Brian Hughes stars in Perth treble

Wed 27 Sep 2017

Brian Hughes was in sparkling form at Perth where he enjoyed a 78-1 treble on Eneko, Ballyben and Sun Cloud.

Highlight of the trio was the victory of Ballyben, who made light work of a 170-day absence to defeat his three rivals in the David Whitaker Handicap Chase.

The nine-year-old, trained by Malcolm Jefferson, was always up with the pace set in the early stages by Carrigdhoun before going on a long way from home.

Arctic Gold was the only serious threat until an untidy jump at the last put paid to his chances, with Ballyben (7-2) going on to score by nine lengths.

"It was a good performance and I thought he'd run well," said Jefferson.

"I got him last year from Lucinda Russell and I know more about him now. He blew up first time for me at Hexham."

Hughes proceeded to make virtually all on Sun Cloud (4-1), also from the Jefferson stable, in the Weatherbys Private Bank Handicap Hurdle.

The 10-year-old was briefly headed by Ahead Of The Curve but rallied on the run-in to get back up, taking the verdict by two and a quarter lengths.

"I said to Brian if you can't hold him, make the running and he pulled out more when challenged," said the Malton handler.

Hughes' hat-trick was initiated by the Keith Dalgleish-trained Eneko (5-2), who made a successful jumps debut with a promising display in the Heineken UK Juvenile Hurdle.

Brutal led to two out where Eneko took over and drew away to score by 13 lengths.

Hughes went close to a four-timer on Presented but the duo were denied by conditional jockey Ross Chapman on Martin Todhunter's Landmeafortune (9-4) in the Weatherbys Private Bank Handicap Chase.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson and top Irish trainer Gordon Elliott teamed up with Pat's Oscar (2-1) for a comfortable seven-length success in the Injured Jockeys Funds Supporters Club Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Danny Cook's only ride was a winning one as he brought the Brian Ellison-trained even-money favourite Barrys Jack home three lengths clear of Well Above Par in the Weatherbys Private Bank Novices' Handicap Chase.

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