Eva’s Oskar returned to winning ways when recording a second course success in “The Smart Money’s On Coral” Handicap Hurdle.
Successful at the Welsh venue in late October, the 17-2 chance was bouncing back from a defeat at Cheltenham to take this prize in good style.
Jockey Alan Johns bided his time on Tim Vaughan’s five-year-old before making his challenge in the straight and hitting the front between the last two fights to score by two and a half lengths from the rallying Clyne.
Vaughan told Sky Sports Racing: “I was probably more nervous than I’ve ever been with him. I’ve always liked him and he’s climbing the ranks.
“I took him to Cheltenham but it just didn’t happen that day. They went slow, then went fast and he was caught out a little bit.
“I thought I ran him a bit quickly. He won here before that so we’ve given him a good six weeks off this time and we’ve tinkered with a few things
“He’s a progressive horse. We’re going to give him a good six weeks off. It depends what the handicapper does, but I might just roll the dice and go for an Albert Bartlett Trial at Doncaster over three miles. We’ll see.”
Dominateur (11-4 favourite) came from off the pace to claim the Coral “Fail To Finish” Free Bets Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
It was a chance ride for Richie McLernon because Gavin Sheehan could not get to the course as he was prevented from travelling by helicopter due to fog.
He brought him into the race at the business end to collar long-time leader Clondaw Anchor at the final fence and go on to win by two and a half lengths.
McLernon said: “Gavin couldn’t here, just because of the weather, but I was lucky to fall in on him. I watched the video of Gavin riding him the last day and I pretty much rode him the exact same.
“I spoke to Gavin beforehand and to Oliver so got two bits of advice. It was very easy riding him. I was delighted to get it.”
Harry Senior obliged his supporters in the Coral “Fail To Finish” Free Bets Maiden Hurdle.
Trained by Colin Tizzard, Harry Senior was sent off the 4-5 favourite after hitting the bar on his last two starts and he made light work of stepping up in trip to an extended two miles and three furlongs.
Robbie Power took a patient approach in a race run in very murky conditions, but after pushing his mount to the front before the last flight, Harry Senior stayed on in fine style to win by five lengths from Global Flame.
Tizzard’s son and assistant Joe said: “I think he’s run in a couple of the most competitive novice hurdles there’s been this season, the form’s worked out strong, and he’s just a nice horse.
“He deserved to get his head in front today and he did it nicely.”
Tiquer sprang a 16-1 surprise in the “The Smart Money’s On Coral” Handicap Chase for trainer Alan Jones and jockey Paddy Brennan.
Pulled up at Newbury last month, Tiquer stayed on in game fashion for Brennan to win by three and three-quarter lengths – notching his first victory since March 2018 in the process.
Brennan said: “He loved the conditions and it’s a massive advantage today.”
Getaround (9-2) made his experience count as he led all the way to take the Coral “Fail To Finish” Free Bets Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
With two runs in point-to-points and one in a bumper, Ella Pickard’s four-year-old bounded clear to score by 12 lengths in the hands of 7lb claimer Bryan Carver.