Russell taps into a rich vein of success

 

Hogmanay must have been a fairly poignant occasion at Arlary House, where the close-knit team under Lucinda Russell experienced tragedy as well as triumph in 2012. But Scotland's leading trainer is determined to keep looking to the future and made a perfect start to 2013 by collecting three races in barely an hour at Ayr today.

Auspiciously, each of her winners is just starting out in a new discipline – dividends of a scrupulous recruitment policy. "We've got to be realistic, we're not paying stupid prices," Russell said. "But the big thing for us is to find good young horses. Because once we get them in, we think we have a fairly successful formula."

Russell has worked with the bloodstock agent Tom Malone in seeking replacements for Brindisi Breeze, killed in a freak accident after his breakthrough success at the Cheltenham Festival. But Tap Night, Russell's first winner in the silks of J P McManus, has less orthodox antecedents. He was found racing on dirt in Kentucky by Jane Buchanan, whose brother, Peter, is the stable jockey at Arlary. "She works for a trainer out there," Russell explained. "They don't have many staying races, and she looks for horses that are finishing. Tap Night has actually got a pretty strong pedigree. I don't suppose his breeders imagined he would end up winning a novice chase in heavy ground."

He looked a natural, however, in recording his fifth win in six starts. Though losing momentum three out, he was soon back on the bridle and coasted five lengths clear. "Obviously, he had done a lot of schooling," Russell said. "The syndicate decided to sell after his reappearance, and if you tell someone a horse is going to do well over fences you make sure you come up with the goods. The main thing now is more experience, and there's a valuable race over two and a half miles coming up at Musselburgh."

Green Flag, under a double penalty, and Imjoeking both won novice hurdles. "Green Flag is a different type from Brindisi Breeze," Russell said. "He's stronger, and loves soft ground. But he just keeps galloping. At some point we'll step Imjoeking up in trip, but he's showing so much pace we'll keep to two miles at the moment. Both will be fantastic this time next year."

For now, the horse in the stable furthest down the road is Bold Sir Brian, who heads for the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on Saturday fortnight and will be given an entry in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Al's Memory (3.20 Lingfield) Fairly treated after a 3lb rise for his short-head second to a flourishing rival round Wolverhampton last time.

Next best

Sporting Gold (2.50 Lingfield) Much improved on handicap debut, having been gelded, and could win this without harming his rating.

One to watch

Blood Cotil (Willie Mullins) Looks the top Irish candidate for the JCB Triumph Hurdle after his win at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

WHERE THE MONEY'S GOING

Alfie Spinner is 10-1 from 14-1 with the sponsors for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering