Three Musketeers strikes for Elliott at Aintree

Galway Plate now on the agenda

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A change of scenery worked the oracle for Three Musketeers who justified late market support in the Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle at Aintree on his first start for Gordon Elliott.

Formerly with Dan Skelton, the nine-year-old had always been highly thought of, but never quite delivered on his promise.

Backed into 8-1 just before the off, he was still only in fourth on jumping the last, as Point Of Principle saw off Sternrubin and Canardier.

But Jack Kennedy brought Three Musketeers with a relentless run down the middle of the track to win by a length and three-quarters.

Elliott said: “He had been working well in them at home (cheekpieces). It was nice to win and he’s the first horse I’ve had for the owners, who are from Liverpool originally.

“I was worried we might be going a step too high, but Jack gave him a great ride. Dan (Skelton) recommended the horse came to me, so it’s a big thanks to him.

“I spoke to the owners a couple of times over the last week. He had and an entry in it and I thought he had a nice weight, so we decided to take our chance.

“He has been working well at home. I’d say the change of scenery worked. He could be a horse for the Galway Plate, as he stays and jumps well.

“The Galway Plate is back over fences and that is what I have in my head.”

Kennedy was, though, handed a four-day suspension for using his whip above the permitted level from the third-last hurdle.

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