By Gordon Brown
Hammersly Lake was an impressive 5/1 winner of the feature race at Perth on Monday for the second year running.
Racing off a 10lb higher mark and again ridden by Brian Hughes, he slammed 9/4 favourite Imperial Presence by three and three-quarter lengths in the £25,000 Sodexo Prestige Venues And Events Killiecrankie Handicap Chase over 2m 4f.
Winning trainer Charlie Longdon said: “He was fifth in last year’s American Grand National and that is the plan again. It was was a career best performance today and Brian said he deserves to run in conditions races in this country.
“Full marks to Perth for putting a valuable race like this on and they’ve been rewarded with the likes of Kim Bailey, ourselves and Philip Hobbs sending up horses rated in the 150’s.”
Lucinda Russell had four runners in the Bet With The Dewhurst Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle and she struck with 18/1 chance Celtic Flames who came from last to first to score by a neck under Derek Fox.
“He can be a funny horse but I knew he’d stick his head on and run on,” Fox said. “We were last three out but he stayed on well and I was confident he’d see the trip out well.”
Dan and Harry Skelton teamed to land the Energy Check Utility Solutions Novices’ Handicap Chase with Ange Des Malberaux.
Harry Skelton said: “He’s been very consistent in the four runs he’s had since joining us. He really tries and has won over hurdles and fences for us.”