Milan) made it three from three under rules when making a successful step up in trip in Wednesday’s Novices’ Hurdle at Hereford.
The winner of a bumper on his first start for Archie Watson, the son of Mahler made a perfect start over hurdles on his season return and stepped up to three miles and a furlong at Hereford. Racing in touch under Adam Wedge, the chesnut was ridden to lead from the penultimate flight and faced a strong challenge approaching the last. Disputing on the run-in, he dug deep to prevail by a neck, with the pair finishing nine and a half lengths clear of the field.
Bred by Gareth Adair, Grove Road finished third on her sole start for Aidan Kennedy and now carries the colours of Hambleton Racing.
Previously placed over hurdles on four occasions, Oliver McKiernan’s charge was partnered by regular rider Richard Condon to make all of the running. Ridden from the second last, she was eased down close home to win by 16 lengths, unchallenged.
“It's nice when you have a good willing partner,” the winning rider said after the race. “She wears her heart on her sleeve, she loves that ground and I'd say she would have gone around again. She's so honest and game, a pleasure to ride and she jumps so well.”
Wednesday marked a second wide margin win for Kilbree Warrior, having drawn 12 lengths clear in a mares’ maiden at Tallow as a five-year-old. Bred by James D Leahy, she is out of a Flemensfirth half-sister to useful chaser Tukawhile.