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."
3 August 2015Pearl shines at Nottingham
Bright new Dawn at Naas
Casey hoping for swift resumption
Undrafted set to swerve Haydock
'Awesome' Acapulco primed for York
Tropics set for Breeders' Cup trip
Winters ponders next Rebel move
Sails set for Newbury
Hot aiming to burn off rivals
No return date set for Spring
Ground key to Belardo targets
No hurry for Pharoah target
Phenomenal Pharoah does it again
Longford edges Galway thriller
Impact too strong at Chester
Fitz foiled on comeback
Baraweez in Galway repeat
McCullagh 'on the mend'
Amazing summer continues for Maria
Intilaaq camp on weather watch
Basem to step up in grade
Mini-break good for Horn - Gosden
Hobbs considered for Newbury trial
2 August 2015Dream week continues for Martin
Panama has American dream
Cyclone could stick to hurdling
Now Or Never excites O'Callaghan
Ervedya tackles Rothschild test
Mullins dominates Galway feature
Harty looking forward to a good Day
'Overwhelmed' Hughes bows out
Legatissimo stamps class on Nassau
Magical Dettori top gun at Goodwood
Dart hits Goodwood bullseye
Fantastic Frankie takes right Steps
Latharnach could drop back in trip
McNamara eager for training career
1 August 2015Rebel returns at Galway
No fairytale ending for Hughes
Stewards' glory for Magical Dettori
Legatissimo proves Nassau queen
Times targets Stewards' consolation
Hughes reflects on a golden career
Warrior books Ebor ticket
Muthmir makes amends
Hughes at his best on Bay
Mile proves golden for Beloved
Malabar stamps her class
Dettori guides Dubday to landmark
Charlton so Close to historic win
Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau
31 July 2015Pacy Muthmir rules in King George
Breizh bids for Galway glory
Pharoah Phan Phestival good to go
Jack's the lad in Galway Hurdle
Gosden salutes 'magical' Sir Peter
Laviniad gets up late in Corrib
Simple for Beckett and Bentley
Orange pips Goodwood rivals
Shalaa dazzles in Richmond
Relief for Hughes as Gibeon strikes
Cover up for Goodwood defence