Mirjan shines for Lungo

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The Independent Online

Mirjan gave Len Lungo one of his biggest successes as a trainer with victory in the £40,000 Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock yesterday.

Given a great ride by Tony Dobbin, the 7-1 joint favourite collared the top weight The French Furze in the closing stages to score by half a length. Dhaudeloup stayed on finish third while the other joint favourite Brigade Charge stayed on to take fourth place.

Lungo said: "Tony was brilliant and brave and rode Mirjan all the way round the inner from the back to the home straight. It was a world-class ride. This horse isn't very big and I'd like to thank the owners Sarah and Bob Blumberg for allowing me to go more than double what I'd ever paid for a horse before. He cost 82,000 guineas but I've always liked him as he's a great walker and a grand type. The Blumbergs had their first winner on the Flat at Musselburgh on Friday with Plutocrat and I'm delighted for them after this as Mirjan was originally bought as a Triumph Hurdle contender."

Arctic Char produced a game performance to land the Listed Spring Trophy Stakes. Despite being overtaken by Selking two out, the Brian Meehan-trained filly fought her way back to the front in the final strides to score by a head under David McCabe.

Meehan's spokesman Jack Micklem said: "She battled back well and she was also due to run in France this weekend. All our horses have just needed their first run and she is no exception."

McCabe, riding his first winner of the season, added: "She's tough and she answered me every time I asked her - that's why I never gave up."

Audacter galloped his rivals into the ground with an all-the-way success in the Long Distance Hurdle. A first runner at the course for the trainer Lawrence Wells, the Barry Keniry-ridden seven-year-old kept on in game style to beat 9-4 favourite Lord Lamb by a length and three quarters. Wells said: "He's a gutsy horse and stays forever. He'll have a break now before going over fences next season and he'll be a grand three-mile chaser. He's so lazy at home that he'll beat nothing. If I worked him with some of my selling platers he'd finish last."