Glencassley turns back the clock as Hammond is denied on his return to course
Vivid memories were stirred when 1-7 shot Glencassley beat Not What It Seems in the novice hurdle as the Charlie Longsdon-trained favourite had won the last race staged anywhere in Britain before lockdown when taking a bumper here in March.
The runner-up represented the trainer whose return to the course was marked in the naming of this Micky Hammond "Back On Track" Novices' Hurdle.
"The last day I went racing was when Cornerstone Lad ran in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 2020," Hammond said.
"When racing started again after lockdown, like a lot of yards we designated some staff to go racing and others to stay at home. And I wasn't 100 per cent last winter."
Piper's day out
In a bizarre turn of events the 1m7f novice chase turned into a schooling session for Ann Hamilton's Pay The Piper.
Favourite Third Time Lucki was withdrawn less than an hour before the start by Dan Skelton, leaving only two to contest the feature race, and that was reduced to one when Hardy Du Seuil unseated jockey Gavin Sheehan at the first, enabling Danny McMenamin to ride the easiest of his 11 winners this season.
The six-year-old raced with ears pricked throughout and measured his fences well and owner Ian Hamilton said: "Jamie Snowden [trainer of Hardy Du Seuil] was very sporting, he came straight up and said well done. Our horse is a nice prospect."
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