First Fandango gained a deserved success at Ludlow yesterday, benefitting from a first taste of leniency from the handicapper in over two years to win the 3m handicap chase under a well-judged ride from Michael Byrne.

The victim of his own consistency over hurdles, the handicapper never relented and it remains surprising that, despite form figures of 4043 over hurdles in 2012, he was raised 3lbs to then finish 0306 off an unchanged mark of 142.

Though he has always looked more at home over the smaller obstacles, he had been given a chance off a mark of 119 at Ludlow yesterday and, on his first start since the spring, he looked a much more confident individual, jumping and travelling well throughout.  Hitting the front four out, he sprinted clear to record a facile success.  I am delighted for his owners WRB Racing and Premier Chance Racing and hopefully he can go in again while the rain stays away.

Nellie The Elegant was also representing WRB Racing and she finished second in the opening claiming hurdle.

At Southwell, there was a really pleasing debut effort from Rustamabad, who finished second in the first division of the bumper.  A son of Dylan Thomas and from a top-class Aga Khan family, he looks a really nice prospect and we will look for another bumper for him in three weeks or so.