Carruthers boosts confidence
LAST year's Hennessy Gold Cup hero Carruthers made the most of having his sights lowered and claimed a confidence-boosting victory at Ffos Las.
Mark Bradstock's nine-year-old has struggled to make an impact since his emotional Newbury triumph in 2011, but has been competing at either Grade One level or in fiercely-competitive handicaps.
Dropped nine pounds by the handicapper after disappointing when defending his Hennessy crown at the start of the month, he was able to get into a lesser race in the shape of the Professional Security Management Handicap Chase in Wales and he made no mistake.
Partnered by talented amateur rider Nico de Boinville, the 15/8 favourite was in the front rank throughout and pulled clear in the heavy ground to score by 15 lengths from Benheir. Bradstock's wife, Sara, said: "We're absolutely delighted and that is exactly what the horse needed. Hopefully that will help him get his confidence back.
"It's difficult for him being harried in those top-of-the-world chases and it was nice the handicapper gave him a chance to run in a race like this. He's also had a bit of abscess problem going back a while.
"We had it under control and then it burst badly after he ran at Newbury. Hopefully we've sorted that out now. We'll play it by ear where we go next. It would be nice if he gets another opportunity to run in another race like today's, before he goes back into those bigger handicaps."