Shock as 66/1 chance Misu Mac comes good off basement mark of 23

Misu Mac earned the distinction of becoming one of the lowest-rated horses ever to win a race when overcoming her basement mark of 23 when beating three rivals to spring a 66-1 surprise at Southwell yesterday.

The five-year-old mare had shown little in her seven previous races at distances between five furlongs and a mile, but her trainer and breeder Neville Bycroft put that down to her being a big, backward type.

Misu Mac, ridden by 5lb claimer Joe Doyle, gave Bycroft his first winner for 89 days when beating Thunderbird by a neck in the Unibet Offer Daily Jockey/Trainer Specials Median Auction Maiden Stakes. Makin A Statement, running off a mark of 72 and sent off the 4-6 favourite, was last of the four, beaten 13 and a half lengths by the shock winner.

“In small fields you can get one or two horses out of form, the favourite can run moderately and you get results that are kind of unnatural,” said veteran handler Bycroft, who has a string of 11 at his North Yorkshire base.

“She’s been a big, backward filly but is from quite a good family of ours. Consequently she’s took a long time to come to herself. She’s a big, burly filly and blew up last time over a mile, but the jockey said give her a couple more runs and she’ll be all right.

“She didn’t look like she got the mile last time but because she’s been so backward it’s hard to know what distance she wants.

“We’ve had a lot of the family and most of them have won for us. She ran at Southwell a month ago and the jockey said she handled the surface all right but she was very stuffy and has been hard to get fit.

“I shall put her in a race again soon and hope for the best. We’ve got her entered at Southwell again and at Wolverhampton, as she’s taken to the all-weather. I think we’ll stick to six and seven furlongs now. She showed a bit of speed today so we probably won’t go back to a mile.

“It’s been very much stop-start with her as she’s been so backward. It was obviously the right race for her today.”

Meanwhile Tony McCoy enhanced his impressive 45 per cent strike-rate with trainer Neil Mulholland this season on his final visit to Huntingdon when doing the steering on Southfield Royale in the Shoreclean Ventilation Ductwork Cleaning ’National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.

The 19-times champion jockey teamed up with the in-form Limpley Stoke handler take the two-and-half-mile contest by half a length aboard the 8-13 favourite and register a third victory this term on the five-year-old.

Mulholland said: “He just made a mess of the last, but AP said it was not ideal making the running. He is still very babyish and he needs his mind making up early on. You can’t ride him like a handicapper.

“He will go for a summer break now, as he has got quite a bit of maturing to do, and he will then go novice chasing next season.”

Phare Isle gained his first win over smaller obstacles in more than three years after bolting up in the ShoreClean Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Handicap Hurdle.

Always travelling well in the hands of Kielan Woods, the 11-2 shot claimed the three-and-a-quarter-mile contest by 13 lengths to post a first hurdling success since scoring at Fakenham on New Year’s Day in 2011. Winning trainer Ben Case said: “The race fell apart, but on his old form he was better than them as I didn’t think it was a strong race. He was also better for the good ground. The handicapper gave him a bit of a let up today and that win would have done him the world of good.”

Ballyvoneen (3-1) showed he is more than just a Plumpton specialist with hard-fought success in the www.32Red.com  Handicap Chase.

The three-mile contest looked to be in the hands of Mrs Peachey until she made a shuddering mistake at the penultimate fence. As Mrs Peachey began to wilt after the last both six-times Plumpton chase winner, Ballyvoneen and Ultimatum Du Roy came with late charges, with the Neil King-trained runner doing enough to win by a length, despite hanging left.

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