Emotions run high as Lalor posts impressive success on chasing bow

Sun 18 Nov 2018

Watch a full replay of how Lalor won at Prestbury Park on Sunday plus Stewart Machin's interviews with Kayley Woollacot and Richard Johnson.

Lalor was a heartening and hugely promising winner on his debut over fences in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Kayley Woollacott’s six-year-old stable star transferred all his ability from hurdles to fences as he jumped with great accuracy to run out a seven-length winner from Dynamite Dollars.

Champion jockey Richard Johnson allowed Lalor to bide his time in a select field of five as favourite Claimantakinforgan and then Pingshou made much of the early running in the two-mile Grade Two contest.

But Lalor took over three out and then stayed on emphatically to win with ease at 11-2. He is now as short as 7-1 for the Arkle back at Cheltenham in March.

Woollacott said: "It's so amazing. We have worked so hard for this, and we are on 'plan F' probably - we've tried so hard to get him out before now. We've really learnt that sometimes it pays to be brave, and it's come off. The perfect start.

"He took to fences like a duck to water - he's always been a mega jumper. Dickie said he was a little bit brave over the first and a bit novicey at a couple of fences, but he took to it really quickly and his jumping was ace. I wasn't watching by the second-last - I saw he had got to the front and that was it!

"It's a massive day. At Aintree it was very overwhelmning and got sucked in by everything else. We had a proper break over the summer and this is in our own right.

"As a team we've done him ourselves and that's really important. Lalor was Richard's favourite horse and he always said, 'this is the best thing we'll get our hands on'.

"It's amazing that David and Bunty Staddon [Lalor's owners] still have him with me and allow me to do it."

She added: "We'll go home, reassess and have a think about what's next - we're not going to be in any rush. It was very much see how today went before we made a plan, but obviously we have the spring races in mind, particularly Aintree because he loves it there, but we'll have to think about the Arkle now after today.

"He's done it probably better than I thought he would, so we'll enjoy it. I have a little girl at home [daughter Bella] who will be very pleased with us, so I'll go home in the good books!

"I think Lalor will come on for the race - he has done plenty at home, but he is a big burly chap. That would be exciting."

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