Trainer Tom Lacey claimed the first Grade Two success of his career after Adrimel made all to land the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.
Challenged by a host of rivals entering the home straight in the two-mile-five-furlong prize, the 7-2 shot continued to find more out in front on the run down to the final two flights.
Although getting the last wrong Adrimel stuck to the task well to hold off Cheltenham scorer Mint Condition by a neck, with Make Me A Believer the same distance away in third.
Lacey said: “It was wonderful. I’m extremely delighted for Lady Bamford and Alice (Bamford) for allowing me to train him, as it was not necessarily on the cards. I was asked to buy them a couple of horses and I was very grateful to be given one to train.
“It’s testament to the horse that he has been winning over two (miles). We were always excited and waiting to step him up in trip, but I saw no need while he was doing what he was doing.
“(But) Haydock really enforced that he needed to go up in trip as he was just out of his comfort zone way too early in the race. The cheekpieces just helped his jumping, as it was slicker.
“He went through the race in a much more professional manner. He was in the right palace throughout and it’s hard to make up ground in the grade on that ground.
“If he had jumped the last he would have won with a bit more up his sleeve. He hasn’t done much wrong, so I’m not going to grumble.”
Assessing future plans, Lacey has not ruled out stepping Adrimel up to three miles at the Cheltenham Festival for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, for which he was made a 25-1 chance by William Hill.
He added: “I think he would cope with a quicker surface, but ultimately on spring ground you might have to go up (in trip) again. That would be the obvious thing to do, I imagine.
“Possibly he has got the Albert Bartlett or the Ballymore, but what is coming over from Ireland as there will be some smart horses.
“He is still a young horse, only six. He is a big frame of a horse that will fill out and improve. The world is his oyster.”