Warwick review: Two For Gold holds off Hold The Note; Mossy Fen lands Leamington Novices' Hurdle

Two For Gold (right) just prevails at Warwick
Two For Gold (right) just prevails at Warwick

Two For Gold produced a brilliant round of jumping before holding off a late challenge from Hold The Note to land the McCoy Contractors 2020 Construction News-Awards Finalist Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick.

Two For Gold (3/1) had company in the early stages as Roll Again ensured the pace was honest throughout and hot-favourite Highest Sun certainly wasn't able to handle the frenetic gallop, turning in a tardy display that was littered with jumping errors.

Not so Two For Gold who continued to jump with aplomb and another aggressive leap at the 13th fence saw him move to the front as, one by one, his rivals began to toil in behind.

The one exception was Hole The Note who quietly navigated his way into contention and he still looked to have plenty left in the tank when nosing into the lead when jumping the second last.

However, Two For Gold continued to answer every call and when he and Hold The Note jumped the final fence together, it was Kim Bailey's charge who found most on the run-in, just prevailing in a pulsating finish under a power-packed ride from Bass.

Bailey said: "He's always been very tough and he's a fantastic jumper, but I just thought he's not that quick.

"I'm absolutely thrilled because the owners have been with me a long time. They had The Rainbow Hunter who ran in the Grand National. Dermot Clancy was one of the main people and unfortunately he died before Christmas.

"I'd like to see how he comes out of the race. He'll stay further. There's a decent handicap chase in him and a decent novice chase in him. The owners would love to go to Cheltenham with him, but I'm not going to mention that yet."

Mossy Fen toughs it out for Leamington success

Mossy Fen outstayed his rivals to win the Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick.

Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, he had to settle for fourth behind stable companion Redford Road at Cheltenham last time out, but prior to that had been very impressive at Aintree.

Victory looked unlikely turning into the straight in this Grade Two event as Dan Skelton's Shan Blue kicked clear, pursued by Decor Irlandais.

When Shan Blue's stride began to shorten after the second last, it was the Irish raider Decor Irlandais who hit the front and seemed set for victory.

But Sam Twiston-Davies saw a great stride approaching the final flight on Mossy Fen (7/2), landed running and claimed the leader in the final 100 yards to win by three-quarters of a length.

Carl Llewellyn, the trainer's assistant, said: "He battled on. He's going to be a chaser. He stayed on well and Sam gave him a great ride. He's a fine horse and he's tough.

"The owners are from Liverpool, so they might want to go for the three-mile Grade One for novices at Aintree. They've got quite a few horses with us.

"They've been with us a year and a half and they've had a god run recently with horses like Riders Onthe Storm."

The winning rider added: "Things didn't go right last time, but I'd like to see him on better ground over three miles - (that) is probably the dream.

"His future is chasing. You can see he has the size and scope. He was more babyish than he probably has been so far.

"He jumps to the right a little bit which doesn't bother me. He's just very green, but he has a great attitude and is a pleasure to ride."

Harry Senior was a late withdrawal after unshipping his rider on the way to the start.

No Joke as Dancer picks up the pieces

Joke Dancer (100/30) had the last laugh when capitalising on a last-fence mistake by Rough Night to take the Project Management Services Oxford Ltd Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase.

Jockey Danny Cook seized on the blunder to send Sue Smith's seven-year-old on to score by eight lengths from the long-time leader.

Cook said: "He was coming underneath me going to the last, but I wasn't bothered and when we jumped the last I opened him up and I was surprised how well he picked up.

"He's won over two miles and he's a three-miler in time. He's going the right way and is getting his confidence.

"I was pleased with his jumping today. He was good."

Megalodon finally delivers in tight finish

Megalodon (14/1) finally came good on his fourth start following wind surgery with a narrow success in the Join Racing TV Now Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

Paul Henderson revealed the seven-year-old needed his first two comeback races and had a bad back on his third, but showed his true colours as he held Twycross Warrior by a neck in the hands of Paddy Brennan.

"He's a difficult horse to get fit because he does everything so easily. He had a wind operation, after which he had eight weeks just trotting down the road and all of a sudden he was miles behind the other horses," said Henderson.

"It's taken time for us to get to know him, but we think we've got the key to him now doing much stronger work.

"If I can get him into a 0-100 it would be ideal. Hopefully he should progress. Last time out at Sandown we found he had a bad back after needing his first two races."

Power prevails under Silver Sheen

Silver Sheen rallied in grand fashion to win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) for Irish trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Robbie Power.

Nothing had gone right for Power in the earlier races, but it all came right as Silver Sheen (7/1) edged past Doc Penfro close home to snatch the verdict by a neck.

"It all came good there thankfully. It was a great performance on only his fifth ever start over hurdles," said Power.

"He's a horse with not a lot of experience, but he is tenacious.

"From the fourth last they got racing. They thought that was pretty soon enough and I had to give him a chance as he took a false step as well. I had to grab a fresh hold and it probably won him the race.

"There's a lot to look forward to for the rest of the season. He's qualified now for the final. He'll have to go up a few pounds, but if he sneaks it at the bottom, he would be interesting."

The card's main sponsors McCoy Contractors had a fairytale end to the day when Here Comes McCoy, trained by Olly Murphy, made a winning debut in the Cheltenham And South West Syndicate 'Newcomers' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race under Aidan Coleman.

Murphy's mum Annabel, said: "What an end to the day. The owners are the sponsors of the whole day, so it's amazing."

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