Bridget Andrews received plenty of praise after producing Amoola Gold with a well-timed late run to land the tote.co.uk Handicap Chase at Ascot.
The Dan Skelton-trained seven-year-old took another step forward when following up his comeback win at Wetherby 17 days ago with a last-gasp victory in the extended two-mile Listed event.
After being held up for much of the race, the 9-2 shot was delivered by Andrews at the final fence before getting the better of a late duel with favourite Ibleo by a short head.
Tom Messenger, assistant trainer, said: “It was a fantastic performance. Bridget gave him a fantastic ride to be fair on this ground. She took her time on him and there is only one winning post, but she got there just at the right time.
“He was always a horse we thought a bit of and he has started off well winning two handicap chases. Where we go from here, I’m not quite sure, but hopefully we can go for bigger and better prizes as the season goes on. We were a bit worried about the ground, but now he is stronger he has handled it well.
“He finishes off his races really well and his jumping keeps him in races early doors. As he does stay so well, a fast-run race plays into his hands.”
Sully D’Oc opened his account over fences with a clear-cut victory on his return to action in the Ascot Underwriting Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
Having finished sixth in the two-mile-three-furlong prize 12 months ago, the Anthony Honeyball-trained second-season novice put his previous experience over fences to good use in running out a ready four-and-three-quarter-length winner from early pacesetter Editeur Du Gite.
Honeyball said of the 9-2 shot: “He was very gassy in the race last year and that was his first run over fences and he was being a bit bolshy taking them on. He then just ran out of petrol turning in.
“I thought he was brilliant today. He was a bit awkward in tight, but he has lots of scope if you need it. What was great today was when Richie (McLernon) needed him, he was on the bridle and when he didn’t, he was just lobbing around.”
“We hoped he would be able to win off his mark then go for a big pot. It was lovely to win and we can take him to some nice races now. We might look at going to Newbury in four weeks.”
Page Fuller celebrated her first winner at the track after College Oak claimed the opening division of the tote.co.uk Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle by half a length.
Fuller said of the Jamie Snowden-trained 9-2 shot: “The one of Ian Williams (Sometimes Always) went off in front and I was able to get my horse into a nice jumping rhythm.
“At the second last I still wasn’t sure if I was going to peg him back, but coming into the last he was coming into top gear and over the last he just kept finding up the straight.
“It was my third winner after losing my claim. It is so nice to keep the momentum rolling.”
Niall Houlihan was another on target at the course for the first time thanks to Fifty Ball (11-4), who gained his first victory since joining Gary Moore when rallying close to the line to deny Straw Fan Jack by a head in division two of the conditionals’ heat.
Moore said: “He is still a baby and still learning, but he is quite experienced on the Flat in France. He has got to the front today and he has just wandered a little bit. The other horse is no mug that has come back at him. He has done well to win.”
Captain Morgs (7-4), who is named after England’s World Cup-winning cricket captain Eoin Morgan, provided Nicky Henderson with another success in the Fever Tree Novices’ Hurdle when mastering Annual Invictus by thre- quarters of length.
Henderson, who has saddled both Altior and My Tent Or Yours to victory in the race, said: “He is named after Eoin Morgan, who we have just had a video call with and who is in rather sunnier climes!
“It was a sprint of a bumper at Warwick and it was a mess of a race and Nico would tell you the same thing. I think he is nice. He jumped very well and got that done well.
“He is only a baby with a big future, I hope. He has got a long way to go in life, but he is going upwards. We wouldn’t have any big aspirations at the moment, but we will creep away quietly for the time being.”