Mulholland has high hopes for Shantou after stylish debut
Neil Mulholland's exciting chasing prospect Shantou Village made a seamless transition to fences with a winning novice chase debut at Fontwell.
A classy novice hurdler last season, he picked up an injury when running at the Cheltenham Festival. His only previous defeat before that came on soft ground, so Mulholland was keen to get him started early when the ground is at its best.
Ridden by Noel Fehily, he only faced three rivals and two of those were very much outclassed.
Only Abidjan looked to have a chance of giving him something to think about but he fell on the second circuit, leaving the 2/11 favourite clear.
His only blemish came at the final fence at which he stood too far off, but he never looked like falling and coasted home.
"He's quite a lazy horse anyway so to go round on your own. . . I thought it was a great performance," said Fehily.
"He was having a look around going to the last and that was my worry - he just looks around a lot and I thought he might do something silly, that's all."
Meanwhile, Ebor-winning jockey Adam McNamara showed off his skills with a confident ride on Rosebride to take nursery at Leicester yesterday.
McNamara has been one of the apprentice finds of the season and hit the headlines when winning York's prestigious handicap on Heartbreak City for Tony Martin on Saturday.
Riding on this occasion for his boss Richard Fahey, the 19-year-old was coolness personified as he waited patiently from his stands side draw on Rosebride (10/1) before asking for her effort.
She pulled clear of the opposition in the final furlong to score by three lengths from Parsnip, with Storm Cry third.
"She did it well in the end. Mr Fahey stressed she'd like a bit of cover. She settled well and travelled strongly," said McNamara. "She picked up well a long way out and stayed all the way to the line.
"She's been progressing all season and we're very happy with her. The hood helped her relax a little bit. She was a bit quirky at Chester last time. I think it helped her settle."