Breizh Alko overcomes training 'rollercoaster' to deliver back-to-back success

Favourite Breizh Alko lands his second success of the season under Brian Hughes
Favourite Breizh Alko lands his second success of the season under Brian HughesCredit: John Grossick Racing

Sunday: Sedgefield

Fragile chaser Breizh Alko claimed his second win on the bounce on Sunday to reward a careful training performance by Martin Keighley.

The 11-year-old made the tenth start of his career in the 3m3f handicap chase but had not run more than twice a season before joining Keighley's yard in November.

"He's got fragile legs," said Keighley. "It's been a rollercoaster trying to get him sound, but touch wood he's all good at the moment. It's been a huge team effort to get him to the track, so to win two races this season is superb.

"He really toughed it out, the ground was tacky and hard work. He's a strong stayer and with it being three miles three furlongs he got away with it, thanks to another great ride from Brian Hughes."

Keighley also credited Breizh Alko's former trainer Rebecca Menzies for proposing to send the chaser to his yard in Gloucestershire.

"Rebecca recommended that he come to me because she was struggling to keep him sound and thought my gallops would suit. You wouldn't get many trainers who would do that.

"She was there today and came over and congratulated me and was delighted to see him win."

The race had a sad postscript as the Nicky Richards-trained Grimthorpe winner Chidswell collapsed and died after the finish. It was another blow for Richards and owners David and Nicky Robinson, having lost Home Fire at Musselburgh on Wednesday.

North Parade takes the opener under Ryan Mania
North Parade takes the opener under Ryan ManiaCredit: John Grossick

Tipster tribute

The Sue Smith-trained North Parade won the Graeme Dand Find Us This Winner Handicap Hurdle, named in tribute to the form analyst who was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer last year.

Brilliant Bobbie

Simon West ended his week in fine style after Bobbie the Dazzler claimed the 3m3f handicap hurdle at odds of 28-1.

The eight-year-old mare struck under John Kington in her stable debut for West, handing the trainer his first winner of the season.

Results, replays and analysis

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Harry WilsonReporter
Published on 6 March 2022Last updated 19:36, 6 March 2022