Molly Ollys Wishes stamped her class on what looked a decent field in the bet365 Mares’ Hurdle at Wetherby.
Dan and Harry Skelton have enjoyed a good start to the season and this seven-year-old looks like having another good campaign.
A Listed winner last term, trainer Dan Skelton had entered her in the West Yorkshire Hurdle on the same card to take what he termed “the Roksana route”, after the recently retired top-class mare Skelton trained to win that race last season.
However, Skelton ultimately preferred to keep Molly Ollys Wishes to her own sex, even though the trip may have been short of her best, and with that in mind Harry Skelton kicked on before the turn for home.
In truth the race was soon over, with the 3-1 favourite coming home five and a half lengths clear of Miranda.
“That was brilliant, magic really. I just thought we’d try her over two (miles) because when I looked at the entries on Monday and saw that the West Yorkshire hurdle was filling up, I just thought she was going to have a really hard race on her first time out,” said Dan Skelton.
“She’s best just rolling on over two, you can get in a bit of a muddle when you try to restrict her. It just worked out really well, Harry’s given her a great ride.
“She was always going to Kempton on the 22nd for the Listed over three (miles), I don’t see any reason to change.
“We’ve always hoped she could go down the Roksana route, last year it actually suited her that Roksana was around because it was a year too soon and we couldn’t send her down it. She’s now ready for it.
“I can imagine her going to Kempton, we might try the Long Walk and then the Warfield at a Ascot. That’s her Gold Cup.”
Geryville absolutely bolted up on his British debut for Micky Hammond in the bet365 Handicap Chase.
Only five, he was dismissed in the betting and sent off a 40-1 chance in a field of 11.
He jumped like an old hand throughout for Alain Cawley, and scooted clear to win by 12 lengths.
“We’ve always liked him. Peter Jones, who sent him over from France, said he was a nice horse. He came over in June and we thought he’d do well over here,” said Hammond.
“We were hoping he’d run a nice race, the ground has been so firm that we haven’t even schooled him over a fence, but he’s jumped a French-style hurdle on a surface and he’s taken to it very well. He jumped a bit big early on but he can win again.”