Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies was thrilled get both himself and father Nigel off the cold list at this crucial stage of the season as he booted home a double at Bangor.
It promises to be a huge couple of weeks for the Naunton-based team as they put the finishing touches to their Cheltenham Festival squad, with The New One and Imperial Commander the star names. Having gone 18 days without a winner prior to the start of play at Bangor, there will have been a sigh of relief by all associated with the camp as the father-son combination stopped the quiet spell in Wales.
Tullyraine had been well beaten on his last couple of starts over fences and was a 15-2 chance switching back to the smaller obstacles for Weatherbys Bank Handicap Hurdle. It was clear from the early stage the nine-year-old was enjoying the change of discipline and, having tracked the leaders, he picked up well from the home turn to put the race to bed. He safely negotiated the final flight to seal a two-and-a-half-length verdict over 2-1 joint-favourite Corrin Wood.
Sam Twiston-Davies said: "It's nice to get off the cold list just before Cheltenham. They've all been running well, we've just not had much luck and maybe a few of the horses have been running in the wrong races."
Of Tullyraine, Twiston-Davies jnr said: "Things just hadn't been going quite right. He'd been flat out over fences and hadn't been enjoying himself, so it's nice to get him back over hurdles. He's jumped well on the whole and won well and I think he'll stay over hurdles for now to get his confidence up. We can always go chasing again next year."
The Twiston-Davies' completed the brace as 11-4 joint-favourite Tara Rose landed the Zuidam UK Novices' Handicap Chase.
Sue Smith's Coverholder (8-15 favourite) bagged his fourth straight win in less than a month in the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Handicap Hurdle. Snapped up for just 6,000 guineas after winning a Catterick seller in late December, the six-year-old is proving to be an extremely shrewd acquisition and might not be done winning yet judged on his latest seven-length triumph.
Smith told Racing UK: "He's been lovely. I couldn't be more pleased with him and he's done absolutely everything right. He's improved every time he's run, he's a very well-bred horse and he's very smart over his hurdles. We don't do a lot of work with him because he's run so frequently. I'm really looking forward to him next season over fences."
Following four successive placed efforts, Venetia Williams-trained 7-4 favourite Ciceron claimed a first win over fences in the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre Beginners' Chase.
Winning jockey Liam Treadwell said: "He was entitled to do that. He's had some tough targets over two miles over fences, end-to-end gallop stuff, and it just worked perfectly. It's pleasing he's built on what he's shown already over fences."
21 October 2014Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
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
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
20 October 2014Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent