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Night pace will be a key asset - Russell

TRAINER Lucinda Russell identified Tap Night's pace as being a major asset after he made a mightily impressive chasing debut at Ayr.

A recent purchase for JP McManus, the six-year-old had a verdict over Captain Conan over hurdles at Kelso last season and could take high rank over fences.

The 4-9 favourite faced just three rivals in the Download The BetVictor Spincast App Now Novices' Chase and was five lengths down after a slow leap three out.

However, he effortlessly made up the ground to win by five lengths under Tony McCoy.

"He was a bit novicey at a couple, but he jumped well in the main and he was entitled to win it off his mark," said Russell.

"I'm not too sure what we'll do about the distance, whether we go up to two and a half or stick at two miles. He's certainly got plenty of pace and I was quite pleased with how he handled the soft ground."

A two-and-a-half-mile contest at Musselburgh, which the yard won last season with Bold Sir Brian, is a possible target.

Russell also claimed the first two races with very nice prospects.

Green Flag (5-6 favourite) was giving 10lb to each of his rivals in the EBF/Follow Us On Twitter @BetVictorRacing 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle and, despite getting tired after the last, he had enough left to beat Balleybogey by 10 lengths. He has now won three of his four starts over hurdles.

Peter Buchanan was on board Green Flag, and gave Imjoeking (7-2) a near-identical ride in the Get The BetVictor App Maiden Hurdle.

Having chased home the useful Morning Royalty at Carlisle, there was nothing of that class in this race and he stayed on to beat Halo Moon by three and a half lengths.

McCoy then partnered two winners for Northern Irish handler James Lambe in the shape of Forestside (16-1) in the BetVictor Exclusive Antepost Offer Cheltenham 2013 Handicap Hurdle and Seader (4-1) BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle.

Lambe said: "Forestside's an out-and-out stayer. Barry Geraghty rode him the last day and said to send him over as far as we could and take our time with him. Forestside might win again but after racing on that ground you'll not see him for a couple of weeks."