Scudamore hails success of wind surgery on Musselburgh runners
Dr Hooves, runner-up in the bumper at Musselburgh, fared best of the four runners who kickstarted a new era on Friday as the first to compete with notice of a wind operation made available to punters.
Best backed of the four, Dr Hooves finished a two-and-a-quarter-length second to even-money favourite I’m To Blame, improving significantly on his only previous outing when fifth of 11 in a similar event at Carlisle last April.
His trainer Lucinda Russell reported prior to the race that Dr Hooves had undergone a hobday operation after his debut.
Russell’s Dancing Amy had earlier made history as the first to run under the new instruction.
Starting the 50-1 rank outsider of the seven-runner field in Musselburgh’s mares’ novice hurdle, Dancing Amy briefly threatened to get competitive at the top of the home straight but could keep on at just one pace from the penultimate flight to finish fifth to Toboggan’s Fire.
The mare’s starting price looked a fair reflection of her chance based on the form of two previous starts, after which she had her soft palate cauterised, and Peter Scudamore, assistant trainer to Russell, is adamant wind surgery provided the catalyst for the improved performance.
He said: "Some horses it works for and some horses it doesn’t, but we’ve had two today where it has improved their performance. They’ve both raced to the line. When that happens you think they've got a chance of winning a race. But when they go backwards, then you’re struggling.
"Dr Hooves needs a test of stamina, but it wasn’t allowed to be used before because his wind was stopping him.
"Dancing Amy was not breathing properly before. She was more uptight and worried about her wind, even after two furlongs. Sometimes they'll make a noise through tension.
"But she’s had her wind done and today was more relaxed and galloped to the line. Now you know, next time you can ride her more handily."
RPR jumps expert Steve Mason gives his take on the four Friday runners
"Dancing Amy, making her hurdling debut at Musselburgh, improved on her bumper RPR, but in a very slow time, so the form is suspect.
"Alberobello was pulled up at Chepstow but Dr Hooves improved his RPR by in excess of 25lb in Musselburgh's bumper. Lucinda Russell said in her trainer file in October she expected wind surgery to help him.
"In the same race Wimpole again ran well below the level of his Newton Abbot debut after pulling into the lead. It's impossible to say if the operation made any difference."
Misfits, winner of the 3m handicap chase for Russell, was getting off the mark at the 17th attempt.
Scudamore revealed: "He’s had his wind done, too, a couple of runs back. My father always used to say that after having their wind done they need a couple of runs to get their confidence from it because they know it’s not going to hurt them."
He added: "It’s not a magic wand, but we’ve got to let the punters know what’s going on."
However, the Nicky Martin-trained Alberobello failed to replicate his home work in Chepstow’s 2m7f handicap chase – his trainer reported in Friday’s Racing Post he had been “working like a demon” after a wind op – and was pulled up before three out.
The Michael Scudamore-trained Wimpole, who lined up against Dr Hooves on the back of a wind op, also failed to trouble the judge, finishing last at 14-1.
Six horses are due to run in Britain over the weekend who have been declared to have undergone wind surgery since their last start, commencing with the Warren Greatrex-trained Boite in the 2m3f handicap hurdle at Taunton on Saturday. American Gigolo is also in action in the afternoon at Lingfield and No More Thrills is set to appear at Chelmsford in the evening.
Fourth Act, who tackles Fontwell’s 2m5f handicap hurdle on Sunday, Red Mohican (7f handicap at Chelmsford) and Black Kettle (2m handicap chase at Newcastle) complete the six.
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