Hugos New Horse continues winning spree with four-timer

Sandown’s EBF Final in March on the agenda.

Hugos New Horse landed his fourth consecutive race when taking the Follow @starsports_bet EBF Novices’ Hurdle at Market Rasen.

The six-year-old has been almost unstoppable this season, beaten only on his first run of the term before beginning a hat-trick of hurdle victories at Wincanton, Sandown and Exeter.

Despite his form he was not the favourite at the Lincolnshire circuit and went off at 6-4 for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Freddie Gingell.

Into the home straight he did not look the obvious winner, but the step up in trip evidently suited and he rallied all the way to the line to win by half a length from Emma Lavelle’s Tightenourbelts.

“It’s his first time running in this good ground since his bumper, I thought maybe the other horse just had him but he’s toughed it out,” said Conor Houlihan, pupil assistant to Nicholls.

“He was gutsy, he enjoyed the step up in trip and probably needed the distance with that kind of surface.

“He’s won four in a row now and you’d love to have a few more like him, I’m sure he warrants being in a Saturday race soon.

“Paul came here today to get him qualified for EBF Final (at Sandown in March) and I imagine that is where he will go now.

“Hopefully he can get the same result as McFabulous who won it two years ago and Complete Unknown who won it last year.

“He has loads of scope and he is a brilliant racehorse.”

Barrier Peaks gave trainer David Pipe a birthday winner when landing the starsports.Bet Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle under Fergus Gillard.

The seven-year-old was seeking a hat-trick after winning at both Exeter and Uttoxeter last month, with the 10lb rise he received as a result of the latter proving no barrier to success.

The 5-2 joint-favourite, Barrier Peaks ran in mid-division and in the home straight left all rivals bar Lone Star behind, eventually doing enough to prevail by a length on the line.

“I got there a bit too soon in hindsight, but I thought Charlie Longsdon’s horse (Calidad, fourth) would travel into the race,” said Gillard.

“As soon as I hit the front he’s idled a bit, but he’s done it well in the end.

“In his first few runs he was very green, now that he’s more race smart he’s a lot more intelligent.”

William Maggs enjoyed the second winner of his budding career when riding Patient Dream to a 11-2 victory in the Call Star Sports On 08000 521321 Handicap Hurdle for his boss Donald McCain.

African Dance then made a winning return after 15 months off the track when taking the Weatherbys Handicap Chase for Olly Murphy.

Ridden by Fergus Gregory, the eight-year-old had been sidelined by injury since November 2021 when he won his chasing debut at Ayr.

Some 448 days later the gelding returned to the track with a win, prevailing by a length at 11-1 for owners Valerie and Noel Moran of Bective Stud.

“He’s a horse that we’ve always quite liked and hopefully he’s going to be an improving chaser,” said Murphy.

“It’s nice to get a winner for Noel and Valerie Moran, they’re prominent colours and good supporters of mine.

“I thought he was crying out for the trip, I didn’t know if he’d relax well enough first time out but he was grand.”

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