Gary Moore has been in excellent form of late and he recorded another double at a wet and blustery Lingfield on Tuesday.
Hit The Rocks (9-2) got off the mark over hurdles at the eighth attempt when taking the Download The At The Races App Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old relished the heavy underfoot conditions and ran out a length-and-a-half winner under Caoilin Quinn.
Moore said: “He has done it well. The lad gave him a very nice ride. He said he acted in the ground and there was always a slight doubt in my mind. It was such a bad race, he had to run.
“His attitude today was good and he seemed very happy in himself. He has gone round easy and jumped well. Hopefully it is onwards and upwards from here.”
The Horsham handler doubled up when Movethechains (5-2 joint-favourite) defied a 17lb hike in the weights to take the At The Races App Expert Tips Novices’ Limited Handicap by 14 lengths under Jamie Moore.
It was the fourth successive win at the track for the Ollie Harris-owned eight-year-old, who was returning for the first time since late November, and took the step up in grade with ease.
Moore said: “He is a very nice horse and I would not care if he didn’t run again this season. He will go away now and have the rest of the season off, and we’ll bring him back next year.
“He has gone up 7lb for standing in his stable. He is now creeping up the handicap and they will probably clobber him again after today.
“He loves the ground, loves this place and he had a nice racing weight (10st 6lb) today.”
Moore’s Teddy Blue was forced to play second fiddle in the Visit attheraces.com/cheltenham Novices’ Hurdle as the Emma Lavelle-trained My Silver Lining (11-1) took the two-mile event by an easy seven and a half lengths.
The grey mare stepped up markedly on her rules debut at Exeter as James Best eased down at the line on the Celia Djivanovic-owned six-year-old.
Lavelle said: “It was great. She loved that ground and got into a lovely rhythm.
“She travels well at home and is straightforward. I am chuffed for bits. Celia is James Best’s mother-in-law and it is Celia’s first winner in her own colours, so we are all delighted.”
A rule of thumb that is holding well this season is backing Venetia Williams’ horses when the mud is flying.
With around 20 millimetres of rain falling on Sunday, followed by persistent rain which started a hour before racing, Snuff Box (13-2) relished the heavy ground and scored with plenty to spare in the Ultimate Cheltenham Festival Guide On attheraces.com/cheltenham Handicap Chase.
The 11-year-old was given a positive ride by Charlie Deutsch and off a 5lb higher mark, followed up his recent Bangor success, going clear from the second-last fence to score by nine lengths.
“That was nice. He is a funny horse because there have been times when he has walked through fences and taken them with him,” said Williams.
“Just when half the fences were taken out, it was just about the best round of jumping he has produced.
“He has not always been the most reliable jumper, but when he went round in his own time, he actually jumped quite well.”
Bred by his father, the Olly Murphy-trained Eavesdropping got off the mark over hurdles at the third attempt when taking the Off The Fence On youtube.com/attheraces Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.
The 12-1 shot travelled well under Fergus Gregory and put the race to bed after the last to score by three and a half lengths.
Murphy said: “I have always quite liked her. She was second first time and the bumper form worked out well and then she won an ordinary bumper.
“She ran very ordinary first time over hurdles at Huntingdon and came back jarred up, but she ran well last time out at Southwell and I thought she was a crazy price at 12-1.
“She is a grand filly, who will jump a fence next year and handled the conditions well, which was important around here. She has a very good pedigree and she is honest.
“We will try to get a bit more experience into her.”
Coolvalla (5-1) gained the first win over hurdles at the fifth attempt for Chris Gordon, taking the Sky Sports Racing 415 Handicap Hurdle, hitting the front at the third last, before going away to win by nine lengths under Tom Cannon.
That was not the plan, according to Gordon.
“The jockey is a naughty boy. I told him to get him in front between the last and the finishing post, because he is quite a character, but luckily the horse has got him out of trouble, said the Morestead handler.
“The ground here really suited him. If it had been on good ground, he would have been slaughtered. That was his optimum conditions. He is slow, buts stays very well and loves the mud.
“I am thrilled for Les Gilbert, his owner. It is the first winner I have trained for him for a long time. He has had quite a tough time health-wise, but that is a good tonic for him.”
Freddie Gingell was looking to make it three wins on the spin in the concluding At The Races App Market Movers Open Hunters’ Chase aboard West Approach.
But the 16-year-old grandson of trainer Colin Tizzard finished third of four to the Philip Hobbs-trained Dolphin Square (10-11 favourite), who was ridden by his owner, David Maxwell.
“He puts it in every single time,” said Maxwell. “He is a really game little fellow. If they were all like that, life would be much easier.
“And we really can’t let these very talented young jockeys win all the time – and Freddie is a very talented young jockey!”