Bargary to the rescue on Robin
A review of Tuesday's meeting at Huntingdon as Jamie Bargary stepped in for a winning spare ride aboard Robinshill.
Robinshill wins at Huntingdon
What was Tom Humphries' misfortune was Jamie Bargary's gain at Huntingdon after Robinshill flashed home to take top honours in the Omni Security Michaelmas Handicap Hurdle.
The 3lb claimer stepped in for the winning ride aboard the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old after his weighing room colleague failed to make the required weight.
Having scored aboard the 100-30 shot on his last start at Wetherby, Bargary repeated the feat in this two-mile contest, picking up long-time leader Optimus Prime late on before scoring by a length and a half.
Bargary said: "It was unfortunate for Tom that he couldn't get the weight off in time. Nigel wanted to take 10lb off him, which was a good idea, but fortunately he didn't need it in the end.
"I know they've always thought a lot of him and it looks like the penny has dropped as he has won going away.
"When he sees a fence he will be even better."
Willy Twiston-Davies, representing his father, said: "He did it well. We always thought he was a two miler but it looks like he wants two-and-a-half now.
"Jamie gave him a really good ride and is good value for his claim."
Stuart Edmunds can begin to take aim at bigger and better prizes with Apasionado following his front-running success in the Emanuel Sharpstone Memorial Novices' Hurdle.
Despite being burdened with a penalty for his recent success at Uttoxeter, the 6-5 favourite proved two and quarter lengths too strong for hurdling debutant Lisheen Prince, who did his chances no favours after hanging on the run-in.
Edmunds said: "We've always liked him since the day he set foot off the lorry. Joshua (Moore) said he learnt one thing today – that was not the way to ride him – but he got away with it.
"He jumped like a bunny. He shows a lot of speed at home and I just think today he was probably a bit more streetwise. We went straight and true and the others lugged a bit.
"Two penalties will be very difficult so we will probably have to step him up in grade, maybe for the Tolworth."
Max Ward (7-4) defied a mammoth absence of 843 days when striking on his chasing debut and first start for Tom George in the Tom Jones Memorial HTJ Centre Ltd Chase.
Although not seen out since finishing second in a Listed hurdle at Market Rasen in July 2014, the seven-year-old gelding showed he was ready to roll in the extended two-mile event when seeing off Querry House by four lengths to give Adrian Heskin his first winner at the track.
George said: "He's done it nicely. He has some good form over hurdles. I was tempted to run him back over hurdles but Adrian (Heskin) has done a lot of schooling with him and got him jumping nicely.
"We thought if we ran him over hurdles that would be the end of him chasing.
"He had a tendon injury and the owners have done all the hard work with him. I've had him for about four or five months and touch wood he is in good shape now."
The Charlie Longsdon-trained Midnight Gem (10-1) made every post a winning one in the Pellys Solicitors Pettifoggers Party Handicap Hurdle.
Longsdon said: "It is about time she won. She has been working like a far better horse than her handicap mark.
"The break has done her good and hopefully it is onwards and upwards."
Richard Johnson steered the Neil Mulholland-trained Prettylittlething (2-1 favourite) to a facile 18-length success in the Omni Security Guarding Services' Novices' Handicap Chase.
There was a shock result in the concluding Hog Roast Catering Company 'Junior' Standard Open NH Flat Race, with 80-1 shot White Valiant beating 50-1 chance Sweeping Beauty.
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