Greatrex boosted by Portrush Ted at Sandown

Portrush Ted lifted the spirits of trainer Warren Greatrex with a triumphant return to action at Sandown on Friday.

In what has been a difficult few months for the Lambourn handler, the talented but fragile eight-year-old got his career back on track in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, to give Greatrex his first winner in 46 days.

Not sighted since suffering a fall at Haydock in February, the Grade Two bumper winner demonstrated the best of his battling abilities to rally back past eventual runner-up Storm Arising, scoring by half a length.

Greatrex said: “I’ve had a torrid time this season. It’s been the hardest time I’ve had without success as a trainer.

“Everyone knows I’ve been quiet, but if I’ve got the horses and ammunition I’ve shown I can do the job time and time again and I think a horse like this demonstrates it.

“I’ve had a lot of people say that form is temporary and you will be fine. The one thing I have is a competitive mind and that has helped me through this.”

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While Portrush Ted holds an entry in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot later this month, Greatrex all but ruled out giving him a first start at Grade One level in the extended three-mile prize.

He said: “I would say that what he is has put in today, the Long Walk will be unlikely.

“He is already a Grade Two winner and in my eyes when he has his conditions he is every bit a Grade One horse.

“He does need soft ground so we will plot accordingly.”

Call Me Vic and Albi Tufnell on their way to victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)
Call Me Vic and Albi Tufnell on their way to victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Albi Tufnell celebrated his first winner under rules aboard the Fergal O’Brien-trained veteran Call Me Vic, who rolled back the years at the age of 13 to claim the Sandown Park Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase by six lengths.

The 18-year-old rider said of the 17-2 shot, who is owned by his mother, Jane, said: “It was almost unreal. I had a peak to my right thinking I really hoped my lad’s head was in front and crossing the line he was the only horse there.

“I always knew they would go that quick. I wasn’t sure he would be able to stay with them or have that much left in the tank, but when you are riding a horse like that around these fences on a course like this he makes me look good.”

The Dan Skelton-trained Alnadam went one better than on his debut over fences at Carlisle in the My Oddsboost On Betfair Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Assistant trainer Tom Messenger said: “We expected him to have come on from his last run and the form has worked out well.

“It was a competitive race, but he coped with the ground well and ended up putting it to bed nicely.”

Gary Moore saddled a one-two in the Londesborough Handicap Chase – but not in the order the betting suggested as Darebin (5-1) edged out Du Lemo (5-2), who was making his first start in 689, days by a neck.

Moore said: “I wouldn’t say I thought they would be first and second, but I thought Darebin was a fitter horse and with Jamie (Moore) back on him around here he improves 7lb.

“That’s probably what made the difference today – fitness.”