September 2022

Ahoy Senor

Ahoy Senor  Trained by Lucinda Russell in Kinross, in the Scottish Lowlands, Ahoy Senor is a 7-year-old gelding who developed into one of the best staying novice steeplechasers in training in 2021/22. A winning pointer for previous trainer, Melanie Rowley, Ahoy Senor sprang a major surprise when winning the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree at 66/1 in April, 2021, on just his third start under Rules.

However, sent over regulation fences in 2021/22, the son of Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winner Dylan Thomas proved that result was no fluke. He unseated rider Derek Fox on his steeplechasing debut at Carlisle in late October, but made amends when making all to win the John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury the following month by 31 lengths, unchallenged. At Kempton on Boxing Day, he was made marginal favourite to beat his old rival Bravemansgame in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase but, having nearly unseated Derek Fox again, at the fourth-last fence, had to settle for second, beaten 7½ lengths.

Ahoy Senor was next seen at Wetherby in early February, where he once again made all the running for an impressive, 5½-length victory over subsequent Grand National winner, Noble Yeats, in the Towton Novices’ Chase. Next up was the Cheltenham Festival, where Ahoy Senor ultimately proved no matched for the hitherto unbeaten L’Homme Presse, but nonetheless finished a highly creditable second, beaten 3½ lengths.

On his most recent start, in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree, Ahoy Senor was sent off 4/1 third favourite to reverse his earlier form with Bravemansgame and L’Homme Presse. However, neither of those rivals gave their true running, leaving Ahoy Senor to beat Fury Road – who, while no slouch, was sent off 14/1 outsider of the four runners – by a comfortable 5 lengths.