Stan Sheppard bids for Challow Hurdle triumph with Lossiemouth after Welsh Grand National success at Chepstow
Stan Sheppard hopes to complete a fantastic 48 hours in the saddle by securing the first Grade 1 success of his career on Lossiemouth in the MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury on Wednesday.
After recording the biggest victory of his career on Iwilldoit in Monday’s Welsh Grand National, the 24-year-old will focus on trying to repay the faith shown in him by Tom Lacey by delivering what would also be the trainer’s first top level success.
Sheppard combined with Lossiemouth to win his first Grade 2 race in Sandown’s Winter Novices’ Hurdle at the start of December and has a chance to complete a breakthrough year at Newbury’s last jumps fixture of 2021.
Lossiemouth is one of seven declarations for the £60,000 prize which also includes course and distance winner Stage Star and the Gordon Elliott-trained Gringo D’aubrelle.
The Lady Cobham-owned Lossiemouth has won all three starts this season, winning two handicaps before graduating to graded level with a 14 lengths success last time out.
“It’s very exciting to be riding a horse which should have a very good chance,” said Sheppard. “I think he is just behind Stage Star in the betting so he goes there with a competitive chance and hopefully he can do it again.”
Lossiemouth has won five of his ten starts and in his last three races has climbed from a handicap mark of 117 to 144. He is the top rated horse in the field for a race won last year by Bravemansgame.
“His win at Sandown was my first at Grade 2 level,” said Sheppard. “It was only my second winner on ITV so it was a pretty big day. Winning the Welsh National was massive too.
“My career is going very well at the moment. If I could win the Challow it would be Tom’s first Grade 1 as well, so we would both be very happy. Lossiemouth seems to have got his act together now.
“He won two bumpers and then the wheels fell off a bit. Now he seems to be very well in himself again and getting things right.
“I think he is a horse who needs soft ground and has gotten a lot better since blinkers were put on.
“For his first win at Ascot he only had cheek pieces on, then he had blinkers on and they have worked each time.”
With 23 winners so far Sheppard is on course to better his best score of 2016-17 when he had 29 successes.
He added: “I went to Tom’s as a 3lb claimer straight out of the Paul Nicholls’s. He gave me a few chances in the first year, a few more the second year and now I get a lot more, which I am very thankful for.”
The MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hurdle is the feature race of a seven race card on MansionBet Challow Hurdle Day, where tickets are still available to purchase via the newburyracecourse.co.uk website.