Mint tastes more Taunton success

A review of Tuesday's Taunton action as the Harry Fry-trained Hint Of Mint ground out a third course success.

Noel Fehily riding Hint Of Mint (L) wins the Weatherbys Racing Diaries "Confined" Handicap Hurdle at Taunton

Harry Fry will attempt to find Hint Of Mint another suitable opportunity at Taunton after he claimed a third victory at the track in determined fashion.

The seven-year-old won back-to-back races at the Somerset circuit in the spring of 2014, but struggled in better company the following season and then spent over a year and a half on the sidelines.

After moving from the Devon yard of Nick Williams to Fry's stable in Dorset, Hint Of Mint looked badly in need of the outing on his return to action at Ascot in October.

But placed efforts at Wincanton and at this venue suggested his turn was not far away and he confirmed that promise with a narrow verdict in the Weatherbys-sponsored handicap hurdle.

The 8/11 favourite was sent straight to the front by Noel Fehily and while first Borak and then Man Of Plenty threw down strong challenges in the straight, Hint Of Mint had just enough in the tank to get the better of the latter by a neck.

Fry said: "I'm delighted he's come out the right side of a close finish after going up 5lb for getting beaten a head here last time. We haven't had him that long, obviously, and it's just taken a while for him to come to hand.

"He's done it nicely and it was a nice prize, so we're pleased. I think his last win was here and he was on the same mark. Hopefully he'll progress.

"We'll have to have a look in the programme book and see what else there is for him at Taunton as it obviously brings out the best in him."

Volpone Jelois (7/4 favourite) opened his account for Paul Nicholls in the first division of the extended two-mile maiden hurdle.

A multiple winner on the Flat in France, the three-year-old found one too good on his British debut at Fontwell, but knuckled down for Sam Twiston-Davies to get off the mark at the second time of asking, seeing off Casper King by a neck.

Ian Fogg, director of owners Ditcheat Thoroughbreds, said: "I'm thrilled to bits. It was quite a good race, so for him to go and win, I'm really pleased. I always leave it up to Paul where our horses will go next, but provided he comes out of the race OK, I don't see any reason why he won't be out again fairly soon in a handicap somewhere.

"The syndicate has had seven winners so far and it's a bit of a dream come true, to be honest. There are 10 horses in the syndicate altogether. We haven't quite got to the bottom of one or two of them yet, but I think they'll all win at some stage."

The Nicholls-Twiston-Davies combination was narrowly denied a double in division two, with even-money favourite Amour De Nuit forced to play second fiddle to 11/4 shot Asum.

Jeremy Scott's Jack Snipe (3/1) later came home eight lengths clear in the novice handicap chase over three and a quarter miles.

Scott said: "He was quite well handicapped on his best hurdle form and we knew he'd jump well. He's no superstar, and he was helped out by some sloppy jumping from one or two of the others, but we've got a win out him now, which was the remit.

"Once he's gone up 7lb, he's not going to be that well handicapped."

Read More at Sporting Life

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