Murphy foiled by Charmer
It appeared for much of the opening Betfred Goals Galore Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Warwick as though Timmy Murphy would make a successful comeback from injury aboard Thunder Sheik.
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The top-weight had built up a handy advantage down the back straight but the field began to claw back his lead in the straight and Thunder Sheik was challenged at the last flight by Colin Tizzard's Flaming Charmer.
The long-time leader tried to fight back but Brendan Powell drove the 14/1 shot out to the line to score by two and a quarter lengths on ground described as soft by the winning jockey and Powell said: "He's a nice horse for the future and I think he'll stay further."
Tom Chadney, spokeman for owners Chasing Gold, said: "The reason I bought him was because his dam is Kates Charm who won the Cleeve Hurdle and was a very good mare for Robert Alner.
"We have nine horses spread around the country with seven trainers. It enables our members to watch the horses run wherever they are based."
Rody (11-2) earned glowing praise from his pilot Paddy Brennan who described the Tom George-trained gelding as "as good a jumper as you could possibly wish to see" following his resounding success in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap Chase.
Giving weight to all seven of his rivals in the two-mile contest, Rody made it three wins from his last four starts as he continually made ground on Eastlake at his fences.
Brennan sent him on rounding the home bend and the combination pulled eight lengths clear, with Kapga De Cerisy a neck back in third.
The winner is owned by Tony Dalton and Jennifer Laing who both work for Saatchi and Saatchi.
Laing said: "He's a happy horse who really likes being at the racecourse. He wasn't as good over hurdles because he used to brush through them, but he gives the fences more respect."
Brennan added: "It's his jumping that wins him his races, I've been very impressed with him."
Ely Brown booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival when avenging his 2012 defeat in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.
Second to Thehillofuisneach here 12 months ago, Charlie Longsdon's charge travelled well and readily outstayed Holywell and Hada Men by a length and a quarter and four under Noel Fehily.
According to his trainer, Ely Brown needed to win today in order to guarantee a run in the Final at Cheltenham in March.
Longsdon said: "I said to Noel he had to win again if he was going to get to Cheltenham and after this he certainly deserves to take his chance.
"If he goes up 5lb it will be his ticket booked. He was second here last year and when I looked down today's field I thought it was quite a lot tougher.
"He had a hard race at Aintree. We gave him plenty of time to recover from that and he was pinging after his last outing at Haydock."
Team Twiston-Davies, successful with The New One earlier on the card, also took the concluding bumper with Pure Science (5-1), a nine-length winner.