Hughes enjoys four-timer at Les Landes
In a week where Jump racing fixtures were thin on the ground, the action moved to the Channel Islands as Neil Mulholland and Brian Hughes brought some mainland impetus to the races at Les Landes in Jersey on Friday where they teamed up for a treble, whilst, not to be done down, Charlie Longsdon took a fourth of the five races.
This was the second of eight fixtures this year since the island came out of restrictions and crowds were permitted. Normally open for Easter, a delayed start has allowed organisers to promote the races to mainland trainers more than usual, and a clutch of British riders were in attendance, including Hughes, Mattie Batchelor and Serena Brotherton. Racing supports a surprising number of jobs on the island, so its return has been broadly welcomed.
Mulholland, leading the charge among British trainers with four winners from the first fixture, was on the scoresheet in the 5 1/2f handicap, with Man Of The Sea, winning by a head, the Millbrook 2021 Jersey Guineas with Molliana, successful here in a handicap 3 weeks ago, and Master Burbidge in the 1m4f handicap.
The card began when Jamacho ran out a comfortable winner of the 2m2f handicap hurdle under Brian Hughes to open the card.
There's no doubt that attracting mainstream British trainers to Jersey adds zest to a fixture for which there is a limited horse population, but it does appear something of a mice and men situation. Were I a Jersey trainer, I might feel a little miffed.
Generally speaking, mainland runners on Jersey are there because their owners have a connection with the island. The Mulholland invasion however, has been for Trowbridge-based building firm Dajam - no obvious connections with Jersey.
Maybe the lure of a winner anywhere is just too strong.