TWELVE months ago Allmankind made a winning debut over hurdles at Warwick and he returned to the course last Friday to put up an equally impressive performance to land the inaugural running of the Stan Mellor Memorial Novices’ Chase, writes David Hucker.
Taken into the lead by Harry Skelton, Allmankind was electric at his fences and, having seen off the challenge of Fred, the only horse able to keep tabs on him, ran out an easy winner and looks destined for a successful chasing career.
Dual hurdle winner Fred paid the penalty for his efforts, fading into fourth as Zanza came through to finish runner-up, with Stolen Silver, who looks like he needs a longer trip, back in third.
There was early drama in the opening Visit racingtv.com Juvenile Hurdle when Camacho Man and Sam Twiston-Davies parted company at the second flight, leaving favourite Duke Of Condicote in front, tracked on his outside by Adagio.
An eight-length winner at Clairefontaine in August, Adagio was well supported in the betting to make a winning British debut for trainer David Pipe and the money proved well placed as he jumped past Duke Of Condicote at the penultimate flight and, despite being untidy at the last, came away for a seven-and-a-half length win.
Next up was the racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle and it proved a pretty straightforward task for odds-on favourite Bothwell Bridge who made most of the running for the red-hot combination of jockey Nico de Boinville and trainer Nicky Henderson, who had been in treble-winning form at Newbury the previous day.
With the fancied Wilde About Oscar one of three non-runners in the race, it was Major Dundee, a last-flight faller over a longer trip at the course last December, who chased Bothwell Bridge home, with Fraternal back in third.
Sorbet was not disgraced when runner-up to the in-form Pink Sheets at the last meeting and she headed the market in the Bet At racingtv.com Handicap Hurdle to fulfil the promise she has been showing trainer Lucy Wadham at home.
But, she was to finish second again as Kannapolis and Tom Cannon went clear coming round the home bend to open up an unassailable lead and give Dorking trainer Toby Lawes his first winner.
Accordingtogino, sporting cheekpieces for the first time, made all the running to easily land the longest race of the afternoon, the Racing TV Profits Returned To Racing Handicap Chase over three-and-a-quarter miles, and bring up a double for Dan and Harry Skelton after the earlier success of Allmankind.
The gamble on Defuture Is Bright was duly landed in the Join Racing TV Now Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, as the 5-2 favourite eased past the pace-setting Royal Plaza at the third-last fence and never saw a rival from thereon, winning easily in the hands of Jack Tudor.
Olly Murphy’s Fresh New Dawn just beat Jarlath for second place, but neither had any chance with the winner who looks weighted to score again.
Flirtatious Girl was another winner for trainer Kim Bailey when holding the challenge of Game On For Glory in the first division of the British EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, the two finishing well clear of the others.
Irish point-to-point winner Blue Sans was one of ten horses making their racecourse debut in the second division, but she put that experience to good use, being taken wide by Paddy Brennan and asserting in the home straight to beat My Girl Lollipop and Hello Sunshine.
The next meeting on Wednesday, 17th November features the £24,000 Carlow Veterans’ Handicap Chase and the seven-race card gets under way at 12.20pm.