Stolen Silver came from the clouds to dent some lofty reputations in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock.
Alan King’s Edwardstone and Jamie Snowden’s Thebannerkingrebel were hoping to book their ticket to Cheltenham with a victory in the Grade Two – but they had no answer to the powerful finish of the flying grey.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ winner was the first of the four runners off the bridle and looked booked for third over the last, as Edwardstone saw off the brave challenge of Thebannerkingrebel.
But the testing ground began to take its toll on Edwardstone, and Stolen Silver flew home to win at 9-2 in the hands of Sam
The winner could now be out again quickly in the Betfair Hurdle, while he was cut to 14-1 from 33s for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by Sky Bet.
“That was smashing, obviously he stays and he’s a nice horse,” said the winning trainer.
“I’d forgotten he was in the Betfair, we’ll have to have a look at that with it being worth so much. We’ve got a good record in that.
“They didn’t go much of a gallop today. I think he’ll be better in a big field with a strong pace, that would suit.”
Sam Brown followed up a recent win at Lingfield in style when coming home well clear in the Patrick Coyne Memorial Altcar Novices’ Chase.
At Lingfield he was returning from a 750-day absence, but there was no sign of the dreaded ‘bounce’ factor and Sam Brown and Aidan Coleman came home alone in a race which was littered with jumping errors and saw Windsor Avenue fall when beaten.
Trained by Anthony Honeyball, the 9-4 winner won by 15 lengths from Dan Skelton’s Knight In Dubai, who was unbeaten in two heading into the Grade Two contest.
“He actually jumped well in the main apart from landing on top of one or two,” said Honeyball.
“I think that will do him good making those mistakes now and although there were only four runners, they looked to go a good gallop in that ground.
“I’m delighted because turning in it looked like a car crash. He looked tired, he’d made mistakes and I was thinking I shouldn’t have run him. He’s got loads of stamina and he kept finding. I think heading to the top level he’ll need three miles.
“I wasn’t too worried about the bounce factor because after Lingfield he came home and ate everything up so it hadn’t taken much out of him. He was almost ready to run last season when he got injured again.
“He’s in the RSA and he’ll be put in the National Hunt Chase. I was thinking of going to the Reynoldstown after this, but I think I’ll put him in cotton wool now.”
He added: “I think the race that would really suit him is the three-mile Grade One at Aintree if it was soft. We might also think of Punchestown.”