Oceanline and Too Friendly ones to watch after impressive running in Stratford's feature race
IT may have only been a four-horse race, but the two principals in Stratford's feature Stratford Racecourse Supporting Racing Charities Juvenile Hurdle on Monday look to be smart recruits to jumping who could be worth following this season, writes David Hucker.
Tom Cannon set out to make all the running on Oceanline, twice a winner on the flat and making his jumping debut for the Million In Mind Partnership and trainer Alan King.
Up against him was Too Friendly, owned by the Gredley Family and trained by Dan Skelton, the combination successful with Allmankind, who has progressed from juvenile hurdling into a top novice chaser.
In the end it came down to the superior speed of Too Friendly, who collared the leader in the last 50 metres to win going away by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
It was a question of following the money in the opening Retraining Of Racehorses Novices' Hurdle as, though there appeared to be little to choose between ex-Irish Howdyalikemenow, making his British debut for trainer Evan Williams, and Jay Jay Reilly, having his first run after wind surgery for Dan and Harry Skelton, it was Howdyalikemenow,who shortened to go off the 5-4 favourite and duly obliged in the hands of Adam Wedge.
Disputing the lead with Just The Man early on, Howdyalikemenow was sent clear on the second circuit and came home an easy winner from Jay Jay Reilly, who pipped Just The Man for second spot.
Macho Mover scored in a seller at Newton Abbot last time on his second start for Olly Murphy and another win looked on the cards in the following Even Keel Foundation Handicap Hurdle when David England produced him to lead jumping the final flight.
He was caught close home, however, by Canastero, who got up to win by a neck, with favourite Fort Denison, who made much of the running, back in third.
It was 12 months ago when Templehills last visited the winner's enclosure when scoring over the course but, reunited with Jack Savage, he proved too strong for Wagner from the final fence in the Pertemps Network Group Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase, recording his eighth win in all.
Disappointment of the race was top-weight Accordingtogino who was behind and struggling from the very first fence and was pulled up by Lorcan Williams before the final circuit.
The new partnership between trainer Fergal O'Brien and Graeme McPherson got off the mark at the third time of asking when Uttoxeter winner Samba Dancer followed up in the Racing Welfare Supporting Racing's Workforce Novices' Handicap Hurdle, beating 66-1 outsider Lincoln Lyn by six lengths with favourite Galata Bridge fading quickly out of contention from the last.
Another ex-Irish horse, Give Me A Moment, made a bold bid to open his account in this country in the Support The Injured Jockeys Fund Novices' Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles, but had no answer to the finishing kick of Representing Bob, who was making his debut over fences.
With the rain falling steadily to end the afternoon, well-backed favourite Aucunrisque made all the running to take the closing Racing To School Inspiring Young Minds Open National Hunt Flat Race.