Ruacana has provided Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser John Ferguson with the first Grade One win of his training career in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.
Ferguson started training a few Godolphin cast-offs and a handful of other horses just two years ago having previously handled point-to-pointers.
Some in his stable are real blue bloods but not all take to the jumps racing like Ruacana, formerly with Michael Bell.
Ruacana looked as if he would run second at best but leader Swynymor fell at the final flight.
“He was consistent for Michael Bell and it was very kind of his owner to lease him to Bloomfields (Stud, in whose colours the winner ran),” Ferguson said.
“On his Flat form I had a strong feeling he would go in the ground and I thought Denis (O’Regan) gave him a smashing ride – although we did have a bit of luck on our side.
“We’ll get him home and then decide what we do next. Obviously everyone wants to have runners at Cheltenham, but there’s no point just going there for the sake of it and we’ll see how things pan out.”
Coral make the winner 16-1 for the Triumph Hurdle at the march Festival.
Victor Dartnall was out of luck with Giles Cross in the Welsh National but enjoyed his first winner since his string returned to action when Seebright (9-2) took the concluding bumper.
An outbreak of equine herpes has meant Dartnall’s season has barely got of the ground but he has a promising youngster on his hands in the shape of the Ryan Mahon-ridden winner.
“I’m so delighted. I thought he was well. I was pleased with Giles Cross but he just got a bit tired and Denis (O’Regan) pulled him up,” said Dartnall.
“It’s our first winner back so it’s onwards and upwards.
“The stable are back in good health but some need a bit more time. In the next fortnight we’ll just tread carefully and then we’ll really start to get going.”