A bumper winner last season for her previous connections, Oriental Cross has taken a little time to get to grips with hurdling, but took a significant step forwards yesterday when winning a big-field novice handicap hurdle at Newcastle.
She travelled powerfully through the race and looked to be going best turning in, but she just looked a little green when coming under pressure and a couple of mistakes over the last two flights meant she had a tough task to reel in the eventual runner-up. However, she responded really willingly to Alan’s urgings to win by a neck.
She is very much a work in progress, having had just eight starts to date, and hopefully there is a good deal more to come from her. Congratulations to her owners John Durston and Nigel Harris!