Gavin Sheehan and owners Andrew and Kate Brooks continued their recent purple patch as Cervaro Mix returned to winning ways in the Betway Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon.
After providing the Brooks with their first Grade One winner aboard Itchy Feet in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on Saturday, the 27-year-old secured another success in their silks with a front-running victory on the Oliver Sherwood trained six-year-old.
Making virtually all in the extended two-mile-three-furlong contest, the 8-1 shot found plenty for pressure to lower the colours of the previously unbeaten Tea Clipper by a length and three-quarters.
Sheehan said: “I wanted a bit of cover going down the rail, but it opened up going down to the first and he just winged it and I found myself in front. I thought if I can just fill him up in front then hopefully that will be all right.
“I thought we could make it a test as we had fitness on our side and a few of the others were coming back off long lay-offs.”
Sheehan hopes he will celebrating further big-race glory at Warwick this weekend aboard the Harry Whittington-trained Rouge Vif in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick.
He added: “I schooled him on Wednesday and that got me excited for the weekend.”
Coquelicot will be given the chance to complete a hat-trick of victories in Listed company at Sandown on her next start after following up a Taunton success in the Betway EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Trainer Anthony Honeyball said of the 9-4 chance: “She is a nice filly and I’m really pleased with her – we had to run her today to get her qualified for the Sandown final on March 7.
“About a furlong out it looked like she was holding on, but towards the end she was pulling away a bit. She has stepped forward and she has a hell of an engine.
“She will be well suited to Sandown as it is likely to be softer side there and she will like the hill, so we will just try to freshen her up for that now.”
Jonjo O’Neill junior moved to within one victory of making it a half-century of winners for the season courtesy of The Composeur in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap Hurdle.
The rider said of the 100-30 winner, trained by his father, Jonjo senior: “Three-miles-one definitely suited him as he is quite slow and the better ground helped him. He jumped well and will be a chaser sooner rather than later.”
Loud As Lions (17-2) showed the benefit of a recent wind operation with a tenacious four-length success under a fine ride from the front by David Bass in the Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Trainer Tom Symonds said: “On his chasing debut he looked like a horse that was going to go on, but on his last two runs he has turned it in. He has had his wind done and has been pretty quick to come back from it.
“Ben Poste won on him the same way at Hereford so I said to to David try to do what Ben did.”