LUCINDA RUSSELL had her team in a rich vein of form and with 28 winners under her belt already and almost £200,000 in prize money she is well under way to bettering a Scottish record breaking jumps tally of 66 winners she set in the season 2013-2014.
Last season Lucinda notched up the highly creditable total of 47 winner and £496,581 in prize money and there looks to be exciting times ahead with Final Assault, The Cobbler Swayne, One For Arthur, Island Confusion and Moorstown to name just a few.
Lucinda said: "It's been fantastic this season we have a really good team of horses and we are so excited for the rest of the season. We have always done well with our chasers and we have a better class of horse this time. Everybody in the yard is working so very hard and we just have to keep going."
Lucinda kindly spoke to < strong>Tony Elves of ATR about those she hopes can take her to new heights.
BACK TO BRACKA
8 b g Rudimentary - Martha's Glimpse
Winner of four of his 16 starts. Returned to winning form at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) at the end of October when beating De Vous A Moi a length and a half off a mark of 128. Currently rated 133 over fences.
"He had a few issues with his jumping and stuff last season but we've done a lot of work with him and he gets on really well with Derek Fox. I thought his run at Ayr was very good and he's back to his best. He's fantastic on heavy ground and we don't really know his best distance yet. He's going to be in at Ascot and Haydock this weekend and we will make a decision as to where he goes."
5 b g Milan - Call Kate
Winner of two of his 3 starts. Made a winning start over hurdles in a maiden event at Kelso (2m) in October when scoring by two lengths from Just Georgie.
"I was delighted with his first run at Kelso and he will come on again for that. He is still an immature horse and we are going to be careful with him this year but he's going to be a cracking chaser next year."
BOLD SIR BRIAN
9 b g Brian Boru - Black Queen
Winner of seven of his 18 starts. Pulled up when last seen out in a handicap chase at Haydock in December 2014 off a mark of 144. Currently rated 135 over fences and hurdles.
"He is on a bit of a comeback mission and he's been off for a heck of a long time but he's been in training for a lot of that time and it's not as if he's just been standing in a field. He has a few issues we need to iron out but if we do I still feel he has the ability. He will need a run or two to get back in the swing of things but I am pleased with him and he is sound and I might run him in a handicap hurdle at Haydock at the weekend."
7 b g Heron Island - Shinora
Scored by a head from Purcell's Bridge in a handicap chase at Musselburgh (3m) this month off a mark of 112. Winner of two of his 11 starts under Rules. Currently rated 116 over fences.
"He's a handy type whose best on good ground and doesn't want it heavy. I was obviously delighted when he won at Musselburgh the other day and he's got ability."
5 b g Marienbard - Oath of Allegiance
Finished fourth, beaten 13 1/2 lengths to Love The Leader in a handicap hurdle at Ayr (3m 1/2f) in October off a mark of 93.Currently rated 92 over hurdles.
"He is not a superstar but he has the ability to win a handicap hurdle and I will put him over fences at some time . His ideal trip is three miles but we will stick to two and a half miles for the moment."
6 b/br g Beneficial - Last Campaign
Easy four and a half length winner from Plus Jamais in a handicap chase at Ayr (3m 1/2f) last week off his current mark of 130. Winner of three of his 18 starts under Rules.
"He's a superstar and I absolutely love him. - I love his attitude and the way he travels in a race. He needs to be produced late on but his forte is his jumping and his jumping can take him to another level. He will be one for a nice handicap. He stays but whether he stays an extreme distance in time we will find out. He goes to Newcastle for the Rehearsal Chase which is a nice prize if he was to win it."
8 b g Milan - Erin Go Brea
Pulled up in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January off a mark of 140 when last seen out. Winner of seven of his 19 races. Currently rated 137 over fences.
"He has had a few issues which have kept him out but he' started back and will be out after Christmas. He probably needs soft ground but will go on good or good to soft. He is such a good jumper I would hope he could be a National horse one day. I don't know if this season will be too much but he could be a National horse for the year after."
8 b g Amilynx - Go Franky
Consistent sort who finished third, beaten 24 lengths, to Oliver's Gold on his reappearance at Ayr (1m 7 1/2f) in October off a mark of 134. Currently rated 133.
"He's a lovely type who jumps brilliantly and he has lots of entries coming up over two to two and a half miles. He might stay further than that in time but he's been an infrequent runner through very small things. I like him and I think he can win more races."
7 b g Heron Island - Anshan Gail
Placed in a maiden hurdle at Newcastle (2m 1/2f) in November 2014 and a novice chase at Ayr (2 1/2f) in February. Currently rated 116 over fences and hurdles.
"He's a nice type and we will go novice chasing with him now. He's best on soft ground and I thought he was really well handicapped but he didn't run so well towards the end of last season. Maybe fences and a freshen up break will have done him good. He is probably best on good to soft to soft ground."
6 b g Heron Island - La Reina
Made a winning reappearance in a handicap hurdle at Ayr (2m 5 1/2f) at the end of October when beating Always Tipsy a length off a mark of 120. Currently rated 125.
"I love him and he's won over fences but he had a bad fall at Perth and lost his confidence. We are going to keep him for hurdles and he is entered for Haydock on Friday and in the Fixed-brush hurdle on Saturday there. I think he's one of the most improved horses through the Summer that we have in the yard."
7 b g Portrait Gallery - Executive Pearl
Winner of one of his 14 starts. Respectable effort off his current mark of 104 at Wetherby (3m) last week when third, beaten four and a quarter lengths to Longueville Flyer.
"He's a good handicapper and he will stay further. He's no superstar but definitely will win races."
5 b g Craigsteel - Wake Me Gently
Scored his first victory under Rules when beating Retrieve The Stock five lengths in a handicap chase at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) in October off a mark of 115. Currently rated 127 over fences and 120 over hurdles.
"He's a good very athletic type and fences seem to have improved him. We will take it steadily with him and get his confidence high and he could go to Newcastle next."
7 b g Dr Massini - Lame Excuse
Winner of one of his 8 starts. Last seen out when unplaced to Ulzana's Raid off a mark of 127 in a handicap hurdle at Ayr (3m 1/2f) in April 2014.
"He has been off and is quite a nice dark horse. He will be out in the middle or towards the end of December and I can't wait to go chasing with him. We have done really well with our chasers in the last couple of weeks and I think he has the same profile of some of those that have been running well."
8 b g Kris Kin - Perfidia
Winner of five of his 18 starts. Not seen out since unseating rider at Cheltenham (3m 4f) in April 2014.
"He is another coming back from a long layoff and he's a very nice type. He had a few issues with his jumping last time he was out but he should be fine now. He's one that doesn't need really heavy ground and we will just look after him and see how we get on."
11 b g Subtle Power - Ben Roseler
Pulled up in a veteran's chase at Aintree in October off a mark of 148. Winner of 12 of his 30 starts. Currently rated 145 over fences.
"I was so disappointed with his run at Aintree where they went such a heck of a pace and he didn't get into it. I think he will ok in time and we just need to get a few things sorted out. He goes for the final of the veterans chase at Sandown in January."
5 b g Muhtathir - Itqaan
Winner of three handicap hurdles at Perth (twice of 3m) in July and August and at Musselburgh this month when beating Andhar three lengths off a mark of 102. Currently rated 105 over hurdles.
"He has one more race to win before his Winter break and goes to Musselburgh on December 7. There is a three mile handicap and he goes for that. I've been delighted with him and he's won three races. The penny has only just dropped with him and like some of these horses that come off the Flat he just needed some time."
5 b g Oscar - Glacial Princess
Winner of a point-to-point in Ireland in March.
"He is by Oscar and is big strong horse. We are looking forward to getting him out fairly soon and whatever he does over novice hurdles he will be even better over fences. Soft and heavy ground will suit him."
7 b g Gold Well - Hillside Native
Winner of two of his 8 starts. Last success at Ayr (3m 1/2f) in March 2014 when scoring by 14 lengths from Micro Mission off a mark of 120. Currently rated 124 over hurdles.
"I am looking forward to sending him chasing. We ran him on good ground at Ascot and he got a leg. We have taken our time with him and he's ready to come back soon. He needs soft ground and a left handed track."
9 b g Revoque - Noble Choice
Winner of three of his 6 starts under Rules. Last victory when beating Silverton four lengths off a mark of 110 in a handicap chase at Ayr (2m 4 1/2f) in February off a mark of 110. Currently rated 118 over fences.
"I'm really looking forward to him coming back. He's very lightly raced and will continue to do so but he loves soft and heavy ground and I think he's on a good mark. He will go to Haydock this weekend and possibly in the three mile four. He should stay and he's such a big horse and jumps so well."
ONE FOR ARTHUR
6 b g Milan - Nonnetia
Winner of four of his 10 races under Rules. Made a winning reappearance in a novices' chase at Kelso (2m 7 1/2f) in November and well beaten third to Vicente at Cheltenham last weekend.
"He has to be one of my favourite horses for this season. He jumped beautifully at Kelso but wasn't so fluent in a hotter race at Cheltenham last week. He is rated 136 over hurdles and I think he can go even higher over fences."
6 ch g Presenting - Grangeclare Flight
Winner of two of his 8 starts. Both successes this term and scored by five lengths from To Begin in a handicap chase at Musselburgh (3m 2 1/2f) this month off a mark of 111. Currently rated 117 over fences.
"Again, he's another horse who had a couple of issues and the whole team have put their heads together and sorted out his problems. I am really pleased with him and he can continue to thrive. He likes good ground so we may stick to Musselburgh with him and he stays three miles very well indeed. If he can improve a little bit he might be one for long distance staying chases in the Spring."
7 b g Presenting - Hannigan's Lodger
Winner of four of his 12 starts. Beat Brother Scott four lengths in a handicap chase at Hexham (2m 4f) in October and runner-up to Kilgefin Star at Hexham this month. Currently rated 117 over fences.
"He took a bit of time for the penny to drop but we took our time with him. I think he's better over two and a half but Scu thinks he's more of a stayer but we will see. He's a good type who will handle the soft ground."
REAPING THE REWARDS
11 b g Sylvan Express - Zamaine
Winner of four of his 9 starts. Beaten only three quarters of a length by Aachen in a handicap at Doncaster (3m) in February off a mark of 129 when last seen out. Currently rated 132 over fences.
"Again, he's another horse who needs three miles and we will have a look at some of the veteran's chases. He wants good ground."
9 b g Court Cave - Ardagh Princess
Winner of six of his 28 starts. Returned to winning form at Carlisle (3m 2f) in October when beating Presented a length and three quarters off a mark of 115. Currently rated 120 over fences.
"I made the mistake of running him too soon at Carlisle after his win there previously and he needs more time between his races. He will be out again in mid-December."
6 b g Cape Cross - Starlit Sky
Winner of five of his 36 starts. Last victory in a handicap hurdle at Market Rasen (2m 4 1/2f) in May when beating Man of Leisure half a length off a mark of 122. Currently rated 130 over hurdles.
"I love his tenacity and his will to win is second to none. He ran a fantastic race at Cheltenham in a big field handicap and he might go to Market Rasen on Thursday for a valuable hurdle over two miles and four. He probably wants good ground and doesn't want it too soft."
THE COBBLER SWAYNE
6 b g Milan - Turtle Lamp
Winner of one of his 8 starts. Easy eight length victor from Court Dismissed in a novices handicap chase at Musselburgh (2m 4f) this month off a mark of 106. Currently rated 122 over fences.
"I was delighted with his win at Musselburgh and I would like to keep him in novice company but his jumping is so fantastic so we could end up going handicapping. He has just improved for going over fences and typical of the type of horse we love."
5 b g Danehill Dancer - Minkova
Winner of two of his 21 starts. Unplaced in a valuable event at Cheltenham (2m 5f) last weekend off his current mark of 120 over hurdles.
"Again, he's a horse I have a real soft spot for and he loves his racing. He won a listed novices' handicap hurdle last season and he has plenty of ability. We have been stepped him up in trip at Cheltenham last weekend but he didn't run up to his best."
6 b g Beneficial - Castletownroche
Winner of two of his 6 starts. Winner over a novices handicap at Perth (2m) in May off a mark of 95 and added to that win when beating Tomorrow's Legend eight lengths at Kelso (2m 1f) this month off a mark of 103. Currently rated 112 over fences.
"He's a nice horse whose jumping has improved and he's great on soft ground. We can run him over two miles but he will stay further and we still have that option to come."
5 b g Kapgarde - Royale Floriane
Winner of three of his 16 starts. Successful in a novice hurdle at Perth (3m) in September when beating Mustadrik three and a half lengths. Currently rated 130 over hurdles.
"We bought him for 20k and he's won his novice hurdle and will stay three miles. I can't wait to go over fences with him but we will keep him novice hurdling for the time being to give him more experience. He can be a bit hot headed at home but he gets on very well with Grant Cockburn. He actually got a nasty cut when he ran at Cheltenham and won't be out until after Christmas."
VENGEUR DE GUYE
6 b g Dom Alco - Mascotte de Guye
Runner-up, beaten seven lengths, to Indian Voyage in a handicap chase at Kelso (2m 1f) this month a mark of 125. Currently rated 127.
"He's always been a bit keen and his jumping hasn't been great and a typical French horse. He is fine on soft ground a two mile is ok for him. He just needs to get his confidence together."
VOYAGE A NEW YORK
6 b g Kapgarde - Pennsylvanie
Winner of two of his 13 starts. Pulled up at Wetherby (2m 3 1/2f) on Saturday
"He ran at Wetherby on Saturday and was pulled up before two out. He will definitely improve for that run and he had colic surgery after his previous run. He might be a horse for the John Hughes."
FINAL ASSAULT - impressive winner at Ayr last week and looks one for a major handicap chase prize.
KILBREE CHIEF - looks the sort to excel over fences this season.
MOORSTOWN - can make his mark over hurdles before going further over fences.
ONE FOR ARTHUR - found the company too hot at Cheltenham at the weekend but can be seen in a much better light in novice chases in the North.
THE COBBLER SWAYNE - fancied to go to a much higher level over fences.
TRADEWINDS - going the right way and further success awaits in the New Year.