Sheehan back in winning groove

Gavin Sheehan celebrated his first winner since returning from a short spell on the sidelines when galvanizing The Caller to glory in the Bill Cornford Memorial Maiden Hurdle at Plumpton.

Gavin Sheehan: Rode The Caller to victory in the maiden hurdle

Gavin Sheehan celebrated his first winner since returning from a short spell on the sidelines when galvanizing The Caller to glory in the Bill Cornford Memorial Maiden Hurdle at Plumpton.

After breaking his wrist following a fall at Newbury on New Year's Eve, the 24-year-old just missed out on the perfect return when finishing second aboard Cole Harden in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Despite being beaten on his previous two starts over hurdles, the Warren Greatrex-trained Yeats gelding put his previous experience to good use when readily casting aside 1/4 favourite Oscars Boss by eight lengths.

Greatrex said: "It is great to have him back. I've been very lucky that everyone has helped out. Leighton Aspell and Andrew Tinkler have done a great job filling in while he has been away and doing the schooling. Gav has had a nice break and has come back raring to go.

On the 5/1 winner, he added: "He has got a good pedigree. He wants further and he hates that ground. I'm very happy with him, but I think the race was not very good at all. In time he will get three miles. He is not very big, though, so maybe he won't be a chaser."

Anthony Honeyball is contemplating giving Royal Salute an entry in next month's Devon National at Exeter after he added the extended three-mile handicap chase to his victory at the track earlier this month.

Although forced to pull out more from a 4lb-higher mark, the 9/4 favourite responded to his rise in the weights when proving two and three-quarter lengths too strong for Talk Of The South.

Honeyball said: "He jumped really well. I think he just got in his comfort zone all the way round. The ground was a little bit softer and they were going half a stride slower than last time.

"When they turned in I thought he was going to get it nicked off him, having done everything right. He is going the right way and is maturing. There is the Devon National at Exeter which is a 0-135 and I suppose he might try it."

Barry Geraghty maintained his healthy strike-rate at the track after Jerrysback (1/2) made a winning debut under rules in the extended two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdle.

The Gold Cup-winning jockey made it seven winners from his last 11 rides at the East Sussex venue on his sole ride when steering the Philip Hobbs-trained 1/2 shot to a four and a half length.success

Geraghty said: "We went a nice gallop. The ground was hard work. He is a big baby and jumped big at times, but he did as much as he had to today. It was a nice introduction for him. He is a lovely horse, but he is a fellow for the future."

Revelling in deep ground is what Eminent Poet (4/1) does best as he proved once again when hanging on to victory in the extended three-mile conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle.

With both the Venetia Williams-trained six-year-old's previous two wins coming with 'heavy' in the description, the son of Montjeu excelled in the testing conditions to claim victory by five lengths.

Winning rider Charlie Deutsch said: "He really enjoyed it. He jumped great and travelled really well. At the end he was really tough. He is very game and tries very hard.

"I just wanted to hold on to him as long as I could. I ended up letting him bowl along, but he stayed on well at the end. He was just about holding on, but he was running on empty."

Gray Wolf River could not get her head in front on a drop back down to a more suitable level.

The Richard Harper-trained six-year-old followed up her outing in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day with a sixth-placed finish in the concluding two-mile hurdle which, for the second year running, went the way of trainer Chris Gordon after Bol D'Air (11/4) followed in the hoofprints of stablemate Loves Destination.

Gary Moore enhanced his status as the leading trainer at Plumpton after Instingtive (13/2) denied Yourholidayisover by a head in the extended two-mile handicap chase.

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