Nico de Boinville and Nicky Henderson teamed up for a double to cheer hardened racegoers at a wet and murky Doncaster.
Rain for most of the day made conditions tough, but the Seven Barrows pair of Craigneiche and Global Society were among the horses to shine on Town Moor.
The ball was set rolling by Craigneiche, who justified his short price in the Sky Bet Best Odds Guaranteed Maiden Hurdle, albeit not without giving his supporters some concern.
The 4-11 shot appeared to have run his race going to the penultimate flight, but Nicky Henderson’s six-year-old found his second wind and went on to score by three and a quarter lengths from Ulverston.
De Boinville said: “He’s still such a baby and has had to battle there, but what I did like is when I did ask he kept responding. He’s still a bit backward and learning his trade.
“I don’t think he’ll be running on that ground again.”
Global Society (5-2) brought up the brace when making all in the Sky Bet Britain’s Most Popular Online Bookmaker Novices’ Hurdle.
Having his first start since joining Henderson from Gordon Elliott’s powerful Irish stable, the five-year-old put up a promising performance to see off 5-4 favourite Perfect Predator by five and a half lengths.
“I’m really happy with him. He’s a lovely horse going forward. He’s come from Gordon Elliott’s and he was just touched off in his bumpers, but that showed he can really hurdle well and he’ll make a chaser as well,” said De Boinville.
“I’m not sure many horses would like that ground today.”
The Big Bite gave a bold front-running display to get off the mark over fences in the Sky Bet Cheltenham Non Runner No Bet Beginners’ Chase.
Putting a poor run on his fencing debut behind him, Tom George’s seven-year-old was given a positive ride by Jonathan Burke to show he has a future over the bigger obstacles.
Senior Citizen tried to lay down a challenge, but The Big Bite (7-2) was too strong and crossed the line three and a half lengths to the good.
“I think he’ll improve a lot because when he first schooled over fences he wasn’t great and we took him to Hen Knight’s and did loads of work on him at home,” said Burke.
“We took him to Kempton and we saw he knew how to look after himself. He was very careful.
“Today I was keen to be positive on him, but I did everything on him and nothing worked. He broke his rhythm every two fences – he must have a massive engine to still win.”
He added: “He was a good novice hurdler. Things didn’t go right for him at Cheltenham or Aintree, but he loves that ground.”
Financial Outcome (9-4) took the testing ground in his stride to land the Play ITV7 Tonight Novices’ Handicap Chase in facile fashion.
Always in the front rank, Rebecca Curtis’ seven-year-old drew away from the opposition in the straight to score by 28 lengths from Ballymagroarty Boy.
“We didn’t know if he’d handle the ground, but he did and jumped exceptionally and I was always able to fill him up the whole time,” said winning rider Aidan Coleman.
“After a mile he was in a good rhythm and I thought he’d take some beating, but I didn’t think he’d win that easy.”
Hawthorn Cottage (15-2) opened her account over the smaller obstacles with a cosy three-and-a-half-length success in the Sky Bet Extra Place Races Mares’ Handicap Hurdle for trainer Amy Murphy and conditional rider Lucy Barry.
Murphy said: “I’m delighted with her and I couldn’t believe her price. She won a class two bumper at Cheltenham and was placed in novice hurdles.
“It’s brilliant. It’s all down to Lucy – she bought her, she manages her for the Melbourne 10 and rides her so it’s a great day for girls in sport.
“She can only progress from here.”
Jobsonfire (10-1) relished the terrain to strike under rules in the Sky Bet Request A Bet Training Series Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Well-beaten in all his three previous starts, Sam Allwood’s eight-year-old pulled clear to score by 10 lengths in the hands of Charlie Price.
“We were a little worried about the ground, but the step up in trip suited him, the track suited him, being in a handicap suited him and he was given a patient ride,” said Allwood.
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