Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies was the star of the show at Huntingdon’s latest meeting on Sunday 1st November, riding three favourites to victory from just four rides.
He got the MansionBet-sponsored afternoon off to a flying start by winning the opening claiming hurdle over two miles aboard the even-money favourite Chef De Troupe, for Worcestershire-based trainer Dr Richard Newland. Both trainer and jockey doubled their tally 35 minutes later as Orchestral Rain won his second race by leading for most of the two mile journey to land the three-year-old hurdle by a comfortable 10 lengths.
The hat-trick was completed for the 28-year-old in the sixth race over three miles and one furlong aboard 4/1 favourite Innisfree Lad, who was following up a win here at Huntingdon 19 days ago. The Tom Symonds-trained eight-year-old was the most impressive winner of the day, drawing clear in the final quarter of a mile to win by 18 lengths.
Other highlights on the eight race card included the fourth and feature race of the day, a novices’ chase over two and a half miles, which was won by another favourite, the 8/11 shot Espoir De Romay. Trained by the in-form Kim Bailey, the six-year-old overcame a final fence error to make a winning start over the bigger obstacles and is likely to have some high-profile targets in the weeks and months ahead.
The fifth race of the day is named in memory of former jockey Macer Gifford. Born and raised in Huntingdon, Gifford won many big races during the 1960’s and 70’s before sadly succumbing to motor neurone disease in 1985, at only 40 years old. This year’s renewal of his race was as a competitive as ever with the six-year-old Bathiva, the 11/8 favourite, winning by 11 lengths on his debut for the Gloucestershire-based Fergal O’Brien under promising 18-year-old jockey Connor Brace.
Few horses have been in better form than the six-year-old mare Perfect Myth in recent months and that continued on Sunday as she recorded her third victory from her last four races, the mares’ novices’ hurdle over nearly two miles and a half miles. Ridden by Bryony Frost, she added to her wins at Market Rasen and Uttoxeter win another easy success, which never looked in doubt after she took the lead before the second last jump.
The afternoon rounded off with two divisions of a handicap chase over just short of three miles. The first contest was won by the 11/4 favourite, Wye Aye, who was winning his first ever race at the eleventh attempt after making the long journey from the North Yorkshire stable of Philip Kirby. The second division was won by the Robin Dickin-trained Mr Palmtree, who was also winning his first race at the thirteenth time of asking, at odds of 12/1 under Tabitha Worsley.
The second of three race meetings in November at Huntingdon will take place on Tuesday 10th November, with a seven-race card due to begin at 12.45pm. This meeting will be staged behind closed doors due to the ongoing Coronavirus restrictions but all of the action can be seen live on Racing TV (Sky 426/Virgin 536).