Form from the Festival played its part as Her Indoors came out on top in the NAF Fillies’ Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
According to trainer Alan King, the 6-1 shot found the hustle and bustle of the Fred Winter (Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle) a shade intimidating, and was happier in this smaller field.
Under Adrian Heskin she seized command from Scholastic on the approach to the final flight, staying on the better to score by three and a half lengths.
“It was a good race to target,” said King of the Grade Three contest.
“I thought the smaller field would certainly help her, and with her stamina she would power up the hill.
“It might be a while before she runs back over hurdles as I plan to give her a few runs on the Flat.”
Heskin said: “She was a bit star-struck in the Fred Winter, but is a good tough filly who has the scope to jump a fence one day.
“She wants a stiff two miles and will stay two and a half. She has a good heart and a lovely attitude, and I knew half a furlong before the last she was going to win.”
Martello Sky also took part at the Festival and she readily outclassed her foes under a confident Aidan Coleman in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
In spite of three withdrawals on account of the changing ground, the Lucy Wadham-trained grey went off at 10-11 before pulling two and three-quarter lengths clear of market rival Sandymount Rose up the final hill.
Eight in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at the Festival, Coleman confessed his mount was confidently expected to prevail, saying: “She’s a very very nice mare, and I fancied her before the non-runners were announced.
“She now has black type with loads of options in the new mares’ programme for next season. She flicked he ears turning for home, but jumped super, and I was delighted with her.
“She stayed the trip well, and while they went slow early on I’m sure she will have no problem with the distance in a more strongly-run race.”
Venetia Williams praised the Cheltenham ground staff with their watering after the triumph of Pink Legend in the British EBF Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase Final.
Under Charlie Deutsch, the 11-2 winner kept on to score by two and a half lengths from Danes Idol.
Williams said: “I think the old cheekpieces have helped her focus, and I’m delighted for her owner Frank Mahon who bred her. She’s now got black type from a Listed race at Cheltenham.
“I would also say they have done a lovely job with the watering.”
Williams added that Royale Pagaille is “on the mend and being led out each day” following his run in the Gold Cup.
“It’s all going the right way and he’ll be back for the new season in the autumn,” she said.
Michael Scudamore was the proudest man at the course after rags-to-riches mare Northern Beau made it a third course and distance triumph at Cheltenham in the Visit racing tv.com Mares’ Handicap Chase.
After Brendan Powell brought the 11-4 joint-favourite home 14 lengths clear of Miss Amelia, the trainer said: “She was rated 35 on the Flat and was sold to be a riding pony. Then they decided to run in point-to-points and she’s ended up winning three at the home of steeplechasing.”
The Christian Williams-trained Win My Wings reacted favourably to a return to a race contested by her own sex when defying top-weight under Nick Schofield in the Catesby Estates PLC Mares’ Handicap Chase.