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Hurdles next for Ruby


RUBY DELTA was the biggest surprise to punters in a nightnot short of double-figure winners and Alan Juckes is to point his gelding at juvenile hurdles following his success under Vince Slattery in the seller.

It was a fifth winner of the year for Juckes, whose stable star Zaffeu notched the other four, allat Southwell.

Having recently purchased Ruby Delta for just £600 at Ascot Sales, Juckes observed: "Vince (who put up 1lb overweight) said he was beat halfway round, and the horse was changing his legs. He was quite hard on him but they all seemed to fall in a hole in front of us.

"His previous trainer Peter Cundell said he needed a change of scenery while some of my lads said he'd be okay."

Juckes, who retained his winner with no bid, added: "He doesn't have the best of feet, but he does jump, and I expect that's the course he'll pursue."

Royal Challenge has proved a real fun horse for his owners Truck Export.

After his swooping success at 16-1 under Patrick Mathers in the sprint handicap trainer Ian McInnes said: "We paid six thousand for him and he's won three times. He doesn't owe anyone apenny. If he comes out of it okay I might run him back here under a penalty on Friday."

Those who regarded Poster as the banker on the card were rewarded with a clear cut triumph as Luca Cumani's colt stormed home under Dane O'Neill in the novice stakes.

The solidly-supported 11-10 favourite collared Granny McPhee at the top of the straight and displayed a smart change of pace to go right away.

O'Neill said: "He's a very laid-back colt with a great attitude. He's very relaxed, and travelled well throughout."

Strike Force was backed from 9-1 into 4-1 ahead of his three quarters of a length triumph over Rowan Lodge in the 1m handicap.                                        

Rowan Lodge seemed to be going the best approaching the distance, but had no answer when Jack Mitchell produced Ken Clutterbuck's gelding with a wide challenge down the centre of the track.

Strike Force is owned by Vincent Johnson and Alison Hutchinson, who said:"He was sprinted last year and has only just learned how to race."

Johnson exclaimed: "We all backed him, including Ken. This was our Derby and we were very confident."

Le Chiffre benefited from a positive ride from Micky Fenton to take the claimer by a length from Doubtful Sound.

His trainer John Harris said: "I was worried about the trip being too short and told Micky to be positive. I didn't really fancy him, but I was proved wrong."

The Stewards had a busy evening and twice disciplined Nicky Mackay. The jockey was found to have weighed in 2lb lighter than when he weighed out after partnering Littledodayno in the second race.

He was handed a three-day ban on Saturday September 20, Sunday September 21 and Monday September 22 while Littledodayno was disqualified.

Mackay also picked-up a one day ban, on Tuesday September 23, for using his whip with excessive frequency on Well Informed in the seller.

The finale went to Spate River, who completed an across-the-card double for Chris Wall, also successful with Premio Loco at Kempton.

Star performance
Poster made an impressive sand debut in the novice stakes, giving weight to his rivals. He looks sure to go on to better things


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