Ben Poste may have to revise his target of riding 20 winners this season after equalling his personal-best tally from the previous campaign with a double Huntingdon.
The 29-year-old left the Cambridgeshire track on the 18-winner mark after the James Evans-trained Nobel Leader completed his brace when following up victory at Bangor with a four-and-a-half-length success in the MansionBet Handicap Chase.
Poste said: “I’m delighted. I’m lucky to be riding for a few good people and riding a few nice ones. I had 18 winners last season and at the start of this season I wanted to get to 20, as I knew I was riding for a few nice people.”
On the 100-30 winner, he added: “This was my certainty of the weekend. I couldn’t see him being beaten.
“The race he won last time was better and he was the only one that looked to have the form in the book.”
The Michael Scudamore-trained Justice Knight (12-1) got the ball rolling for Poste when claiming a four-and-a-half-length victory in division one of the MansionBet Handicap Hurdle.
It may have taken trainer Tom Weston until February to get on the scoreboard for the season but Coopers Square ensured he did it in style, taking the Download The MansionBet App Handicap Chase by 11 lengths.
Weston said of the 7-1 winner: “That is my first winner, but we’ve not had too many runners.
“If he was ever going to win one it was probably today, as he couldn’t have gone much lower in the weights. We put the blinkers on him at home and they have sharpened him up.”
Nick Gifford was thankful the line came just in time for Paddy’s Poem, who survived a final fence mistake before going on to open his account over fences when holding on by half a length in the MansionBet Chase.
Gifford said of the 4-1 scorer: “He barely gets two miles and even turning in I thought when is the petrol gauge going to hit empty. The tongue tie has definitely helped him.
“When he made that mistake I thought that will have knocked all the stuffing out of him.”
Sadly, the afternoon ended on a sombre note for the Findon handler after Canyouringmeback suffered a fatal injury in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase.
Heatstroke (100-30) defied a 676-day absence to make his first start for Nicky Henderson a winning one when obliging by a length and a half in the MansionBet Maiden Hurdle.
Winning jockey Nico de Boinville said: “He is a nice horse and the guv’nor and the team at home have done a great job with him. He definitely appreciated that ground.
“Hopefully he will make a nice little hurdler.”
Having had to settle for second best in the Betfair Hurdle with Magic Dancer at Ascot on Saturday, trainer Kerry Lee gained a small slice of compensation as The Welsh Paddies (4-1) claimed the Download The MansionBet App Handicap Hurdle.
Lee said: “It was great to finish second with a horse rated 125 in the Betfair Hurdle. That was a little bit of compensation.
“It was nice to get this one back on track and he clearly appreciated the better ground. We’ve had a chance to run in the right grade today and it was a super ride by Richard Patrick.”