sport

Newbury aim for Highland Lodge

Highland Lodge has the Fuller's London Pride Novices' Chase on the first day of Newbury's Hennessy Gold Cup meeting as an aim.

Emma Lavelle's six-year-old was having just the fourth run of his career under Rules and he jumped like an old hand on his way to a five-length victory at Towcester on his chasing debut last week.

A step up in class to Grade Two level is now on the cards, despite Lavelle previously feeling he would be better on a right-handed track.

"He jumped great and while he can get in tight and fiddle, he doesn't want to be told what to do," said Lavelle.

"Dominic (Elsworth) wanted to sit in behind but he was in such a rush he over-jumped at the first.

"I think he's a very good horse with a lot of natural ability and he absolutely loves jumping.

"My thoughts are that he'll go for a Grade Two over three miles on the first day of the Hennessy meeting.

"We'd always thought he'd be better right-handed but at Towcester, if anything, he shifted left. Dominic said he'd have no trouble at Newbury because the straights are so long."

Lavelle has another nice long-term prospect in Gullinbursti, who showed up well for a long way on his chasing debut in what could turn out to be a hot race at Exeter won by Harry Topper.

"He was just a bit fresh in front and when he hit four-out it knocked the stuffing out of him," she said.

"The plan is to run him at Haydock in quite a valuable novice chase over two miles and six furlongs (November 23)."