Maguire hits century at Haydock
Jason Maguire lit up a muddy and miserable day at Haydock when galloping to a century of winners for the season with a treble for trainer Donald McCain.
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Ballybriggan (5-1), She Ranks Me (85-40) and Desert Cry (3-1 favourite) struck at the combined odds of 74-1 to give Maguire good reason to celebrate at Christmas as he duels with Richard Johnson for second place in the jump jockeys' championship behind Tony McCoy.
The Maguire/McCain magic began with Ballybriggan, who overcame an absence of 595 days to win the Enough Said Just Bet At bluesq.com Handicap Hurdle.
The eight-year-old overpowered the pace-setting Swiss Art just over a furlong out to score by two and a half lengths.
She Ranks Me brought up the 100th winner for Maguire when she ploughed through the mud to strike by five lengths from Little Glenshee in the Bet At bluesq.com Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
McCain said: "I wasn't convinced she'd go on the ground, but she has handled it well. She will have really enjoyed that because she has had some hard races so far.
"She has won two Listed races now so she has done her job and I suppose she will end up at Cheltenham - I'm not saying she's good enough to win but she deserves to take her chance.
"I'm surprised Jason doesn't get used more (by other trainers) but I suppose that's good for me."
Desert Cry capped a memorable day for the top combo as he swept to a 10-length verdict over Kudu Country in the Bet At bluesq.com Handicap Chase.
Majala (5-2) relished the difficult conditions when making most of the running in the Blue Square Bet Novices' Chase.
Tom George's charge jumped superbly for Denis O'Regan as he followed up a Taunton success on his reappearance with an eight-length romp over Ohio Gold.
O'Regan said: "He only made one mistake, we were popping along because he did a bit much early and went for a big one, but the next three he was perfect. He's learning all the time."
Wayne Hutchinson brought 4-1 favourite Bakbenscher with a well-timed run to lead at the final flight and win the Bet At bluesq.com Handicap Hurdle by three and a half lengths from Top Wood for the Alan King stable.
The William Kinsey-trained Alpha Victor (11-1) was driven right out by Charlie Huxley to hold South Leinster by half a length in the Blue Square Bet Handicap Hurdle.