Brian Hughes paid tribute to the late owner of Lofgren after storming through on the run-in to win the £40,000 Handicap Chase at Cartmel Racecourse yesterday.

Lofgren, who is trained by Donald McCain, snatched victory on the run-in ahead of pre-race favourite Beau Sancy in what was the second of two Class 2 races that took place on the second day of the June meeting.

It was a race in which the lead changed hands several times, with early frontrunner Princeton Royale eventually falling back as the field approached the fourth-from-last jump.

Play The Ace, ridden by one of the day’s other big winners, James Bowen, momentarily went in front but he was quickly overtaken by Demi Sang and Richie McLernon.

As they came to the run-in, Beau Sancy, with Gavin Sheehan, completed a remarkable comeback from last to first, only for Lofgren to breeze past with the finishing post in sight to win by one-and-three-quarter lengths.

Hughes said: “Donald fancied him, my agent fancied him and it was just a shame his owner passed away a couple of weeks ago.

“She was a really nice woman and I’m sure she’s looking down on him and it would have been great if she was here to see it.

“That’s the only bitter pill, really.”

It was the second win of the day for Hughes and McCain, the respective holders of the Jockeys Challenge and the Trainers Challenge, coming after a relatively quiet Friday.

Hughes took the opening race, the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, on See The Sea, who led from start to finish to cross the line eight lengths ahead of Dollys Destination and Conor Orr.

The Irishman then made it a treble from the final Handicap Hurdle of the day as he made his way through the field on Morning Royalty before taking the race by six lengths to round off the day with a home victory for Cartmel trainer James Moffatt.

Hughes’ first win preceded the other big race of the day, the £40,000 Handicap Hurdle, which was won by 17-year-old Bowen on eight-year-old French gelding Wells De Lune, who is trained by his father, Peter.

It was an extremely strong run by Wells De Lune, who flew out from the start and still had enough gas left by the run-in of the two-mile, one-furlong race to hold off the challenges of Project Bluebook and Nayati, who came in second and third, respectively.

Bowen, the youngest-ever winner of the Welsh Grand National, said: “He loves it around here.

“He goes very quick and he sustains his gallop, so it was a really good race from him.

“There were plenty of runners in that race, so it was great to win it.

“I’ve been up here with the family since Thursday, so it’s been like being on holiday because I love it up here.”

The father-and-son combo later won the £10,000 Handicap Hurdle with Dr Robin at odds of 20/1, as the nine-year-old overtook Farmer Boy and Conor O’Farrell on the run-in, after the latter had seized the lead off the last jump off Allbarnone.

Aiden Coleman rode his second winner of the June meeting as he stormed to victory on the 4/6 favourite The Jam Man, who is trained by Ronan NcNally of Northern Ireland.

O’Farrell won the £10,000 Handicap Chase on Flints Legacy, as he took advantage of previous leader My Renaissance falling at the final jump.

The result gave Tiverton trainer Nigel Hawke a winner on his first visit to Cartmel.

Moffatt, who now has 48 winners at Cartmel as a jockey or trainer, had seven runners during the day and there there third-place finishes for Mega Double and Boruma, who were ridden by Callum Bewley and Barrow’s Charlotte Jones, respectively.