Silsol shines for Sherwood

  • Last Updated: April 12 2014, 18:16 BST

Silsol opened his account over jumps in emphatic fashion to claim the Clyde And Solway Systems Limited Racing Excellence "Hands and Heels" Finale Handicap Hurdle at Ayr.

Paul Nicholls trains Silsol
Paul Nicholls trains Silsol

Jack Sherwood, son of former jockey Simon Sherwood, celebrated his success in this series for conditional and amateur riders with an enterprising ride on the Paul Nicholls-trained 7-2 favourite.

Silsol turned for home well clear with three flights to jump and although he got lonely in front and wandered around a little, he still had 14 lengths in hand of Final Assault at the line with Titus Bolt a further 13 lengths away in third.

Nicholls said: "I was in two minds whether to run him or not, but the owners are from up here so we decided to bring him. He's done it well and he's in such good form that we might bring him back up to Perth the week after next.

"He ran well on the all-weather on the Flat and he's still a novice so we've got a few things to play with. I was very pleased with the way he did it."

Although out of luck in the Scottish National, Nicholls went on to complete a double as Brother Du Berlais (5-1) took the Ayrshire Hospice Making Today Matter Handicap Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths from Rumble Of Thunder under Sam Twiston-Davies.

"We had this race in mind for a while. It looked a nice race for him and he has gone and done it well," said the Ditcheat handler. We'll put him away now and he is going to make a beautiful chaser next season."

Le Bacardy (7-1), runner-up over the course and distance 24 hours earlier, went one better in the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase.

Trevor Whelan got the better of the Tony McCoy-ridden Desert Cry by a neck on Tony Carroll's tough eight-year-old.

"It's fantastic. He jumped and travelled really well. I probably should have hung on to him a bit longer yesterday," said Whelan. "It's great for him to come out again and win a big race like this. He gave me a great ride."

Trainer Alistair Whillans and his conditional jockey son Ewan got on the scoreboard with 7-2 favourite Samstown in the Weatherbys Private Banking Novices' Handicap Chase.

Whillans senior said: "He's had to run on bad ground through the winter so he appreciated better conditions today and the course. We wanted to run him in the Scottish National but he got balloted out. We might have a look at the Highland National at Perth."

Alan King gained some compensation for the near-miss of Godsmejudge as Robert Thornton drove Miles To Memphis (3-1) to victory in the Jordan Electrics Ltd Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.