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Pointers on Track

Alsa Mix beats the boys to claim Sandown Grade 2

For the second year in succession, the feature race on the opening day of Sandown’s two-day Tingle Creek fixture, the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle, was won by an Irish point-to-point graduate.

Following in the footsteps of Nicky Henderson’s On The Bright Side in the 2017 renewal, Alsa Mix, ran out a clear-cut winner of this year’s race, powering clear from the back of the final flight to give Alan King his third win in the race from its last four runnings.

Bought for €10,000 as an unraced four-year-old at the August Sale, the daughter of Al Namix was well-supported ahead of her debut in a mares’ older maiden at Aghabullogue last January, where she justified that market support to win as she pleased.

The ten-length defeat of Cloone Lady saw her impress King, as he bought the six-year-old with Highflyer Bloodstock for £65,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham February sale, and since then she has gone from strength to strength.

Winner her first two starts for King, beginning in a Worcester bumper in September, before following up at Exeter on her hurdling debut, the grey mare was sent off as a 12/1 shot for the £30,000 Grade 2 prize on what was her biggest test to date.

Always travelling well, the June Watts-owned six-year-old made her move under Wayne Hutchinson to lead over the penultimate flight, before going on to defeat Darlac by three and a-half lengths. Fellow former point-to-pointers Quoi De Neuf and Trio For Rio completed in fourth and fifth positions respectively.

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