Cheddleton’s connections are eyeing the Kingmaker at Warwick after he ran out a ready winner of the Betfair Racing Only Bettor Podcast Novices’ Chase at Haydock.
The Jennie Candlish-trained five-year-old produced a convincing front-running display to win by six lengths under Sean Quinlan.
Cheddleton (2-1 favourite), who had got off the mark over fences at Carlisle on on his previous start, improved on that performance as he defeated Cornerstone Lad here.
Candlish’s assistant and partner Alan O’Keeffe said: “We’ve always liked him. He’s still a baby. I thought he was impressive today on the ground.
“His jumping was very good. He’ll get further in time and he won’t be over-faced this year. He’ll be looked after until next season.
“We’ll have to go up in grade now, whatever we look at. He won’t be running with a double penalty.
“Maybe the race, depending how he is, could be the Kingmaker at Warwick. That’s an obvious choice with a bit of heavy ground there.”
Cheddleton will be sparingly raced for the remainder of the campaign, however.
O’Keeffe added: “It will be something like that, and that will be it for the season, and we’ll be excited about him next season. He might go up half a mile. He has good cruising speed and he jumps well.
“We’ve seen improvement the whole way through.”
Nada To Prada stuck gamely to her task to claim the Listed honours in the Back And Lay On The Betfair Exchange Abram Mares’ Novice Hurdle.
Trainer Michael Scudamore was pleased the five-year-old take her chance to pick up up black type.
Ridden by Richard Patrick, Nada To Prada (9-4) was given a lead by her stablemate Northern Beau for most of the race before going on herself and beating favourite Rayna’s World by a length and a quarter.
“Off the mark she had, it was very tempting to go down the handicap route, but we thought she was a nice filly,” said Scudamore.
“She won her bumper last year – and she won very nicely at Ffos Las.
“The owners were very keen to come here. We had Rosie And Millie just get caught in this last year, so we thought we’d come back and try again.
“We had her wind done. We were slightly disappointed with her at Hexham first time, so we just got it done. It certainly hasn’t done her any harm.
“This was the main plan to try to get her some black type. We’ll get her home and see (what is next).
“I’d love to see over fences, and that is very much in the back of our minds.”
Nada To Prada was given a quote of 40-1 for the mares novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Paddy Power.
Chti Balko (3-1) relished the testing conditions to land a third course success over two miles in the Play New Slots At Betfair Casino Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Donald McCain’s eight-year-old was in his element and steadily pulled clear of his rivals after leading at halfway in the hands of Theo Gillard.
The combination crossed the line 26 lengths clear of their nearest pursuer Llantara.
Gillard, taking his tally to 10 for the season and 17 in all, said: “He’s very effective round this course. He corners like a motorbike rounds these bends.
“They were stacking up behind me at the third last, but he took a few lengths out of them. He keeps on galloping and stays a bit further.
Equus Millar justified the faith of his connections when getting back on track with victory in the Listen To The Weighed-In Podcast On Betfair Handicap Chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ seven-year-old was sidelined for almost 16 months after making a winning debut over fences, but had been well-beaten in both his races since his return in the autumn.
However, Equus Millar (17-2) showed all was not lost when regaining winning ways by four lengths from Destined To Shine in the hands of the trainer’s son, Sam Twiston-Davies.
“It was a bit of a surprise because he won his first race over fences ages ago – then he injured a leg, so he’s had a problem thrown in off a big mark against handicap chasers. It has taken him time for him to get it together.
“It’s not been easy, so it’s great for everybody.
“Hopefully we can go on from here.”
Albert’s Back (9-1) won for the second time since returning from a 259-day break, with a solid effort in the Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle.
Successful at Wetherby five weeks ago, Mick Easterby’s six-year-old took the lead from Mcgowan’s Pass at the final fence.
He pulled clear for champion jockey Brian Hughes on the run-in to score by eight lengths.
Hughes said: “He went chasing last year. He jumped well, but Mick’s horses weren’t probably in as good a form as they are now.
“He’ll certainly be able to re-visit chasing at some point. He’s a big strong horse, and it’s great Mick’s got him back in great shape.”
Queenohearts (5-1), trained by Stuart Edmunds, overcame a 643-day absence to win the closing Listen To Paul Nicholls On Betting.Betfair Handicap Hurdle.
A Grade two winner in 2019 and sidelined since running in that year’s Cheltenham Festival, the seven-year-old showed her class to outpoint Clyne by two and a half lengths under Ciaran Gethings.
“It’s great. I think she’s better than her mark. She’s got some very good form and is very tough,” said Edmunds.
“She had a bit of a leg at Cheltenham – but we got her back in last year, did a bit with her and then it started to show itself.
“The owners have been patient, and she’s worth waiting for.
“We were going to go chasing, but I think it’s too late now. We’ll probably stay hurdling now this year.”