Geraghty lands double on his Leicester debut
Barry Geraghty's first ever visit to Leicester yesterday resulted in a 100pc success rate as he steered home his only two mounts, Lifestyle and Giorgio Quercus, to easy victories for trainer Nicky Henderson.
The Meath man clearly enjoyed his trip to the venue and with the Henderson team in full flow, he will probably be back at the earliest opportunity.
Lifestyle shrugged off the 10/11 favourite Risaala with the minimum of fuss, striding away to come home 12 lengths clear in the mares' novice hurdle.
"She's had a fair break since her last run at Wincanton, so she should come on for this. I'd have thought she'd stay further in time," said Henderson's assistant Tom Symonds.
Giorgio Quercus was even more impressive as the 4/6 shot comprehensively disposed of his three rivals in the Dick Christian Novices' Chase.
"There's no real plan for him. He still looks as though he could make into a strapping horse," said Symonds.
Tornado Bob was an easy winner under Jason Maguire after making all in division one of the novices' hurdle to complete a quick double for trainer Donald McCain following Charminster's success at long odds-on at Sedgefield.
There was drama in division two when hot favourite Invictus unshipped Robert Thornton several strides after jumping the second-last flight when going comfortably in the lead.
Thornton lost his off-side iron, with the horse jinking to the right and firing the jockey out of the saddle. That left second favourite Extremely So to go on and record a fortuitous three -length victory.
At Sedgefield, a daring cross-channel raid by Jim Dreaper paid off as his Radharc Na Mara landed an eventful novices chase in splendid isolation.
McCain's Kalulushi was the first one to depart at the 16th fence when in with a chance down the back straight and a fence later John Wade's Riskier came down. At the next Howard Johnson's odds-on favourite Silent Cliche came down, leaving 7/2 chance Na Mara to come home 31 lengths clear.
"She was placed in a couple of point-to-points, but it's so competitive at home," said Dreaper. "She's not going to be a star, but she tries very hard. Her jumping won her the race."
Dreaper has confirmed that his Telenor will run in Friday's rearranged Connolly's Red Mills Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran.
One horse not heading to the Kilkenny venue is Luska Lad, which will not run in Friday's rearranged Galmoy Hurdle and will also skip Cheltenham, according to his trainer John Hanlon.
The consistent seven-year-old will instead be aimed at the Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran, where he is likely to face Dunguib, and then go to Liverpool for the Aintree Hurdle.
He had been given an entry in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, but that has already been ruled out.
"He won't go to Cheltenham," said Hanlon. "The reason is he's much better going right-handed and whereas at Cheltenham you are on the turn all the time, Aintree has two big, long straights. I think that will suit him more, plus it's two and a half miles and worth a lot of money."