DOING IT THE HARD WAY . . . . .

MARCO ISLAND defied several jumping errors on his way to a hard fought success in the PERTEMPS NETWORK EMEA MAIDEN HURDLE at Chepstow on Saturday.

He and jockey Rex Dingle came out best in a tight three way finish, and they took the prize money won by our team this season past £300,000.

Marco Island is a gorgeous looking type, standing fully 17 hands with good bone and should make a staying chaser sooner rather than later.

But the hurdles kept getting in the way in the home straight and he did very well to win after losing valuable ground at each of the last three flights.

He had plenty of work to do after the final hurdle but somehow found a second wind and made up almost three lengths to snatch the verdict by a neck from Mothill with Tango Tara half a length away third.

Marco Island might have one more run this spring if we can find suitably soft ground. Then we will be thinking about sending him chasing next season.

Our popular pensioner JEPECK completed another rewarding day for the team by finishing second to Ballyandy in the £20,000 Pertemps Qualifier ridden by Cameron Iles.

The old boy, aged 13, has put together a terrific sequence in his last four runs with one gritty success, two second places and a third in competitive handicaps. He has been a wonderful flagbearer for his owners Jon and Michelle Pike.

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