My Legal Lady leaves challengers trailing
There was no mistaking the ease of My Legal Lady's win at Newton Abbot yesterday, when she came home the four-and-a-half lengths winner in the hands of Tom Scudamore.
Following her win at the course in May, she was subsequently demoted to second following a steward's enquiry, although that ruling was later overturned.
This time, however, Scudamore sent her to the front three flights from home, with the Paddy Brennan-trained Performance Review trailing in her wake.
Explaining just nine racecourse appearances in seven years, owner-trainer Stuart Howe said: "We've looked after her. I actually think she's a nice mare, but she's a big baby. That's the way we are happy to go with her."
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Merrion Square, a 7-4 favourite to win the novices' chase, was kicked on by Daryl Jacob approaching two fences from home, and was always too good for Tiger O'Toole, who finished two lengths in arrears.
It was a second win at the track for Merrion Square. Jacob doubled up on a 5-6 favourite, Minella Stars, in the long-distance handicap chase, but he looked a shade lucky, with James Best on Mostly Bob just failing to get up by a short head in the final strides.
"I think he nearly threw it away. He jumped the last well, but he does like to pull himself up. I thought jumping the last nothing would get near us, but it's just his nature. He gallops along but he hasn't a real turn of foot. Some of the longer distance races will be idea for him," said the winning jockey.
AP McCoy said one look from trainer Keith Goldsworthy was enough to make him win, following the success of Tenby Jewel in the 2m6f novices' hurdle. "He scares me when I ride for him," said the winning jockey, who added: "I thought Tenby Jewel was getting a bit tired and horses were coming to him, and I couldn't resist giving him a kick coming to the last."
McCoy had taken the race by the scruff of the neck, giving the winner a power-packed ride for most of the way, ensuring a defeat for odds-on favourite Kilmacowen.
Bernard Llewellyn saddled the first two home in the selling handicap hurdle, with 20-1 chance Going Nowhere Fast, who had not raced for more than a year, beating Rime Avec Gentil. "They've finished in the wrong order as I thought he'd need a run," said Llewellyn's son, John.
There is a new kid on the block on the form of Kingsbridge's Sarah Kerswell, who has now saddled two out of two winners. Remarkably, Romance Dance had been off the track for 612 days, but she dug deep to hold off the challenge of Kahsabelle in the hands of Brendan Powell.