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  Lee Breaks his Duck in New Flat Career  

5/4/12 - The tremendously popular rider, Graham Lee, got off the mark in his new career as a Flat jockey when partnering the Jim Goldie-trained Northern Fling to victory at Musselburgh, on Thursday, riding a finely judged race to advertise his talents to a wide audience, writes Elliot Slater.

Lee only recently decided to retire from riding over jumps, having struggled with an inability to put on weight, in recent seasons. On occasions, he had to add as much as 40lbs of lead into his saddle, when he was riding horses burdened with 11st 12lbs.

Lee, who famously won the 2004 John Smith's Grand National on board the late Ginger McCain's Amberleigh House, and also enjoyed many other high profile victories, including with Inglis Drever in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, was persuaded to change code by none other than Tony McCoy. 

McCoy suggested that, with his judgement of pace and light weight, he had everything required to make the grade on the level.

Northern Fling (20/1 in the best racing odds will go down as the first winner for the popular Irishman, after being produced with a perfectly timed effort to come from some way off the pace. He burst through inside the final furlong to lead in the last 100 yards, and score by a length from Save the Bees and Le Chat D'Or. 

Winning for the first time in nearly two seasons, victory on Northern Fling was a particularly good advertisement for Lee, who admitted the win had done his confidence no end of good, and demonstrated to anybody watching that he has already started to adjust to the very different shape of races in the summer game. 

Lee took plenty of advice from Jim Crowley, a former jump jockey who has risen fast in the ranks of riders on the Flat. Continue to follow the exploits of Northern Fling and Graham Lee with horse racing betting news.
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