Weststreet Lands Highland National While Johnson Bags 200th Season Winner
WESTSTREET, sent off at 11/2, landed the Pentland Land Rover Perth Highland National for Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell on the final day of the Perth Festival.
The winner of a four-miler last month at Hexham, he stayed on dourly to beat Lucinda Russell’s game runner-up Misfits by a length and three quarters.
Sherwood, who teamed up with Aspell to scoop the 2015 Grand National with Many Clouds, said: “The rain just came in time to give him his ideal ground. He stays really well and has come back in the past from being off with injury so it’s a story with a happy ending.
“We’ve had winners here at Perth before but not for a few years so it’s lovely to have another one and in a big race too.”
Richard Johnson, about to be crowned champion jockey for the fourth successive season, reached the 200-winner mark for just the second occasion when taking the St Andrews Students Racing Society Handicap Hurdle.
“I’ve always loved coming to Perth and riding horses for a trainer like Gordon Elliott makes the job a whole lot easier,” said Johnson, who has partnered more winners at Perth than anywhere else in all bar one of his championship seasons.
My Old Gold was an impressive winner of the second running of the Listed T.B.A. Fair Maid Of Perth Mares’ Chase, at £35,000 the richest race of the three days. Trained by Nicky Richards, the 6/1 chance was ridden by Sean Quinlan who had earlier booted home his 60th winner of 2018/19 on Imada. Imada was also trained by Richards who completed a treble with Big Bad Bear in division one of the bumper.
Next up at Perth is the Hoteliers race evening on Wednesday 15 May before the hugely popular Ladies Day, already edging close to complete sell-out, the following afternoon (Thursday 16 May).