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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Drum strikes for hot WilliamsHeadlines
Venetia Williams

Venetia Williams has made an unusually swift start to the jumps season proper as Drumshambo became her eighth winner of the month in the Shukers Landrover Novices' Handicap Chase at Ludlow.

The Herefordshire trainer is not known to be so prolific this side of Christmas, invariably hitting a hot streak in January or February and popping up at the big festivals, and she put it down to several factors.

"When they are running well you want to find some more to enter at home," said Williams of the 5-2 shot, who stayed on three and a half lengths clear of Bennys Quest.

"The wet summer and autumn has helped, as we haven't had to worry about the ground going quick. It's also been something of a changing of the guard at home. We've got a lot to go novice chasing this season who were always going to be better over fences."

Traditionally a more frequent sighting in the winner's enclosure during November is Nicky Henderson, whose Karazhan (5-2) turned over Charlie Longsdon's 4-6 favourite Spirit Of Shankly in the Bet With The Ludlow On Course Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle.

The recent Bangor scorer was ridden by David Bass, and Henderson's assistant Ben Pauling said: "He was knocked about a bit and forced wide, but he has shown plenty of speed there. It wasn't a mugs' race with Spirit Of Shankly coming third, and the second (Zarzal) looks a nice horse, too."

Longsdon had been inspecting horses at the sales in Cheltenham and had not arrived in time to see Tidal Way continue his winning education under a penalty in the Stourport High School Juvenile Hurdle.

Sent off the 10-11 favourite after a recent success at Bangor, the grey was never far away from the pace but was kept honest by the attentions of hurdling newcomer and market rival Vasco D'Ycy, eventually proving two lengths too strong.

Jockey Noel Fehily said: "He's a tough little horse and Charlie has done well to place him to win a couple of times now. He just had a look at the last couple in the home straight, but he did it well. He has won two, and things will get tougher from now on, but hopefully Charlie can find him another one."

Evan Williams and Paul Moloney were on song as they claimed a double, Firebird Flyer (9-2) taking the Weatherbys 2013 Point-To-Point Annual Handicap Chase and Hold Court (11-4) gaining a half-length verdict in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Introductory Hurdle.

20 February 2017

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Jockey Club prize-money boost for smaller tracks
Mutakayyef leads 11 in Winter Derby contention
Course specialist Tea For Two heads 20 left in BetBright Chase at Kempton
Perfect Candidate ruled out of Eider mission by Fergal O'Brien
Colin Kidd maps out Aintree aim for Rashaan
Regal Encore in Midlands National frame
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
All-the-way Acapella Bourgeois enters RSA Chase picture after Navan romp
Don Poli and Outlander heading for Gold Cup
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Ball D'Arc bounds to Flyingbolt success at Navan
Colin Tizzard set for nervous Cheltenham build-up
Blow for Paul Nicholls with Cliffs Of Dover out for rest of the season
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19 February 2017

Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
Setback rules Identity Thief out of Navan outing
Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
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18 February 2017

Cue Card back to his brilliant best in Ascot Chase
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Yanworth battles to hard-fought victory in Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton
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Don Bersy bags biggest success yet at Haydock but Cheltenham off the agenda
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Aux Ptits Soins in hurdling switch for Rendlesham test
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17 February 2017

Two riders taken to hospital following Wolverhampton spill
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Big-race options open as Saphir Du Rheu returns to winning ways at Kelso
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Sandown and France on the radar for Ptit Zig
National favourite Don Poli 'doubtful' for Aintree following weights dispute
Dan Skelton happy to take Champion challenge with 'improving' Superb Story
Colin's Sister primed for long-range target at Sandown
Blaklion out to roar for Nigel Twiston-Davies in National Trial
Cue Card faces five in Ascot Chase

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