I GIORNI put a disappointing campaign behind her with a narrow victory under top weight in the Cazoo Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Hereford on Monday in the colours of The Soldiers Of Fortune.

I had high hopes for her early this season but after she ran poorly on her first two starts I gave her a full MOT and discovered she was suffering from ulcers.

Her recent run at Wincanton was more encouraging and she continued her improvement with a willing success on Friday with the assistance of a patient ride from Rex Dingle. Things were tight in the finish and it was good to see her hold on by half a length from Chantilly Haze.

I will probably give I Giorni a little break now and would be keen to send her chasing next season as we bought her at the Cheltenham Sales after she won on her debut in an Irish Point—to-Point in January last year.

We came tantalisingly close to a double on the day with KILBEG KING just coming up short on his handicap debut at Newbury on testing ground. He looked set to win when jumping to the front at the final flight before narrowly failing to beat On The Blind Side.

It probably didn’t help that Aidan Coleman’s whip was knocked out of his hand by the winner’s jockey Nico de Boinville as they landed over the last.

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