Twiston-Davies back in form with Huntingdon treble
Sam Twiston-Davies emphatically ended a 36-ride losing streak with a Huntingdon treble, completed by Innisfree Lad in the MansionBet Faller Insurance Handicap Hurdle.
Having endured a day to forget at Wetherby 24 hours earlier, during which Ballyoptic pulled up in the feature Charlie Hall Chase, Twiston-Davies enjoyed the perfect confidence-booster at the Cambridgeshire track.
He said: “It’s a fairly crazy game. You go 36 rides without a winner, and you start to think ‘what you are doing – are you doing it wrong?’.
“It shows, though, on a day like today when you are on the best horses to have a plan and stick with it.”
Innisfree Lad had a slice of good fortune when scoring at the course 19 days ago, but the eight-year-old needed no such luck this time round – cruising home 18 lengths clear of Shantou Sunset, for Twiston-Davies and trainer Tom Symonds.
The winning jockey said of the 4-1 favourite: “I think the faster pace and softer ground suited him more than some of the others.
“I just tried to copy what Brian Hughes did last time, by keeping him wide. He jumped nicely.”
A step up to Grade One company may be next for Orchestral Rain, who gave Twiston-Davies and trainer Dr Richard Newland the second of their two winners together – by 10 lengths as 2-1 favourite in the MansionBet Proud To Support British Racing Juvenile Hurdle.
Newland said: “He had to do a lot of the donkey work but he has done that well.
“I think he has progressed a lot from his last run, and I thought that at home because he is now getting the hang of it. He is probably better going the other way [left-handed].
“We will see what the handicapper does, but we might go for something like the Finale at Chepstow because I think the testing ground will suit him.”
He will go back into handicaps now, because no one came forward to claim him
Even-money favourite Chef De Troupe got the ball rolling for Twiston-Davies and Newland, following up his recent Perth success by two lengths in the Download The MansionBet App Claiming Hurdle.
Newland said: “He is a nice horse with lots of ability – but he got a fair hike for winning last time, so we thought this was a good option.
“He will go back into handicaps now, because no one came forward to claim him.”
Espoir De Romay formed the opening leg of an across-the-card double for trainer Kim Bailey – with an impressive two-and-a-half-length success on his debut over fences in the Watch And Bet At MansionBet Novices’ Chase.
Bailey, who was also on target with rising star Imperial Aura at Carlisle, said: “He is a nice horse and at the end of it he will have learnt a bit today. (Jockey) Ciaran (Gethings) was very impressed with him.
“He had a good season last year and he was one I was looking forward to, because he has been good over fences at home. He will be a better horse on softer ground.
“Like all these novices, I think he will need a little bit more experience before raising our sights.”
The wind op she had has helped make her believe in herself, and she is turning into a really nice mare now
Perfect Myth (6-4) went one better than on her previous visit to the track when making her first start over an extended two miles three a winning one, by five lengths in the mansionbet.com Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Bryony Frost, rider of the Neil-King trained winner, said : “The step up in trip has helped her today. I got caught in a bit of traffic last time, but she jumped beautifully today – and once I came round the final bend, she hit top gear.
“The wind op she had has helped make her believe in herself, and she is turning into a really nice mare now.”