Warren Greatrex described Emitom as a “special talent” after he set up an outing at the top table at Aintree next month when maintaining his unbeaten record at Newbury.
The five-year-old made it five wins from as many starts when successfully carrying a double penalty to victory by three-quarters of a length in the RR Elite “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.
Gretreax said of the 6-4 winner: “He is a very good horse, seriously good. He all but fell down the back and nearly gave me a heart attack, but that is just him at the moment.
“We will go to Aintree now and put him in the two-and-a-half- and three-mile races. He is one of those horses that is so laid back, but he showed today he can fight and that is another string to his bow.
“I think he is right up there with the best that I’ve trained, without a shadow of a doubt. He is going to do well for a good summer out. He is so talented. He is a bit special.”
Christopher Wood may have fallen short of being a Group One performer on the Flat, but a shot at big prizes over jumps appears to be on the cards after he made it two from two since joining Paul Nicholls when taking the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Juvenile Hurdle by eight lengths.
Assistant trainer Harry Derham said of the 6-5 favourite: “The likelihood is he will probably go to Aintree (4-Y-0 Juvenile Hurdle).
“The key thing is he loves jumping and he attacks his hurdles. Aintree should suit him as it is a flat track and they will go a good gallop.
“He has not won two of the best contests in the world, but as Harry Cobden said he has won both with any amount in hand. He very much deserves to take his chance in a better race.”
Lillington is not in the same league as stablemates Native River and Thistlecrack, but the seven-year-old gave members of the Colin Tizzard Racing Club a day to remember when running out a six-length winner of the feature Oakley Coachbuilders Handicap Chase.
Racing manager Simon Gillett said: “It’s a big day for the club to come here and have a winner at Newbury, and 16 of the 18 members have made it here.
“Tom Scudamore was the man we wanted on board as he had won on him three times before and they get on well together. That is the horse’s fourth win this season so he has more than paid his way.”
Tizzrd added of the 6-1 scorer: “That is the best he has ever run. I’ve never seen him jump and gallop like that ever. He has been to Cheltenham and Newbury and we thought he was going to be a horse for Monday at Plumpton.”
Jonjo O’Neill celebrated his first Newbury winner in more than three years after Ey Up Rocky (11-1) opened his account for the campaign with a five-length success in the Physicool Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
O’Neill said: “He had a fibrillating heart last time and he did last year. I remember he ran at Taunton and he jumped five hurdles then pulled up.
“It was nice to see him do that, but you can never be sure until they are past the line. Luke Harvey rode him in his last gallop yesterday morning, so he will be thinking he can make a comeback!”