Ahoy Senor’s return delayed as Russell resists Carlisle

Horse Racing

Chase debut may come instead at Wetherby next week.

Lucinda Russell has resisted the temptation to press ahead with Ahoy Senor’s planned chasing debut at Carlisle, on ground she has decided may be slightly too lively for the rising star’s first start of the season.

The point-to-point recruit was due to head to Cumbria on Thursday, for the Introducing Racing TV Novices’ Chase.

But Russell had already voiced her intention to first ensure conditions were suitable – and then after consulting clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright, she announced on Wednesday evening that Ahoy Senor will not run.

The Perth & Kinross trainer will therefore consider Wetherby next week as a possible first target for her Grade One-winning hurdler, or possibly Hexham.

She said: “I’ve spoken to Kirkland, who has been very good, and he says it’s good ground all over.

“At this stage of the season I just can’t risk it, and there are plenty of other options coming up. He could go to Wetherby or Hexham, with Wetherby (on Friday week) being the next option.”

Ahoy Senor finished second in an Ayr bumper on his debut under Rules in January before returning to the Scottish track to make a successful start over hurdles in March.

He was a widely unconsidered 66-1 shot when then stepped up to Grade One level for the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

But having produced a dominant front-running display to defeat the high-class Bravemansgame, the six-year-old heads into the autumn as perhaps the brightest jumping prospect in the north.

Russell said: “It’s funny, isn’t it – it becomes a responsibility.

“The better the horse is, it’s almost as though the less he belongs to you and the more you have a responsibility to everyone else.

Cadzand (right) in action at Southwell
Cadzand (right) in action at Southwell (Mike Egerton/PA)

“You obviously have a responsibility to the owners and the jockeys and everyone here in the yard, but also to everyone else as well that’s supporting.”

“He’s a lovely horse to school. He’s been really well produced from the British point-to-point field and he’s done loads of schooling before – it’s just natural to him.

“Hopefully this (going chasing) will take him to another level again.”

In Ahoy Senor’s absence, just four runners will go to post – including Dan Skelton’s Cadzand, who won three of his five starts over hurdles.

Deluxe Range (Sandy Thomson), Tupelo Mississippi (Brian Ellison) and Hardy Du Seuil (Jamie Snowden) – who made it no further than the first fence on his British bow at Wetherby last week – are the other hopefuls.

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