Cornerstone Lad pipped in Victor Ludorum Hurdle
Mary Lofthouse’s improving juvenile Cornerstone Lad ran another cracker but was agonisingly touched off in the shadow of the post in today’s Victor Ludorum Hurdle at a stamina sapping Haydock Park.
Cornerstone Lad had beaten the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Turning Gold by a length when winning a decent race at Catterick last month, but a 2lbs pull proved enough for the runner up to turn the tables here as he scored by a nose under Sam Twiston-Davies.
Sent off the 10/1 outsider of the six runner field, Cornerstone Lad (above) was always up with the pace under his regular rider Henry Brooke and was shaken up to challenge on the far rail approaching the final flight as the front three pulled well clear. Lisp, who had earned a rating of 130 after wins at Plumpton and Fontwell and was a well backed favourite here, was the first to crack leaving Cornerstone Lad and Turning Gold to battle it out on the run in, it looked like our Delegator gelding might just be doing enough but the concession of 8lbs proved just beyond him.
Cornerstone Lad lost nothing in defeat as he came so close to emulating Only Orsenfoolsies, who won this race for us under Wilson Renwick five years ago.
The Fred Winter at next month’s Cheltenham Festival is still very much under consideration for Cornerstone Lad, who might also go for a decent prize on the Flat later this year.