Zambella lifts Silver Vase in impressive fashion

Zambella made virtually every yard of the running in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies to impressively scoop the feature Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase at Doncaster.

Trained by the jockey’s father Nigel Twiston-Davies, the evens favourite produced some electric jumping on Town Moor as she landed the fifth Listed success of her career and sauntered home an eased down 15-lengths clear of plucky runner-up Crossgalesfamegame.

It was the perfect way for the six-year-old to follow up her equally taking victory at Aintree earlier this month and earn quotes of 10-1 for the Mares’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Twiston-Davies snr was ecstatic with the performance saying: “She’s a really good horse. That’s five of these Listed races she’s won now and I’m delighted with her, she’s done really well.

“It’ll be one more run then back to Cheltenham. I’m a long way from home so not a clue where, but there’s plenty of time to have a look and figure something out.”

Galah (evens favourite) hunted down the front-running Pump It Up late on to open her account in the Download The At The Races App Fillies’ Juvenile Maiden Hurdle.

It was a fine ride from Mitchell Bastyan and winning handler Milton Harris was delighted with Galah’s pilot.

He said: “Mitch has given her a good ride, I said to him be patient, patient, patient and she was always going to get there after the last.

“She probably wasn’t as impressive as at Cheltenham last time. She’s better than what she has shown today.

“She’s coped with a bit of cut but she’s not the biggest and would benefit from better ground.”

Harris also highlighted his intention to return to Town Moor next month, before a possible tilt at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring.

“There’s a juvenile fillies’ Listed race back at Doncaster (on January 28) for her next.

“I’m not convinced of the strength in depth of the juveniles this year and she might just make up into a Boodles contender, but at the moment I’ll keep her to her own sex, because I think she’s probably one of the best juvenile fillies in the country right now,” he said.

There was a double on the day for Paul Nicholls who scored with Gala Du Corton in the Free Tips Daily On Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and with Thyme Whyte, who opened his fences account in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Gala Du Corton (11-2) took advantage of the favourite, Sacre Pierre, coming down at the last to canter home in splendid isolation when making a winning handicap bow in the opener, while Bryony Frost stalked long-time leader Nero Rock all the way up the Town Moor straight aboard Thyme Whyte (85-40 favourite), before cruising clear to record a bloodless success after the last.

However, Nicholls was denied a treble when Kalooki (9-2) edged out Cat Tiger in the Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Chase.

In a thrilling finish, Philip Hobbs’ charge took over after the last, only to be headed by the David Maxwell-ridden runner-up, before then reasserting his supremacy in the shadow of the post.

However, there was a sting in the tail for winning rider Tom O’Brien, who picked up a two-day ban (January 12 and 13) for using his whip without giving his mount time to respond after jumping the final fence.

Surrey Quest (11-1) brought up an across-the-card double for owners Surrey Racing, after Gran Luna’s win at Newbury, when following up his victory at Leicester to take the British EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle in the hands of Nathan Brennan.

The son of Milan, who is unbeaten over hurdles, has thrived following wind surgery and provided the 7lb claimer with his first winner of the season.

“It’s been a long time coming and was well needed, but thanks to the boss and the owners for having the faith in me to put me up on such a nice ride,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing.

“I probably hit the front a little early on him, but he was jumping and travelling and I didn’t want to disappoint him.

“He’s still a bit of a baby, but he’ll come on a ton for that run and he’s a really nice horse.”

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