Abandonment is a blessing for Nick

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The Sussex trainer, Nick Gifford, enjoyed a high profile success when his hurdler Kuilsriver won a valuable handicap at Ascot on Saturday.

And on an excellent day for the region’s racing fraternity, Gary Moore carried off further notable prizes when both Well Refreshed and Vino Griego continued their recent progression with wins in highly competitive events.

Gifford had a plan to win a nice handicap at Plumpton with Kuilsriver, but when that fixture was abandoned to the weather he had to look elsewhere and fate has ended up dealing him a great hand with Kuilsriver improving to win a £24,000 race and belying his odds of 33/1.

“Conditions suited him well and his jumping is electric,” were the brief thoughts of the trainer and he will now consider the future options for Kuilsriver who has received a six pound rise in the ratings for this win.

If it was a good day for Gifford, it was certainly that too for in-form Gary Moore. His Sussex National winner Well Refreshed followed up with an impressive success in the Grade 3 Haydock Grand National Trial.

This was a step up in class for the Patrick Wilmott-owned gelding, but he took it in his stride and lifted the £42,000 prize.

Moore has suggested Cheltenham is unlikely but with the thirteen pound raise given to the horse by the handicapper, he might be moved to possibly considering a shot at the long distance amateur riders race there.

The winning form of Vino Griego in his last two starts is nothing short of startling.

The manner of the most recent win at Ascot in a race worth over £22,000 indicates a complete transformation in this horse from what we have seen previously in his chasing career and congratulations to Gary and his team in finding the key to this character who had not won in 17 previous chase outings.

Racing will return to Plumpton on Monday weather permitting with the first race getting underway at ten past two and gates opening at noon.

Plumpton yesterday deployed frost covers to cover its entire track.

JASON HALL