Mir­a­cle vic­tory for Nor­ton

The Scotsman - - WEEKEND PUZZLER - By GRA­HAM CLARK

Mak­ing Mir­a­cles ran the op­po­si­tion into the ground as he gave course spe­cial­ist Franny Nor­ton vic­tory in a mud- splat­tered re­newal of the Sport­pesa Ch­ester Cup on the Roodee.

In des­per­ate con­di­tions, the Mark John­ston- trained fouryear- old turned the valu­able marathon hand­i­cap i nto a pro­ces­sion.

De­spite be­ing drawn out wide in stall 16, Mak­ing Mir­a­cles was smartly out of the stalls and soon in con­trol at the front end.

Low Sun was quick to join him from stall 17 and the pair were able to dom­i­nate the race.

The Wil­lie Mullins- trained Low Sun l ost t ouch i n t he straight, but Mak­ing Mir­a­cles ( 16- 1) kept up the gal­lop to win un­chal­lenged by six lengths.

Who Dares Wins just edged o ut Low S un’s s t a bl e mate Whiskey Sour by a neck for sec­ond spot.

Nor­ton said: “I was drawn 16 and they said I couldn’t win from there, but I had a good, will­ing part­ner. I was able to go at the frac­tions I wanted to go and then it was nice and easy.”

The veteran rider added: “It’s beau­ti­ful as it was a race I wanted to win, so I’m happy.”

Mean­while, Iain Jar­dine’s Alexan­der James cre­ated quite an im­pres­sion when mak­ing a win­ning de­but at South­well and it will be fas­ci­nat­ing to see how he gets on in the David Lever Me­mo­rial Novice Stakes at Thirsk.

If the last Na­tional Hunt sea­son taught us any­thing, it was that Dan Skel­ton can cer­tainly tar­get a race.

He has had to re­jig plans for Sofia’s Rock, who was head­ing to Ain­tree only to miss out when the rain came, but he now has an eas­ier op­tion in the Pertemps Net­work Swin­ton Hand­i­cap Hur­dle at Hay­dock.

A mark of 140 may se­ri­ously un­der­es­ti­mate t his f ormer Mark John­ston in­mate, who at his peak was rated 100 on the level.

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