Donald McCain had his first winner since finding himself at the heart of the racing shutdown due to the equine influenza outbreak when Its All A Lark struck at Doncaster.
The Cheshire trainer only had his first runners after the restart on Wednesday after finally getting the all-clear to resume.
Three of his horses originally came down with the illness, leading to the cancellation of racing for six days by the British Horseracing Authority last month. A further three McCain horses were to test positive.
After three weeks without a runner, McCain had been expected to win with Constancio at Musselburgh on Thursday, only for the odds-on favourite to run out approaching the fourth flight.
“Constancio was 1-2 and was clear going down the back and he ducked off the track,” said McCain.
“When you just want a little bit of something to go the right way, it doesn’t take a lot to make everyone smile so it was nice to get one on the board.
“We’ve plenty of horses to run if there’s a bit of rain around and we can keep kicking.”
His luck finally turned in South Yorkshire with Its All A Lark (3-1), who made all the running in the 888Sport Follow Us On Instagram Mares’ Handicap Hurdle under a confident ride by Brian Hughes.
Peters Cousin stayed on to be a never-nearer runner-up, beaten five lengths.
“She’s a likeable filly. She got a little bit stuck in the mud at Newcastle the last day. Turning in it looked like she had everything beat,” McCain said.
“We thought the ground at Doncaster would suit her.
“It was a slight step up in grade again, a better type of race race. I think she’s effective on that (good) ground.”
Its All Lark is likely to go novice chasing next term.
“We’ll tip away with her and I think as soon as the new season starts she might be jumping fences in the short term,” he said,” said McCain.
“She’s a good, hardy, straightforward little thing.”
The White Mouse got the better of market rival Oscar Rose to lift the three-runner the 888Sport Take Em On British Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Oscar Rose, the 4-5 favourite, set the pace, but was a sitting duck to The White Mouse in the straight and the 11-10 chance showed her superiority in the closing stages, scoring by four lengths to give trainer Lucy Wadham a fourth straight win.
Winning rider Daryl Jacob looked like completing a double when Markov hit the front in the 888Sport Handicap Hurdle, only for the always-prominent Broughtons Admiral (11-10 favourite) to regain the lead on the dash to the line and get the verdict by four and a half lengths.
Away For Slates (6-4 favourite) backed up a Catterick success seven days earlier with a smooth display in the 888Sport Downlaod The App Handicap Chase.
Cruiseaweigh tried to force the issue by going on some way out, but Kevin Jones was able to produce Milton Harris’ nine-year-old with a well-timed run to win by six lengths.
Peppay Le Pugh (6-4) came from last to first to nail the 10-11 favourite Coole Well in the 888Sport Bet £10 Get £30 Novices’ Hurdle for trainer Dan Skelton and his jockey brother, Harry.
On a card with only 31 runners, a match for the concluding 888Sport Novices’ Chase went to script with 1-16 shot Poppy Kay beating Sussex Road in facile fashion under Aidan Coleman for the Olly Murphy stable.