Towcester stages its last jumps fixture before October next Monday afternoon when course specialist Riddlestown will attempt to go one better.
Caroline Fryer’s 11 year-old was given a few choice names after idling on the run-in on Monday night, allowing himself to be collared by the Donald McCain-trained Mahler Lad (4/1), the first leg of a riding double for Brian Hughes.
Hughes is a rare visitor to Towcester although he was successful here last season on board Brian Ellison’s Forest Bihan and he went on to partner Nikki Evans’ 14/1 scorer Sue Be It in the following 2m handicap hurdle.
Riddlestown was clearly going better than anything on the climb for home under Jack Andrews, but allowed himself to be joined and passed at the last fence.
A frustrated Fryer said: “He threw that away and is a naughty boy! However, there is a race back here next week over the same distance and he appreciates this quicker ground.”
A training double was the other stand out achievement with Seamus Mullins book-ending the night’s events with Passing Dream (2/1) in the opening maiden hurdle and then Granitic at the close of the evening’s events.
The first of these was ridden by Daniel Sansom and the latter by Jeremiah McGrath, who had been successful on Towcester’s recent Sunday card on board Ballinure for Nicky Henderson.
Girl jockeys also featured heavily, with Page Fuller, Vicky Wade and Gina Andrews all entering the winner’s enclosure on board Our Three Sons, Gentleman Farmer and Royalraise respectively.
Admittedly Our Three Sons (8/11) was winning a novice chase for trainer Jamie Snowden which had been reduced to two runners on a night when good to firm ground caused eight horses to be taken out due to quickening conditions.
Wade is the girlfriend of jockey Robert Hawker and partnered Gentleman Farmer (14/1) for his father Richard in the 2m 3f amateur riders’ handicap hurdle, the pair scooting seven lengths clear from Barney From Tyanee.
The West country rider was paying her first visit to Towcester but has notched 45 winners, chiefly in point to points.
Gina Andrews atoned for her brother’s disappointment on Riddlestown by driving Royalraise (5/4 fav) up the centre of the track to collar the David Maxwell-ridden and Paul Nicholls-trained Port Melon in the hunters’ chase.
This gave trainer Oliver Sherwood his fourth Towcester victory in its 2017/18 season.