Mighty Thunder strikes in Edinburgh National


Russell’s improving chaser dominates in Musselburgh marathon.

Mighty Thunder was a runaway 20-length winner of the bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase at Musselburgh.

Lucinda Russell’s eight-year-old was taking his chase record to three wins in four starts with this 14-1 success, having triumphed twice at Hexham this season.

One of only four finishers over the four-mile one-furlong trip, Mighty Thunder took the lead five out under Blair Campbell – and was unchallenged after his nearest pursuer Stay Humble took what sadly proved to be a fatal fall at the penultimate fence.

Russell is considering Ayr’s Scottish Grand National as a possible spring target for her winner.

“We’re absolutely delighted with him,” said the Kinross trainer.

“He’s such a happy horse, and I thought he travelled so well and jumped really well – that four-mile distance is made for him, really.

“He likes Musselburgh. He’s run round there before, but I just think his jumping is very efficient, he can just cruise away at that four-mile speed forever.

“We’d love to take him to the Scottish National, but we’ll see. He’s still a novice, so he doesn’t have to go there. It’s just nice to be able to start making those plans.”

Gaelik Coast provided Donald McCain with his 50th winner of the season when taking the bet365 Frodon Novices’ Chase under Brian Hughes at 85-40.

The seven-year-old won on his chasing debut in October and is now two from four over fences after jumping accurately to defeat favourite Getaway Trump by four and three-quarter lengths.

Dubai Angel was a convincing 4-1 winner of the bet365 Auld Yin Conditional Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase, his first victory since joining Richard Newland’s yard in November.

The 10-year-old led before the second-last and came home a comfortable five and a half lengths ahead of favourite Oscar Ceremony.

Ruinous went one better than his recent second at Newcastle, taking the bet365 Scottish Champion Chase for trainer Tim Reed – with his son Harry riding.

Shoulder to shoulder with favourite Rikoboy, Reed’s six-year-old held on tenaciously to prevail by half-a-length.

Ruinous joined Reed’s stable in November, from Gavin Cromwell’s Meath yard, and struck at 6-1 on only his second start for his new trainer.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” he said.

“We’ve thought a bit of this horse since we bought him – he’s still very much a baby and he’s really a next-year horse, so anything he was going to do this year was a bonus to us, but he did it well.

“As of yet, we haven’t really put him under any pressure, so what you see today is definitely not the finished article. If we can keep this horse healthy, I think he’s got quite a good future.

“He’s really a two and half-mile horse and he needs better ground, so we’d probably be looking at something at the Scottish National (meeting) or Aintree – and then I’d love to run him at Perth over the summer.”

Christopher Wood was a tough winner of the bet365 Scottish County Hurdle, passing Voix Du Reve after the final flight for a three-and-a-quarter-length victory at 11-4.

The bet365 Handicap Hurdle went the way of Keith Dalgleish’s 6-1 chance Breguet Boy, who saw off 50-1 shot Sword of Fate to triumph under Craig Nichol.

The final contest of the day, the bet365 Scottish Foxhunter Open Hunters’ Chase, was won by 7-4 second favourite Salvatore for trainer Melanie Rowley and jockey Alex Edwards.

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