Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Alan Munro makes a winning return

Alan Munro exorcised any lingering demons from the last 18 months after making a victorious British comeback at sun-kissed Lingfield.
Munro had been sidelined for a year and a half due to health problems but last month was given the go-ahead to return by the British Horseracing Authority.
Having had his licence reissued by the BHA, the Derby-winning jockey was immediately back into the groove when General Blucher landed the odds in the Bet Champions League - Betdaq Maiden Stakes.
Munro, who last week rode in France where he secured a winner on Friday, stole a yard from Hawk House at the head of affairs turning for home.
Once that rival downed tools inside the final furlong, the 8-11 favourite was kept up to his work to repel the slightly unfortunate Smooth Sovereign by three-quarters of a length.
"It felt a bit rough towards the end because he kept going left and right," said Munro, for whom General Blucher was his only mount of the day.
"It was a bit awkward but I'm just pleased to back.
"When he went past the line it was a great feeling."
General Blucher's success provided added resonance for Munro as the son of Marju is owned and trained by one of his oldest allies, Peter Chapple-Hyam.
Munro is now hoping he and Chapple-Hyam can pick up where they left off before his enforced absence.
"It's nice to do it in Pete's colours," added the jockey.
"Pete and I are good friends, we've supported each other and that will continue.
"Some owners have different associations with other riders and that's completely fine.
"Pete and I don't have a formal agreement, we just have a friendship.
"When he needs to put me on and take me off he does so.
"It works really well like that, there are never any problems and I'll be riding work for him on Tuesday morning."
While delighted at making a winning return, Munro remains philosophical about the future.
He does, however, intend to tune up for the start of the Flat turf season by riding on the all-weather circuit during the next few months.
"I hope to keep busy on the all-weather and I'll just have to see what the opportunities are like," he said.
"If opportunities come I will be pleased, and if they don't I'll understand.
"I'll just do my best."
The Big G

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