GBI RACING

Ludlow delight at the double for Graeme McPherson

Graeme McPherson Graeme McPherson expects Hey Bill to enjoy a profitable spring after initiating a double for the trainer and jockey Kielan Woods at Ludlow.
Hey Bill won twice over hurdles last season and was a 14-1 shot to open his fencing account at the second attempt in the £12,000 Heath Farm Meats Chase.
The eight-year-old was prominent throughout the two-and-a-half-mile contest and after hitting the front before the third fence from home, he stuck to his guns to see off 3-1 favourite Megabucks by a length.
McPherson said: "I was expecting a big run from him today and I couldn't believe the price he was.
"It was a bit stop-start for him earlier in the season as he got quite a nasty cut at Market Rasen in October and it took him a while to recover from that.
"I thought he ran an encouraging race on his debut over fences at Doncaster last time over three miles (finished fourth) and we felt riding him a bit more prominently back to two and a half would suit him.
"He galloped all the way to the line and we're delighted with him."
He added:"I won't be rushing him back as I think you'll see a much improved horse on drier ground in the spring."
McPherson and Woods were on the mark again later in the afternoon as Dahills Hill broke her duck at the 10th attempt in the Racing UK Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
Formerly trained in Ireland by Ken Budds, the 8-1 chance was making her third start for McPherson after finishing down the field at Fontwell in November and unseating Woods at Leicester last month.
"We knew the talent was there, it's getting it out of her that's the tricky part," said McPherson.
"She isn't straightforward. She could run a stinker next time or win with her head in her chest.
"In seven and a half years of training we've never had a winner at Ludlow and now we've had two in one afternoon, so we're delighted."
The father-son combination of Matt and Stan Sheppard landed the Join The Henry Daly Racing Club Handicap Chase with bottom-weight Tb Broke Her.
The eight-year-old was the 4-1 favourite to defy a 7lb rise for winning at Hereford last month and did so in impressive style, scoring by five lengths from Goohar.
Matt Sheppard, the winning trainer, said: "I bought her privately from Arthur Moore a few months ago. There weren't many races for her in Ireland but she had a good profile for English racing and we're delighted with what she's done so far.
"She's probably better off carrying a lower weight in a better race because she's so tiny but even though she's small, she is a very good jumper.
"Better ground would probably be preferable, but the ground has been quite soft the last twice and they say a good horse goes on any ground."
There was a thrilling climax to theA.J.A Amateur Riders' Handicap Hurdle, with Henry Daly's Flashjack (5-2 favourite) and the Evan Williams-trainedVirginia Chick (5-1) the two in contention jumping the final flight.
The pair fought tooth and nail all the way to the line under 7lb claimers Mark Galligan and Isbael Williams respectively and flashed by together. After much deliberation, the judge decided he could not split them and called a dead-heat.
Galligan, who was riding his first winner on his first ride over hurdles, is the brother of Irish athlete Rose-Anne Galligan, who is the national record holder in her homeland over 800 metres.

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