Jerrysback looks smart prospect

News of the racing from Wetherby where Philip Hobbs' smart prospect Jerrysback maintained his unbeaten record.

Philip Hobbs (R) with Jerrysback's owner JP McManus

Philip Hobbs has a very smart prospect on his hands in the shape of Jerrysback who maintained his unbeaten record in the Watch The Cheltenham Festival On Racing UK Novices' Hurdle at Wetherby.

Owned by JP McManus, the five-year-old had won effortlessly at Plumpton on his debut under rules.

There was a hint he could be something special that day, given Barry Geraghty went for just one ride, and he was also present in Yorkshire for another armchair experience.

Whether he takes up his Cheltenham Festival engagements in either the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle or Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in three weeks' time is a question mark, but there seems little doubt the 4/11 favourite has a bright future.

He cruised up to Eaton Hill at the final flight and was nudged out to beat Plus One by a length and a half, which did not even tell half the story.

"He's a lovely horse," said Geraghty. "He's still learning all the time so whether he'd be a horse for Cheltenham in just three weeks I wouldn't be sure. He's one that you'd be excited about for novice chasing next season, that's for sure."

Money Maid (9/4 joint-favourite) finally opened her account, having finished second four times, in the TBA/EBF Mares' Novices' Handicap Chase.

Her penultimate run had seen her chase home a decent type over Christmas, but she was pulled up last time out and there was a little scare after the line this time, too.

"She was a little lame in front so Kielan (Woods) jumped off but as she walked back to the stables she was essentially fine," said trainer Graeme McPherson.

"She deserved that after finishing second four times. She's improved for fences and stays three miles.

"Last time I just ran her back too soon and the ground was very gluey, I shouldn't have run her.

"She's qualified for the final of the mares' series at Haydock in April and that's her aim."

Money Maid's task was made easier when Top And Drop unseated Liam Treadwell three out and he was stood down for the day, missing a winner.

Aidan Coleman stepped into the breach on Plaisir D'Amour (8/1) in the Racing UK In Glorious HD Handicap Chase, teaming up with his old boss Venetia Williams.

"Liam had a really nasty fall so it's unlucky for him," said Coleman.

"Obviously I've ridden loads for Venetia and Andrew (Brooks, owner) before and I was just in the right place at the right time.

"She's straightforward to ride and is a good jumper."

Kim Bailey's journey from Cheltenham was worthwhile as Thedrinkymeister (8/1) made every yard of the running in the Racing UK-sponsored three-mile chase, despite being pulled up on both outings this season.

"He never went a yard last time at Sedgefield," said Bailey.

"We put the visor on today and it's made all the difference."

"Unfortunately I don't have him entered up anywhere else, so he can't run with a penalty."

There was a big punt landed on Jennie Candlish's Aengus (9/2 joint-favourite) in the handicap hurdle having shown nothing in four previous runs for the yard.

The stewards were given the explanation that Aengus "was suited by a galloping track and benefited from being ridden up with the pace".

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