Double joy for O'Regan

  • Last Updated: January 8 2013, 16:00 GMT

Denis O'Regan combined skill with a little showmanship as he took both divisions of Leicester's two-mile novices' hurdle on fine prospects for the John Ferguson stable.

Denis O'Regan:: Won aboard Pine Creek

There will not be many cheekier victories seen all season than that of Pine Creek in the first leg, while smart Flat horse Whispering Gallery was given the ideal first experience of his new occupation later on.

Never a jockey short on confidence when in with a chance, O'Regan exceeded himself on Pine Creek as he sidled alongside a hard-at-work Tony McCoy on the run-in.

It would have been interesting to gauge the champion jockey's thoughts as his motionless rival poked the 6-5 favourite's head in front on the line.

As a benefit of his remit as Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock advisor, Ferguson picks up some useful equine material to remodel at his burgeoning jumping yard near Newmarket, and Pine Creek arrived from Andre Fabre's operation in France.

Beaten by subsequent winner Lord Of House on his debut at Folkestone, he was off the mark despite pulling O'Regan's arms out for much of the way and jumping untidily at many of the flights.

"Denis has been riding a while and he knows what he has got underneath him," said Ferguson of the ride.

"It was only his second run over hurdles.

"It was very heavy when he ran at Folkestone and it was great for him to win on better ground without having a hard race.

"Hopefully it's onwards and upwards."

Ferguson received another trophy and first-aid kit from sponsors Aquafield Training And Event Cover through Whispering Gallery, who rose to a mark of 112 on the Flat with Saeed bin Suroor and had beaten Godolphin's top-class stayer Opinion Poll on his most recent outing in a Group Three at Meydan in March 2011.

Only given his head at the final flight, the 8-11 favourite tore two and three-quarter lengths away from Wake Your Dreams.

"He's a lovely, long horse and Denis said he was very rusty," said Ferguson.

"You never know what they are going to do when they have been off a long time, but he had high-quality form on the Flat and stays the trip.

"I was very happy with him."

Venetia Williams was in tremendous form at Taunton on Monday with a treble and something had rubbed off on Reginaldinho in the Hose Thorns Handicap Chase.

The seven-year-old gelding has an unusual background as a United Arab Emirates-bred son of supersire Galileo, and competed on the Flat in Germany before joining the Herefordshire trainer two years ago.

A maiden under her care, he needed rousting along by Liam Treadwell but eventually drew seven lengths clear as the 2-1 favourite.

Williams' representative Jerry Roberts said: "It's not before time.

"He hadn't won for the owners but he had been promising to do so for a while.

"I think you'd have to say he wants to step up in trip."

It was a mixed afternoon for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and his son Sam, with Cool Touch rising unscathed after taking a tired fall at the second-last flight with the Dove Selling Hurdle at his mercy.

Hadden Frost managed to push Maccabees (16-1) home after receiving a gift-wrapped opportunity, even if trainer Roger Curtis was disappointed the gelding did not attract a bid at the auction.

"I suppose we'll have to find another one of these races now," he said.

There was compensation for the Twiston-Davies clan when Same Difference spread-eagled his opposition in the Leicester Annual Members' Novices' Chase.

Alan King's smart hurdler Lovcen went off the 10-11 favourite but looked mediocre on his second try over fences, jumping markedly to the right on the back straight and treading water before the field had even turned for home.

In contrast, Same Difference (9-4) winged over them and could be eased down to finish 26 lengths clear of Wiesentraum.

Twiston-Davies' assistant, Carl Llewellyn, said: "We took him to Fakenham and he jumped right, then to Towcester and he jumped left, at least he was straight today.

"I think he just wants better ground, and with Alan's horse underperforming, he had to have a chance."

Arthur's Pass (7-1), pulled up on his belated reappearance at Taunton, left that showing right behind in the Groby Novices' Handicap Chase.

"He made a mistake at the first at Taunton and was never in the race," said trainer Tom George.

"He won a novice hurdle but then had a hiccup, so the owners have been patient and it's nice to see Liam Heard ride a winner."


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