Weveallbeencaught moved a step closer to featuring on trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies' team for The Cheltenham Festival after opening his account for the campaign at the track with a front-running victory in the opening Ballymore Maiden Hurdle on New Year’s Day.
Having finished third in a Grade Two prize at the course back in November the gelded son of Getaway, who cost £210,000 at last year’s Tattersalls Cheltenham January horses in training sale, made the most of a drop back down in class to go two places better.
Despite being pressed all the way up the run in by 66-1 chance Rock My Way, who was making his debut under rules, the 5-4 Favourite found extra half way up the run-in to forge on under Sam Twiston-Davies and prevail by a length and a quarter.
The winning trainer said: “That was superb. He just does enough which is great. That trip is short enough for him but he pulls out what he has to. I think so (that he was going to hold the runner-up over the last) as his ears were pricked halfway up it. He is idle.
“That is the boring things us trainers say but he is one for the future. He is a chaser look at the size of him. Don’t let him tread on you! You only have to see the way he jumps and he is a big powerful animal. Surely hurdles aren’t really the things he is made for as he has won a point-to-point. It is very exciting.
“It was (a warm enough race he ran in first time) but again it is finding the right races for him.
“With a horse like this you need softer ground and trying to find it has been difficult.”
Looking ahead to future targets Twiston-Davies insisted that he would be working back from the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival on March 14th.
He added: “There is the race at Doncaster (River Don) and the Prestige at Haydock Park. He doesn’t have to have three (miles) but he will be better over three we think.
“I would think so (that he would come back for The Cheltenham Festival). I’m sure it would be the three mile race as we don’t want to take on Hermes Allen. We are not stupid.
Henry Daly pointed to the application of cheek pieces behind the improved display of Rapper, who left his rivals toiling when pulling smartly clear late on to continue to give the triumphant trainer’s fine run of form in the AIS Handicap Chase.
After ending 2022 with an across the card double at Warwick and Newbury the Ludlow based handler welcomed in the new year in perfect fashion thanks to the eight and a half-length success secured by 8-1 chance.
Daly, who was celebrating his sixth winner from his last 17 runners, said: “He just travelled in the race today whereas at Haydock he was always on the back foot.
“Today he sat third or fourth all the way apart from going to the first where they went some hooley of a gallop. I think the cheek pieces have just made all the difference.
“The handicapper will put him up again and he will have to run in those ridiculous races again but it is a nice problem to have.”
“I’m not grumbling about how things are going. It is nice when it is going like this but it won’t last!