Day to remember for Steele
Local trainer Dan Steele had an afternoon he will never forget at Plumpton when he saddled the first and second winners of his career in the space of just over half an hour.
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To make it more impressive, Hold The Bucks and According To Them are the only two horses currently racing from Steele's base just a few miles away at Henfield.
Just as soon as Gavin Sheehan pulled out all the stops on Hold The Bucks (15/2) in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle, there was another first for promising youngster Freddie Mitchell on 10/1 chance According To Them in the Windsor Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (For The Gay Kindersley Memorial Salver).
"It's absolutely unbelievable - I fancied them but you don't think things like this happen," said Steele.
"According To Them cost only £400 from the Ascot sales and was in a really bad way. He's had tendon problems but we can work them on the Downs and it seems to help.
"I spent seven years with Gary Moore, then worked for Nick Gifford and Anna Newton-Smith.
"I started last year and we've got four boxes but only two horses now - the horse I ran at Fontwell yesterday is no good and will have to do something else. We'll have to get back to the sales!"
Mitchell is now based with Nicky Henderson and has the prized mount on the Seven Barrows gallops of Champion Hurdle contender My Tent Or Yours.
He said: "That's my first winner over jumps. I'm up to 12 now, but five have been in countries people have never heard of in the Fegentri series. It's just English jumping for me now and this has come at a good time with Cheltenham around the corner."
Tony McCoy seemed to get a fair amount of satisfaction from his success in outpointing Leighton Aspell in a tactical match for the attheraces.com & EBF Stallions/TBA Mares' Novices' Chase.
The champion's mount She Ranks Me (evens) was almost identically matched with Aspell's Baby Shine (5/6 favourite) as Graded-level hurdlers, and after looking beaten for a long way, McCoy fired the grey past his rival after the final fence.
It was trainer Donald McCain's 101st of the season after he reached the century at Musselburgh and McCoy said: "The other horse jumped into me a bit earlier on but I just wanted to keep her near enough to have a run at her over the last two.
"For a small course it's tricky (to jump around) and she might be better at somewhere like Worcester. You have to keep the revs up and in fairness to her she was tough - it's not her fault she's small and a bit scopeless."
Aidan Coleman enjoyed another fruitful afternoon in Sussex, starting when Albert Bridge (7/2) was easily off the mark at the second attempt for Emma Lavelle in the attheraces.com Exclusive Barry Geraghty Blog Maiden Hurdle.
"We started him off over a longer trip but he seemed much more relaxed over two miles," said Lavelle. "I'd imagine we'd try to win under a penalty now."
Coleman needed to keep Richard Rowe's Strange Bird (9/2) interested in the At The Races Virgin 534 Handicap Hurdle but was fully 32 lengths clear by the post.
Barton Rose had caught the eye on her third novice outing and bolted up as 11/4 favourite for the Compare Prices At attheraces.com/odds Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
Jockey Michael Byrne said: "She was very weak when she started off but she relished the extra trip today in a bad race."
David Pipe's Virtuel D'Oudon made a smooth British debut as 7/4 favourite in the concluding bumper.