Coillte claims Listed success
A review of Friday's action from Taunton, where there were jubilant scenes after Coillte Lass' victory in the Listed race.
Coillte Lass gave her owners a day to remember
There were jubilant scenes in the Taunton winner's enclosure after Coillte Lass completed her hat-trick in the totepool Chip & Pin Betting Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
The Beneficial mare was snapped up by first-season syndicate Ditcheat Thoroughbreds after winning an Irish point-to-point in the spring and has proved a shrewd purchase.
A successful hurdling debut at Hereford was followed by an emphatic 86-length triumph over just one rival at Ludlow, but she faced a far tougher test in this two-mile Listed contest.
Sam Twiston-Davies rode a positive race aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained 11/4 chance as she raced over two miles for the first time, committing for home before the final turn.
High-class mare Dusky Legend, runner-up in the Trull House Stud Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival, did her best to close the gap in the straight, but Coillte Lass kept up the gallop to prevail by four and a half lengths, much to the delight of her band of owners.
"Look how many owners are here, it's amazing," Nicholls told At The Races.
"Part of having a syndicate is having a lot of fun like they've had today and that means a lot to them.
"She's a good mare and has just kept improving. I was a little bit worried about the trip, but it was a good performance.
"I'm thrilled for all the owners."
Despite Dusky Legend's reverse, trainer Alan King and stable jockey Wayne Hutchinson combined to complete doubles on the afternoon.
The Unit (2/1) secured his second successive victory in the totepool Live Info Download Our App Novices' Hurdle, before stable companion Kerrow (4/1) hit the target in the totepool Racecourse Cash Back Available Handicap Chase.
Peal Of Bells made a successful start for Harry Whittington in the At totepoolracing For All Your Racing News Handicap Hurdle.
Despite being pulled up on her previous two starts, she was prominent in the market at 9/2 on her first start for new connections and knuckled down for Gavin Sheehan to see off 11/4 favourite Yur Next by a length and a quarter.
Whittington said: "I've only had her six weeks and she's just blossomed. I thought she'd run well. She wasn't working like a 90-rated filly, anyway.
"It's the second winner for the Harry Whittington Racing Club and I'm delighted for them as they're all good people and we want to try to make the racing club bigger and better. We'll see what mark this mare gets before we make any plans."
A fine round of jumping enabled the Tom George-trained Behind The Wire to get off the mark at the sixth attempt in the Racing Welfare Supporting Stable Staff Chase in the hands of Adrian Heskin.
"He's done it nicely, jumped well and we're really pleased," said George.
"He has just taken a while to come to himself. He won a point-to-point in Ireland as a four-year-old and has just lived on his nerves a little bit and been a bit babyish. He still has some growing up to do and was a sweating a little bit in the parade ring again today, but hopefully he'll start to progress now.
"He'll be even better with another summer on his back, I'd have thought."
Reilly's Minor (8/1) made every yard of the running in the toteplacepot Six Places In Six Races Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, while Silver Streak sent favourite backers home happy by obliging as the 2/1 market leader in the concluding Happy New Year From totepool Handicap Hurdle.
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