Cavani Menswear Sefton Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 16:40
£100,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
3m 149y, Class 1   
Friday 14th April 2023


1 Apple Away 16/1
2 Maximilian 6/1
3 Iroko 5/1
15 ran NR: Twig Distances: 1¾l, 1½l, 1l
Time: 6m 22.92s (slow by 27.92s)

Ahoy Senor was a shock 66-1 winner of the three-mile Grade One two years ago for Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell, but has since proved that was no fluke by establishing himself as a top-class staying chaser.

Apple Away was not quite as big a price following recent triumphs in a handicap hurdle at Ayr and a Listed race at Doncaster, although she did face a steep rise in class and was a 16-1 shot to beat the boys.

Just as Ahoy Senor did in 2021, Apple Away set out to make all the running in the hands of Stephen Mulqueen and one by one saw off each of her challengers.

Donald McCain’s Maximilian emerged as the biggest threat after the final flight, but Apple Away never looked in real danger of being reeled in with her 7lb allowance and had a length and three-quarters in hand at the line.

Iroko and Stay Away Fay, both winners at the Cheltenham Festival last month, finished third and fourth respectively.

Trainers Quotes

Russell said: “I’m so delighted for Old Gold Racing (owners). When the micro-share syndicates were announced a lot of people thought they wouldn’t work, but results like this prove they do. I’m so pleased to see everyone.

“She’s just a relentless galloper. Scu (Peter Scudamore) was confident that she was good enough for this race because she’s such a relentless galloper – she only has one pace but she keeps it up.

“We might have had a couple get caught yesterday after leading over the last but that did not enter my mind today as I knew she’d keep going, she’s a three-miler.

“She’ll go chasing next season, if she takes to jumping the way she gallops, she could be quite exciting.”

She added: “There’s always something about a good mare, they get hold of your heart and she absolutely does. We knew she had a few pounds to find, but that 7lb allowance came in very handy. She’s got such tenacity and determination, she’s ideal for this race.”

Russell is due to run the strongly-fancied Corach Rambler in Saturday’s Grand National, and said: “Don’t start me off! I hear he’s not favourite now which is good, that takes a bit of pressure off. The horses have just been in great form this season and we’re riding the crest of a wave.

“I’m really pleased for Scu, he used to ride her on a morning but she’s too much for him now!”

Of Maximilian, McCain said: “Brian (Hughes) hoped they would go a little bit quicker because he has endless stamina. That’s it for the season, he’s a very exciting horse to look forward to.

“He’s run a blinder. On another day we might have got a different result, but we’re trying to give away weight to the mare and she is clearly a very good horse. We’re proud of him, he’s run a good race.”

Mathematician Betting

Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
£100,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 3m 149y, Class 1
15 ran
Going: Soft

1    Apple Away 6 11-1 Lucinda Russell Stephen Mulqueen 16/1
Maximilian 7 11-8 Donald McCain Brian Hughes 6/1
Iroko 5 11-8 Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero Mark Walsh 5/1
1 Stay Away Fay 6 11-8 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 4/1
Howlingmadmurdock 6 11-8 Tom Lacey Stan Sheppard 40/1
Marble Sands 7 11-8 Fergal O'Brien Kielan Woods 28/1
nk Search For Glory 28 6 11-8 Gordon Elliott Keith Donoghue 50/1
8 Blenkinsop 6 11-8 Henry Daly Hugh Nugent 33/1
Saint Davy 6 11-8 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 33/1
12 Mofasa 7 11-8 Michael Scudamore Luca Morgan 66/1
FELL Grey Dawning 6 11-8 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 5/1
PU Hurricane Bay 7 11-8 Lucy Wadham Bryony Frost 28/1
PU Moka De Vassy 5 11-8 Jane Williams David Noonan 100/1
PU Weveallbeencaught 6 11-8 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 28/1

PU Absolute Notions 5 11-8 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell 3/1F
NR 14 Twig 8 11-8 Ben Pauling NON RUNNER

Trainers Quotes