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'."
24 October 2014Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt