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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Williams conquers TauntonHeadlines
Venetia Williams with Aidan Coleman

Trainer Venetia Williams and jockey Aidan Coleman heaped the pain on the bookmakers by providing three of the seven winning favourites at Taunton.

The red-hot combination took Williams' seasonal total past the half-century mark, and their impact only scraped the surface, with the other four events also going the way of a market leader.

There was an element of fortune for Coleman about win number one, where Emperor's Choice (6-4 favourite) inched past Shuil Royale and Guess Again by a respective short head and a head in a phenomenal finish for the Annual Membership Proves Great Value Beginners' Chase.

"When I jumped the second-last I thought I'd win, but I got my reins in a muddle. Fair play to the horse, he got the job done," said Coleman, who was given a two-day ban (January 21-22) for using his whip above the permitted level.

Second for the team was Bennys Mist (5-4 favourite), who clambered over the final fence of the BBC Stargazing Live Here 10th January Handicap Chase but was still far beyond recall, then it was up to 4-6 market leader Jupiter Rex to follow up last week's course and distance triumph in the Come Racing For A Tenner 29th January Handicap Hurdle.

Ruby Walsh inflicted further damage upon the layers, dropping in to test two young hopefuls from the Paul Nicholls academy and leaving with a double.

Sound Investment (5-6 favourite) was first to make his mark in the Happy New Year Maiden Hurdle. Graham Wylie's £100,000 purchase had been given a hurdling baptism of fire when introduced to obstacles against the high-class Puffin Billy at Newbury, but faced nothing of that calibre here and scored by 12 lengths.

"A first-time tongue strap has helped, and this was a different quality of race to the one against Puffin Billy. His jumping was OK, but could be better, and it will be on better ground. He hasn't any fancy targets but you'd find a stepping-stone race under a penalty now," said Nicholls' assistant, Dan Skelton.

Saphir Du Rheu was arguably even more impressive than his stablemate, despite his winning margin being a length shorter in the Castle Hotel In Taunton "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle, while Paul Webber's Cantlow (4-9 favourite) continued on his own path towards the Cheltenham Festival when landing an uncompetitive Hippychick Novices' Chase.

"AP (Tony McCoy) said he was hating the ground, particularly in the straight. We are just trying to get some experience into him. He doesn't have to run again before March, where I'd imagine he'd go for one of the two-and-a-half-mile handicaps, although it's up to the powers that be to decide," said Webber.

1 February 2015

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Tied Cottage stroll for Cyclone
Plan comes together for George
Williams happy with Lliege ride
Cheltenham in See sights
Midlands option for Goonyella
Buick and Doyle set for busy spring
Zarkandar seeking World domination
Kazeem could make French return
Sedgefield inspect
Musselburgh goes ahead
Lliege keeps second in Welsh drama
Stark gives King Cheltenham options
Reve team dare to dream
Berlais joins Mullins Festival team
Lake victorious in Heroes
Morning runs rivals ragged
Contender Victoire lands knockout
Smooth success for hot Chocolat
Heavyweights wary of Shark attack

31 January 2015

Ned edges Towton thriller
Silsol plan comes to fruition
Berlais best in Scilly Isles
Musselburgh takes precautions
Grand news at Wetherby
Turner hit with ten-day ban
Witness back to master Sandown
Chocolat looks sweet at Sandown
Pree primed for big Towton run
Mai heads Sandown Contenders
Walters Kean for National win
Polamco aiming to be Sandown Hero
Johnson seeks Champagne celebration
Uxizandre team eye date with Grugy

30 January 2015

Hopes rise for Wetherby
Newbury to stage veterans' hurdle
Dude set for two National prep runs
Leopardstown date for D'Antan
No hurry for Flemenstar return
Aigles skips Dubai trip
Wetherby announce inspection plan
Melodic in Exeter frame
Chepstow gets go-ahead
Catterick abandoned
Classy display from Vercingetorix
Ffos Las blow for Carruthers
McCoy in line for Coneygree mount
Blossoming Serge in Supreme hat
Peace declared for Triumph
Hercules features in Bartlett
Games given Neptune entry

29 January 2015

Good news for Burke after X-rays
Bayan handed French mission
Exciting Eagle ready for action
Ellison on Red alert
Brother sets sail for Festival date
Ferof takes Ascot acid test
Cogry has dual Festival options
Hourigan duo to duck National Trial
Salsify back in Foxhunter frame
Wintry Catterick calls inspection
Chepstow on weather watch
Musselburgh bids to beat weather
Legend in line for Kempton repeat
Henderson at Peace for Triumph
Henderson primes Betfair squad
Henderson happy with Sprinter
Unioniste set for Newbury outing
Bolger left in awe of super Sceaux
Sam set for Gold run
Denman date for Obeaux

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