Gowel Road overcame greenness to earn himself a possible visit to Cheltenham with an all-the-way triumph for Nigel Twiston-Davies and son Sam in the Read Paul Nicholls On Betting Betfair Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury.
The 7-2 shot was a bit wayward at his hurdles on occasion, but after being joined by Good Ball halfway up the home straight, he soon saw off that rival on the run in to score by five and a half lengths.
In the colours of smart hurdler and chaser Double Ross, the winner might well take up his entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Sam Twiston-Davies said: “He was a bit of a rebel when he came straight to Grange Farm from the sales. Zac Baker spent a lot of time working on him and Tom Bellamy got bucked off on the odd occasion.
“He’s still incredibly green and at Ffos Las he was inclined to go left. I thought a lot would want to take the lead today, but he was sensible in front. He looked at a couple of the wings, but he’s learning and was brave at the finish, knuckling down well.
“We’ve had an up-and-down year and after three we liked pulled up yesterday, he comes here and rocks up. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.
“It would be nice to think he can go up in trip as he has a nice way of running, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he runs in the Supreme. Remember he is trained by Nigel!”
Aintree is the aim for Polish after a fine staying performance in the Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Weekly Handicap Hurdle.
Under Paddy Brennan, the 14-1 chance gradually picked off his rivals to score by two lengths and one and three-quarters from Howling Milan and Southfield Harvest.
Brennan said: “At no point was I comfortable or happy. It was hard to be confident as there were several going better than me turning in.
“I thought the winning post at Newbury was as far away as the pubs opening, but he dug deep.
“When I sent my review to Fergal (O’Brien, trainer), I told him the horse had had a hard race and he won’t need another before Aintree.”
Paul Nicholls completed a double when Enrilo got the best of a good battle with Hold The Note and Ballymoy in the “My Oddsboost” On Betfair Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
The 2-1 favourite looked to be going much the best two out, but in the end had to be driven out to score by half a length and the same under Harry Cobden, adding to Nicholls’ Denman Chase success with Secret Investor.
The winning jockey said: “He’s a horse that does everything very well on the bridle and if I’d committed two out, we would have got beat.
“He did well to win and Paul’s talking about sending him to Aintree.”
Sam Thomas has a good prospect in Good Risk At All (10-1) who ran out a clear-cut winner of the Read Tony Calvin’s Tips On Betting.Betfair National Hunt Flat Race, beating I Like To Move It by two and a quarter lengths.
Winning rider Tom Scudamore said: “Sam is doing really well and has had a lot of winners. This horse is not a Cheltenham horse for this year, but will be in time.”