Brian Ellison will resist any temptation to rush Windsor Avenue into a higher grade after the seven-year-old delighted him with a wide-margin victory on chasing debut.
Windsor Avenue was the middle leg of a Sunday treble for Ellison’s Malton yard at Sedgefield, and he intends to stay local in search of continued education over fences before the winning pointer heads for any tougher tests.
Ellison has never made any secret of his high hopes for Windsor Avenue, who has four wins in bumpers and novice hurdles and has always appeared to be a potentially high-class chaser in the making.
He duly coasted to victory by more than 20 lengths in a near two-and-a-half-mile beginners’ chase, with his main market rival Western Ryder running below expectations.
Ellison said: “He was very polished, and he did it well.
“He loved the ground. It obviously helped when the other favourite didn’t perform, but he couldn’t have done it any better.
“He’s growing more into himself. He’s a big horse, and he’s always been quite classy working as well.
“He’s still young, so we’ll just look for another similar race and see from there.”
Ellison’s juvenile hurdler Robeam also scored on his debut in a new discipline, by an even wider margin, and Snookered completed the treble by taking his winning streak to three at the course – up in trip to two and a half miles.
Robeam has a rating of just 56 after a solitary win from 18 Flat starts, but his new trainer pointed out that stamina is the key in his vocation as a jumper.
“We bought him because we know, with these juvenile hurdle races, you need to stay – and a lot of them don’t,” he said.
“We thought he’d win, because he’s schooled well. We knew he’d stay, and the soft ground came.
“I don’t think it was a great race, but he did it well, and he’d probably be even better again on a stiffer track.”
Snookered, meanwhile, has earned himself a break – as well as, almost certainly, another hike in the ratings which may make a fourth successive race at Sedgefield tricky to find.
“There’s no races till Christmas for him there,” said Ellison.
“I’m not saying he wants Sedgefield, but he’s taken a liking to it.
“He probably had a hard enough race.
“But the ground isn’t an issue, and he’s a better horse since we’ve let him bowl along.”
At a higher level, Ellison reports stable star Definitly Red bang on course to defend his crown in next month’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
He said: “He’s in good form. He’s going to go there pretty fit – he’s had two racecourse gallops.
“He’s schooled great again. He just does his job, gets on with it, no frills about him – and he loves it, and is a great horse to have.”
Last year’s Wetherby win is one of four on Definitly Red’s CV, and Ellison still senses the 10-year-old is capable of a top-level success too one day.
“It’s just finding one that Willie Mullins doesn’t turn up in, or (Paul) Nicholls,” he said.
“But whatever, he’s done us proud, and he’s been a great horse.”