Champion jockey-elect Richard Johnson made it 222 wins for the campaign when Draytonian landed the £10,000 Listers Audi Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Warwick on Monday, writes David Hucker.
The victory took Johnson past Peter Scudamore’s tally of 221 set in 1988/89, a mark that stood until Sir Anthony McCoy started rewriting the record books, posting 253 wins nine years later and topping that with 289 in the 2001/02 season.
Robbie Dunne was keen to make the running on joint top-weight Robin of Locksley and they set a good pace until down the back straight before fading to finish fifth. Meanwhile, Johnson had been making steady progress on Draytonian who led at the last flight and stayed on well to repel the challenge of Clayton.
Bacchanel was sent off the 15-8 favourite to make a winning debut over hurdles for Johnson in the opening Maiden Hurdle, but a couple of indifferent jumps didn’t help his chances and he could finish only third behind 11-1 shot Beggars Cross.
Next up was the Apollobet Casino Free £10 Bet Novices’ Handicap Chase, in which Johnson was on board Broome Lane.
Reluctant to line up, Broome Lane did jump off with the others, but never really threatened to land a blow, finishing a weary fourth behind Maybe Plenty, who put in an exhibition round of jumping for claiming jockey Ciaran Gethings.
Just five started out in the £10,000 Apollobet Cash Back If You Finish 2nd Handicap Chase and it went to Beeves, one of the large string of horses owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, who took the race by the scruff of the neck approaching the penultimate fence and had enough in hand to see off the running-on favourite Dawson City.
There was a competitive-looking field for the Apollobet Cashback Specials Handicap Hurdle over three miles and a furlong and so it proved, with three horses coming to jump the last flight together.
Top-weight Atlantic Gold had led from the off but he had Mustmeetalady challenging on his inside and dual Exeter winner You Say What on his outer.
It was Mustmeetalady and Noel Fehily who came away from the hurdle the quickest to score by a length and post a double on the afternoon for trainer Jonjo O’Neill, successful earlier with Beggars Cross.
Modeligo appreciated a return to the minimum trip of two miles, over which he was twice successful last summer, in the Apollobet Masters Golf Handicap Chase, before former Irish point-to-point winner Aintree My Dream took the first division of the concluding National Hunt Flat Race for trainer Dan Skelton .
Crank Em Up made all the running in the second to give Fehily a double on the afternoon.