Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle
Grade 2, Limited Handicap,
Ayr 14:25
£40,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m, Class 1   
Sunday 18th April 2021

1 Milkwood 3/1F
2 Anna Bunina 8/1
3 Tommys Oscar 5/1
9 ran NR: Voix Du Reve Distances: 3¾l, ½l, 6l
Time: 3m 43.80s (slow by 1.80s)

Neil Mulholland revealed he has had the Grade Two contest as the primary objective for Milkwood ever since finishing fourth behind the high-class Sceau Royal in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las in October.

Since that fine effort, Milkwood had been third in the Gerry Feilden at Newbury and third again in the fiercely-competitive County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

With the form of the latter contest significantly boosted by the subsequent Grade One success of the winner Belfast Banter, Mulholland’s charge was the 3-1 favourite to get back on the winning trail at Ayr – and did so in impressive style.

After moving smoothly into contention under a confident ride from Sam Twiston-Davies, Milkwood took over the lead from Irish raider Ana Bunina after the final flight before pulling three and three-quarter lengths clear.

Mulholland said: “He ran very well in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and Ayr is a very similar track, so we’ve had this in mind since then.

“It was the same type of race, but better ground and we’re delighted it’s worked out on the day.

“We were hopeful going into it, but it’s hard to win any race, never mind a Scottish Champion Hurdle.”

On future plans, he added: “The only race left for him (this season) is the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock.

“He’ll probably go chasing at some stage, but I’ve got to speak to the owner and see what we’re going to do.

“We’ll enjoy today and see how he comes out of it.”

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Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle
£40,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

1     Milkwood 7 11-6 Neil Mulholland Sam Twiston-Davies 3/1F
Anna Bunina 5 10-13 John C McConnell Brian Hughes 8/1
½ Tommy's Oscar 6 11-2 Ann Hamilton Danny McMenamin 5/1
6 Calico 5 11-3 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 4/1
6 Glory And Fortune 6 10-8 Tom Lacey Jonathan Burke 13/2
Scarlet Dragon 8 10-13 Alan King Tom Cannon 40/1
½ Thyme White 5 11-2 Paul Nicholls Sean Bowen 13/2
Diego Du Charmil 9 11-10 7ex Paul Nicholls Angus Cheleda 12/1
PU Miss Heritage 7 10-12 Lucy Wadham Aidan Coleman 18/1

NR 1 Voix Du Reve 9 11-10 Iain Jardine NON RUNNER