The contingency plan of a jumpers bumper card took place at Southwell Racecourse on Monday afternoon after the original jumps card on the turf had to be abandoned on Saturday morning due to waterlogging.
There was a six race card to delve into and the opening race went to 50/1 outsider Direct Approach for Tom Siddall, and trained by his mother Lynn Siddall.
He had been beaten by an awful long way in most if not all of his starts under rules so this was a real shock. The second race was another small turn up as well backed odds-on favourite Dolatulo was well and truly beaten into second by Any Given Day, who powered away under a confident hands and heels ride for Jason Maguire and trainer Donald McCain. Paddy Brennan and Alan Swinbank, a trainer who does very well at Southwell on the jumps and flat, had a double on the day starting with Mitchell’s Way, who travelled really well and scored by just over two lengths for the Ontoawinner syndicate.
Messrs Brennan and Swinbank only had to wait half an hour before their second winner as the well backed favourite Gogeo romped away from a competitive field to win by six lengths.
He had won over seven furlongs shorter in a Flat race just 18 days previously and is clearly in fine fettle at present.
The shocks weren’t yet over as course specialist Masterful Act was then beaten for only the second time from eight starts on Fibresand by the Charlie Longsdon-trained Hazy Tom.
Formally a very good and exciting young horse, Hazy Tom benefited from receiving 13lbs from Masterful Act, here despite being rated 37lbs superior to him over hurdles.
Although Masterful Act was the 2/7 favourite, he certainly didn’t run badly and went down trying his heart out yet again, which is why he is so well loved by his yard and Southwell racegoers.
Finally, Paul Nicholls made the trip from Ditcheat a winning one when Great Try made an impressive winning debut in the finale under Daryl Jacob as the yard really start to hit form approaching Cheltenham, which is just under three weeks away.
The next National Hunt meeting at Southwell Racecourse is on Monday, 3rd March, for further details visit www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk.