Davy Russell continued his irresistible winning spree when making a very rare visit to Kempton on Monday.
The stylish jockey had fashioned a Navan treble for his main employer Gigginstown Stud on Sunday, including on the exciting prospect Don Cossack, and his only ride here was aboard Knockfierna in the Listed OLBG Mares' Hurdle.
Trainer Charles Byrnes felt he had spotted a loophole in the programme book across the Irish Sea as this multiple Graded winner of both novice hurdles and chases was well treated on her return to smaller obstacles after a couple of slightly perplexing outings over fences.
Russell bustled along Knockfierna (11-4) from a long way out but received the response he wanted and she came two and a half lengths clear of Miss Milborne after the final flight. While Russell recalled winning a race at the Sunbury track a few years ago for Emma Lavelle, it was Limerick-based Byrnes' first Kempton runner.
Byrnes said: "The conditions of the race appealed because she's a fair hurdler back in Ireland, but she wasn't penalised for this. Apart from Quevega, she'd be as good as any other mare and if there was a chance she could get in the first half dozen at Cheltenham (in the mares' hurdle), you'd have to consider it.
"The clerk of the course says there is a race back here on December 27 and we'll have a look at that. I wouldn't rule out another run over fences, maybe in the spring."
Nicky Henderson has been forced to endure some knocks over recent days and his woes continued when 1-5 favourite Snake Eyes was beaten in front of watching owner JP McManus in the Halcyon Gallery British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
This race was taken by no lesser stablemates than Bobs Worth and Darlan in the last two years so Snake Eyes may yet take high rank. He looked a smart recruit when cruising past Minella Definitely and into the lead at the final flight. However, Daryl Jacob refused to let him have it easy and got the 20-1 shot back in front and a neck ahead.
Winning trainer Neil Mulholland said: "To be fair, I possibly thought he could be second today as Daryl thought the horse hurt himself at Chepstow last time and looked after him. I showed him to the owner last Friday and he looked a different horse."
Henderson said of Snake Eyes: "Obviously it is soft ground and he did everything right up until the last. As JP said, 'He's still a maiden for another day'."
23 May 2015Fabricate puts down Royal marker
No decision on replacement - McCoy
Harrington bids for Guineas glory
Gagarin in orbit for Gallinule
Tudhope back for Force mount
Luck be a Lady for Burke
Gleneagles tees off at Curragh
Stars dazzles at Goodwood
Dettori receives golden ticket
Tudhope suffers Haydock blow
Gatsby in great form for Gold run
O'Brien banking on Found progress
Sole seeking home success
Remote makes Festival return
Force back for Temple test
22 May 2015Paris in Sandown shake-up
Ivawood targets Guineas revenge
Brooch aiming to sparkle again
Dods hoping Angel can soar
Cumani hangs fire as Dubai dazzles
Dods hoping for Angel delight
Epicuris team seek dispensation
Treve buzzing for Corrida comeback
No going concerns for Gatsby
Gleneagles spearheads Guineas field
Power to stay in Ireland
Muthmir earmarked for Haydock date
21 May 2015Ground concerns for Pretend
Ball back on duty at Worcester
Ground key to Boy Gold run
Fitz up against it for Galway
Hobbs to race in Godolphin blue
Haggas has plenty to Wonder about
Straight to Ascot for Rizeena
Curragh all set for big weekend
Byron in Greenlands hunt
Sandown or Epsom options for Spring
O'Brien looks to Tapestry
Europe the 'horse of a lifetime'
Legatissimo in Oaks reckoning
20 May 2015Top fillies given Irish Derby entry
Girl could spark Ascot dreams
Coolmore acquire Pharoah rights
Cirrus leads Longchamp septet
Time called on Europe career
Doyle set for Kazeem Gold run
RMG and ARC announce joint venture
Lyons planning dual Guineas raid
Albany aim for Spanish
Maarek team wait on ground
Birdcage takes flight at Dundalk
Gatsby tops Tattersalls entry
Great expectations in Needler
Karakontie likely to bypass Ascot
Devonshire added to Guineas field
Arod in Ascot frame
Elm team have high hopes
Varian retains Belardo faith
Ground to decide Power aim