Trainer Skelton claims a double at Warwick
ALCESTER trainer Dan Skelton bagged a brace of winners at Warwick's Cavani Ladies Night on Saturday, reports David Hucker.
But he was denied a hat-trick when the fancied Quid Pro Quo had to settle for second having been held off by the race favourite.
The highlight of the meeting was the Class 3 Winners Wear Cavani Handicap Hurdle and it was won by I Spy A Diva, who took over the running at the third-last flight and ran on well in the hands of David Bass to deny Red Dirt Road.
With Bertie Blue having blown his chance with a mistake at the penultimate flight, nearly unseating jockey Tom Bellamy, it was left to Red Dirt Road to throw down a challenge to I Spy A Diva in the closing stages and, although he tried hard to close the gap, failed by a rapidly-diminishing head.
Eleven set out for the Racing TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase over three miles, the first of eight races on a busy evening on and off the track, and it proved the perfect result for Welsh trainer Sheila Lewis who saddled the first two home, with 11/1 shot Tom O'Roughley beating stable companion Junior Massini by a neck.
The Happy Heavenly Birthday Frank Jordan "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle was divided into two, with Skelton's Glorious Fun, ridden by Bridget Andrews, turning over 8/13 favourite Supremely West in the first before Soldierofthestorm landed the second division with the minimum of fuss.
William Of York provided the trainer with his second winner of the evening, beating Talimar Pearl by half a length in the Warwickshire Golf & Country Club Novices' Handicap Hurdle in the hands of conditional jockey Tristan Durrell.
In the Winners Wear Cavani Novices' Handicap Chase, chasing debutant Blue Stello set the early pace tracked by Young Buster on whom Paddy Brennan produced some fine leaps down the back straight. Skelton’s Quid Pro Quo was brought with a well-timed run by Fergus Gillard, but couldn't get past the Fergal O'Brien-trained Young Buster, who was sent off the well-backed 11/8 favourite.
State Of Fame held a narrow lead in a tightly-packed field for the longest race of the evening, the Hamlington's Fine Jewellery Handicap Hurdle over three miles and a furlong, with course winner Nickelsonthedime close up. When the leader dropped away, it was Sadler's Bay who looked the danger to Nickelsonthedime, but a bad mistake at the penultimate flight cost him dearly and 17/2 shot Gentleman Valley came late to snatch the prize by a head and give jockey Dylan Whelan a third career winner.
Huntingdon winner Rock House, who had previously won his only point-to-point race for Ettington trainer Francesa Poste, set the standard in the closing racingtv.com Open National Hunt Flat Race, but it was another point-to-point winner in Ideal Des Bordes, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by stable jockey Nico de Boinville, who headed the market.
Ideal Des Bordes set out to make the running but was joined by stable companion Kintail at the furlong pole who ran on well to give David Bass a double on the evening, beating Rock House by one and a half lengths with Ideal Des Bordes a short head away in third.
The third leg of the May Racing Carnival takes place on Wednesday, 24th May, with the Logicor Proudly Warwick meeting when the first of seven races is due off at 2.10pm. The last two meetings have, however, seen one of the races divided, necessitating an earlier start, so racegoers should check the course website and social media when planning their journey