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."
29 July 2014Repeat Topaz victory for Vastonea
Tag recovering from Ascot exertions
Muthmir team eye Goodwood gold
Eagle set for short break
Van driven out for Goodwood success
Love too much for Toormore
Cotai claims Molecomb glory
Leger hopefuls seek Gordon glory
Sennockian stars at Goodwood
Hannon aims to uphold family honour
He who would be King
Vulcanite spearheads Longsdon raid
Hughes launches double Plate bid
Estimate in Goodwood Cup field
Quick picks off Galway rivals
Lion could roar in Champion Stakes
Time out for Carpenter
Beckett considers Gesture gameplan
Pitt ponders Sir Stewards' run
Bird in full flight for Nassau
Beacon leads Hannon trio
Toormore on Goodwood mission
Star duo head Sussex field
28 July 2014PJA hits out at ERA Cosgrave case
Chopin team wait on softer ground
Options open for Approval
Pallasator states case for Ebor
Custom a cut above
Harty doubles up in Galway feature
Munich Mission impossible
Jinx on a high in France
Cox plays it cool with Kodi
Girl given Lowther target
Burke looking to Curragh
Hanagan hails Taghrooda
Toormore drops in class for Lennox
27 July 2014Beacon shines over Molecomb rivals
Miss skips Galway for Goodwood
Tag crowned queen of Ascot
Muthmir delivers in Dash
Metal proves International star
Sheikh pounces for late score
Kingman poised for showdown
Kleo hits top gear for Cumani
Dettori strikes on Osaila
Bear grills Winkfield rivals
Yorkshire Oaks target for Volume
26 July 2014Taghrooda queen of Ascot
Elleval bids for Pomfret prize
Noble primed for German mission
O'Meara duo going International
Tag team happy to have a go
Telescope reaches for stars
Euro chasing dollar signs
Estimate given Goodwood entry
Pique Sous out for season
Secret chasing York success
Reason aiming to deliver in Dash
Remote on comeback trail