Posh Trish bounced back to winning ways in gaining more valuable black type with a game front-running success in the Ladbrokes Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury.
After finishing second behind Lust For Glory at the track on her most recent start, the Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old turned the tables on her last-time-out conqueror when defeating her by three and a quarter lengths in the extended two-mile Listed prize.
Nicholls said of the 11-8 winner: “To be honest I thought we had a better chance on the weights and on the ground – the ground more than anything, as a test of stamina is much better for her.
“She is just a galloper. She could go to Cheltenham (Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival), but that is a long way off and we will pick our way before then.
“I’d not be adverse to that (Challow Hurdle). There is a mares’ race at Taunton worth quite a lot of money and if the ground is soft we might look at that.
“She is settling a lot better now and she learnt quite a bit the last day. She tried to make all in the bumper at Sandown last season and just tanked all the way, but now she is much better.”
Kapcorse left his disappointing seasonal return behind when leading home a one-two for Nicholls with an emphatic success in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase.
Working into the extended two-mile-six prize well under Bryony Frost, the 14-1 shot powered away from stablemate and fellow JP McManus-owned runner Brelan D’As to cross the line with 10 lengths in hand.
Nicholls said: “He won at Bangor, but he is a big, weak, babyish horse that has needed all the time in the world. He is still quite a weak horse. He has probably won too far in the end, but he is a nice horse for the future.
“We will take it step by step and he is a horse we will just go quietly with and look after. He is only five and just wants minding.
“We just said drop him out and take our time to teach him something. He tanked into it and Bryony gave him a good ride. There are no immediate plans.”
Champ was an impressive four-and-a-half-length winner of the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle, completing a double for Nicky Henderson, who had struck earlier with Santini.
The well-backed 9-2 joint-favourite Champ powered through the two-and-a-half-mile contest and pulled himself to the front in the straight under Aidan Coleman for owner JP McManus.
Still a novice after two victories in May, the imposing six-year-old had plenty in hand from runner-up Le Musee and fellow joint favourite Speedo Boy.
Henderson said: “He was travelling very well, and a little bit of a gap appeared – a horse in front of him made a mistake and he landed in front.
“Aidan said there was nothing he could do about it, and that was not the plan at all.
“The beauty of him is that he is still a novice. That’s his handicap hurdle won, I’d say.
“He’s a beautifully-bred horse and has got all the right attributes. He got landed with this name and is starting to look like living up to it.
“Two and a half his his trip and we’ll look towards the Challow, we might as well come back for it.”
Gobal Citizen was a tenacious all-the-way winner of the Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle.
Ben Pauling’s exuberant six-year-old defied top-weight of 11st 10lb in the limited handicap, and still had a dwindling half-length to spare from runner-up Lisp and Mont Des Avaloirs at the line after digging in to great effect after the last.
Global Citizen, winner of last year’s Grade Two Dovecot Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton, had been beaten into second in a handicap on his seasonal return at Ascot last month.
But sent off a 5-1 shot on rain-softened ground which might not have suited him ideally, he restated his credentials emphatically here under David Bass to signal bigger targets ahead.
Winning trainer Pauling said: “Everything was against him today, including the ground. He has only been ridden for a week, having knocked a joint, so there is no two ways about it – there is loads of improvement.
“I’m utterly thrilled, because he travelled and jumped brilliantly. David couldn’t believe how well he was going, coming to the last.
“I wasn’t sure if he would pull out more, because he has folded on soft ground before. I just thought to myself if he is good enough he will stay there – and that was a very good performance.
“The Christmas Hurdle is very much where we are going. It will be a hot race, but he is not going to be a no-hoper in it. He has got to be given the opportunity to prove he is top class – and Kempton is the right track to do that.”
Lady Buttons prevailed as 5-2 favourite in the closing Ladbrokes In Memory Of Tara Von Ihering Handicap Chase, by a comfortable two and a quarter lengths for trainer Phil Kirby and jockey Adam Nicol – from 20-1 shot Shear Rock.