Danny Cook feels Yesyoucan would not be out of place in a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival after defying top weight with ease in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at Carlisle.
The eight-year-old was having only the 10th start of his life off a mark of 132 but he laughed at his opponents under Cook, who enjoyed his greatest moment as a jockey on Great Endeavour in the Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham in 2010.
Brian Ellison picked up Yesyoucan for just £6,000 from David Arbuthnot in June and he has now won three of his six starts for the yard. He claimed a valuable pot at Haydock the time before last but got stuck in the mud at the same track on his most recent outing. Yesyoucan (11-4) was also the horse who provided Cook with his first winner after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a bad knee injury.
Cook told Racing UK: "He gave me a really good feel all the way around on that bit better ground. The last day at Haydock, the ground was very soft and he didn`t enjoy that so Brian gave him a little break. I don`t see any reason why we can`t be thinking of Cheltenham and Aintree after that as the handicapper will give us a fair rise, but he keeps on improving and we don`t know where he`ll stop."
Venetia Williams and Aidan Coleman can seemingly do no wrong at present and Emperor`s Choice (15-8 favourite) claimed another win in the Cumberland Show Handicap Chase.
The victory looked unlikely for most of the race as Sydney Paget outjumped his rivals, but Coleman's perseverance was rewarded with a half-length success.
Micro Mission (5-2) provided Samantha Drake with her second win in two days in the British Stallion Studs EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Mares' Novices' Chase. Chris Grant`s mare's task was made much easier by the first-fence exit of the odds-on Irish raider Charlie's Vic.
Drake said: "I`ve done really well on her and I`m very lucky that Chris has given me the ride on her. I didn`t know the favourite had gone until Callum (Whillans, on Bolin Fiona, the only other finisher) told me when we were going down the back straight. She's very clever and careful at her fences but there was no pace and we were left in front so she was just looking for company."
Phil Kirby and Kate Walton have enjoyed a good start since they joined forces and Kirby's Picks Milan (22-1) turned over the Donald McCain odds-on favourite Moscow Presents in the Happy 40th Birthday Lee Watson Novices' Hurdle.
Kirby said: "He`s a grand horse. Howard (Pickersgill, owner) bought him to go pointing but said he'd love to have a horse run under rules. He`s taken a bit of time to get to a racecourse, but he had one run in a bumper where he ran well and today was treated as being educational and whatever else he did was a bonus. He`s done it really well. He dug deep and he`ll be better over a fence. That`s Howard's first win under Rules so he`s over the moon. The yard is full, we`ve got 52 horses and the place is buzzing."
19 December 2014Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Martin readying big guns
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
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17 December 2014Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
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Plans on hold for Topper
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Mulholland makes Master plan
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Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum
16 December 2014Pipe bowled over by Palace
Cole to duck Leopardstown mission
Pipe bowled over by Palace
Arbuthnot has Starluck options
Geraghty taken with weekend Heroes
Moore the merrier at Plumpton
Estrella back with a bang
Options fluid for Hargam
Lough set for Lexus workout
Sceaux in Haydock frame
Victoire at Ladbroke summit
Five left in Long Walk