Fair performance in Qualifier

The rest of the news from Warwick on Saturday, where Tobefair took his unbeaten run to six when taking the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

Tobefair (9/1) took his winning streak to six with his best performance to date in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier).

Debra Hamer's seven-year-old started his rich vein of form with three victories in the summer of 2015 and was striking for the third time this term.

Trevor Whelan bided his time on Tobefair as Saint John Henry made the running, before delivering his mount with a strong run that saw him land the spoils by a length and a half from Scotchtown.

Bon Enfant was third, while Barney Dwan was staging a rally when unseating Paddy Brennan at the final flight.

Carmathen-based Hamer's husband, Paul, said: "We had a skeleton staff today so Debra held the fort and I came here.

"The handicapper gave him a chance and he's such a laid-back horse. I didn't think he was a hurdler, but he's won six on the bounce now.

"We've schooled him over fences and that looks the job in the future, but while he's doing like he is you have to keep him over hurdles.

"He's been winning on good ground, but I thought he'd go in these conditions. Cheltenham would be the dream. We've never had a runner at the Festival before."

Celestial Magic stayed on well to open his career account at the 11th attempt in the Betfred 'Goals Galore' Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Warwick.

The steadier of 12st 5lb, reduced by the 5lb allowance of conditional jockey Danny Hiskett, failed to stop the Richard Phillips-trained five-year-old from finally getting his head in front.

The pace-setting Wildmoor Boy stole several lengths at the start and looked like making all, until the 6/1 winner made stealthy progress to pounce in the straight and draw away on the run-in to score by four lengths.

Starlight Court put in good work at the finish to take third place, a length away.

Phillips said: "We're delighted. He'd been off for a while, as he ran appallingly at Newton Abbot the back end of a longish season so we gave him a break and we were really pleased with his run at Haydock last month.

"He had a lot of weight on his back, but Danny gets on well with him and took 5lb off.

"He stays very well and he has learned to settle a bit better. He deserved that as he'd been running very consistently. The horse has run on this sort of ground before which is why we've run him here. It might not be ideal, but he can handle it.

"We'll see what the handicapper does. Last time he ran in a 0-125 so he might have to step back up and I think he'll get further in time."

Noel Fehily produced Overtown Express (11/8 favourite) with a well-timed run to get off the mark over fences in the Betfred 'January Sale' Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase.

Dropped in trip, Harry Fry's nine-year-old was suited by the strong pace set first by Makethedifference and then Artifice Sivola, before going on between the last two fences.

Overtown Express pulled clear to win by seven lengths from Artifice Sivola.

Fry said: "We dropped him in trip from last time (at Ascot) and a strongly-run two miles in testing conditions is what he relishes.

"He jumped well today – we were keen to make use of his hurdles mark at Ludlow last week but that was abandoned so we came here.

"Thankfully it's worked out and hopefully there's more to come over fences. We've no plans – we'll just make the most of the ground conditions."

Tim Vaughan's Point Of Principle was a 50/1 stunner in the Betfred TV 'Newcomers' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race under 3lb claimer Alan Johns.

Read More at Sporting Life

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