Seamus Mullins must always be respected with his runners at Plumpton and he duly recorded a double with Morfee and I See You Well, both ridden by Micheal Nolan.
“Plumpton was the only course I could ride winners at, as well!” joked Mullins after I See You Well (100-30) took the feature Watch Sky Sports At Your Local Handicap Chase.
Captain Tommy turned for home two lengths in front after burning off Drumlee Watar, but having looked asleep on the first circuit, I See You Well stayed on strongly to jump upsides at the last and draw away for a length-and-three-quarters success.
It was the nine-year-old’s sixth success at the East Sussex track.
Mullins said: “He loves it here. But he’d have to go some way to beating Manhattan Boy who won 14 here. There’s still time.
“He can take hold of the bit a little bit and he can be lazy. A little bit quicker ground helped, as did two of the lads wanting to take each other on, so there was a solid gallop.
“He wasn’t doing much first time round, but that’s him. He is a wonderful horse to have in the yard. We nicknamed him ‘Wally’, but we all love him to bits.
“He’ll probably have a little break and if the ground was still usable, we’ll come back here at Easter.”
Morfee (85-40) had sparked the double, making most of the running to land the Sky Sports Publications Day Out Novices’ Handicap Hurdle by two lengths from Legal Rights.
Nolan was always in control of the the three-mile-one-furlong contest, as the six-year-old got off the mark at the 10th attempt, having fallen over fences at Exeter last time.
“The plan was to get a lead for as long as we could, but there was no pace in the race and my guy was just a bit keen and I had to let him go forward,” said Nolan.
“Once he got out in front and got into a rhythm, he jumped super.
“He made one mistake coming down the hill, but on the whole he travelled and jumped well. He fell last time over fences, but this would have done his confidence the world of good.”
Fishcake was a market drifter following her lacklustre display in a bumper at Wincanton on debut last month, yet Nico de Boinville’s mount showed a measure of progression to take the extended two-and-a-half-mile Sky Sports Everyone Loves A Local Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old took it up early on the second circuit and while Lady Wilberry gave chase, Fishcake (100-30) had four and a half lengths to spare at the line.
De Boinville said: “She has progressed so much from her bumper. She loved that better ground. I thought she jumped really well and she was having a good look as she was in front a bit too soon, but the race fell apart. She stays all day and I thought that was a really taking performance.”
Fairway Freddie (7-2) is becoming something of a standing dish at his local track and earned a third win at the East Sussex venue, jumping assuredly to score by four and three-quarter lengths in the three-runner Download The At The Races App Handicap Chase under James Davies.
Winning trainer, Nick Gifford, said: “He is a proper top-of-the-ground horse who loves it here. He won three last season and went up to 126 and we had to run him to get his mark down.
“He was so well before, and might have been out of form all season, so there was a doubt that something was not quite right, but he has put that to bed. We’ll probably come back for the Easter Bank Holiday meeting.”
Gary Moore saw two favourites beaten before Call Off The Dogs (6-5 favourite) ended that streak with an assured success in the Watch Live Racing at Your Local Handicap Chase.
Jamie Moore waited patiently and with main market rival Pour Une Raison giving Tom Bellamy a crashing fall five from home, he produced the seven-year-old approaching two out and powered eight lengths clear of Auld Sod, putting to bed any trip worries.
“Today we chilled it out at the back and put an extra mile on top and obviously the main danger fell and while he has won today, the race probably fell apart a little bit as well,” said Moore.
If any proof that jump jockey are hard as nails, look no further than Bellamy, who scraped himself off the floor as Sword Beach (7-4 joint favourite), got off the mark over hurdles, winning on his handicap debut for Alan King in the concluding At The Races App Market Movers Handicap Hurdle.
After gingerly unsaddling from the length winner, Bellamy said: “I’m sore. It is always the best painkiller having a winner. We are all right and that horse was very good.
“Compared to his Flat rating, he was well handicapped, but at the same time he hasn’t done a lot over hurdles to give you any confidence.
“His best runs on the Flat came when wearing headgear, so the guv’nor put the visor back on him and it has worked wonders. His jumping has got better with each run. He was lit up early and was keen, but the headgear worked wonders.”