LEWES trainer Suzy Smith took Sandown’s Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle on Saturday with 20-1 shot Invicta Lake in an outstanding training performance to take the top prize of more than £28,000.
The eight-year-old gelding, owned by Bernard and Jan Wolford, won by more than four lengths from a highly competitive field in the two mile six furlong contest with Tom O’ Brien in the saddle.
Suzy said after the race: ” I am absolutely delighted. This has been a great day for our small stable,where we have only 20 horses and Tom gave him a great ride. This is a nice horse which will progress and is something to look forward to next year.
“He gets three miles two, so I knew he would stay. I was more concerned about how soft the ground was. Paddy Brennan ( who had ridden the horse before) always said there was a big one in him, but I had been wondering whether to switch him to fences.
She added: “He was unlucky last time at Cheltenham when he fell. Whether he goes to the Cheltenham Festival after this I’m not sure. He would have to go up in the weights and would have to qualify for the bigger races there.”
She added that her original flagship horse, Material World, had finished third in the same race before she retired from racing and became a broodmare.
Mr and Mrs Wolford said: ” This has been a great day for us. We have got a very nice horse here, which has given us a wonderful win. Suzy is a very under-rated trainer and we bought this horse for only £6,000 after she went to Ireland and found him for us.”
CAPTION 1 Invicta Lake pictured following an earlier win at Plumpton, with owners Bernard and Jan Wolford, then jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Suzy Smith and assistant trainer Sergion Gordon-Watson Photo Jeannie Knight
CAPTION 2 headhsot Trainer Suzie Smith