Jeremy Kyle has Wincanton winner and Zarkandar stakes Champion claim
16:02 GMT, 10 November 2012
Zarkandar (100-30) fuelled his claims for the Champion Hurdle and surprised trainer Paul Nicholls when outpointing stablemate Prospect Wells in the totepool.com Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.
Fifth in last season's Champion and a faller when previously seen in action at Aintree, the diminutive Zarkandar showed with a determined display under Daryl Jacob that, in a tight situation, class will out.
Champion Hurdle prospect: Zarkandar and Daryl Jacob (right) clear the last flight with Prospect Wells
It was a perfect start to the campaign for Jacob, who because Ruby Walsh is expected to ride Hurricane Fly throughout the season is set to be aboard Zarkandar for all his races.
Despite giving his rival 17lb, Zarkandar cruised up to join Prospect Wells still on the bridle two flights from home, and buckled down on the run-in to resist the latter's final thrust under Walsh by a neck.
It was seven lengths back to Balder Succes. Nicholls was all praise for the winner, who William Hill cut to 10-1 from 12s for the Champion.
He said: 'He's done well, real well, and I never had him looking as good as this for the whole of last season.
'For him he looks big and well, and in the last fortnight he's just suddenly picked up. Ruby thought the 17lb would swing it and I told the owners that win, lose or draw he would come on for the run.
'Zarkandar will now go for the Bula (International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December) )and we're right back where we want to be with him. The Bula is the race we've been training him for.
'Then we'll look to bring him back here for the Kingwell in the new year. Prospect Wells is a rattling good handicapper and will win a nice race.
Winning owners: Jeremy Kyle with his wife, former model Carla Germaine, were on the mark at Wincanton
'Today there hardly deserved to be a loser. Prospect Wells lost nothing in defeat, I always hate beating a stablemate but he will win a nice race. Both have run well and I am chuffed for both of them.'
Fairy Rath was gameness personified in making every yard of the running in the totepool Mobile Text Tote To 89660 Handicap Chase.
The Nick Gifford-trained six-year-old
ran virtually to the pound with Henry San as he turned round recent
Chepstow placings with that rival.
Denis O'Regan did not intend to lead
on the 5-1 shot, but was encouraged to do so when there was a sedate
early pace and his mount winged the first.
Fairy Rath had fought off all bar
Henry San when that rival joined him two out, and survived an awkward
jump at the last before going away again to score by a length and a
It was a further 21 lengths back to the third, Sum Laff.
Fairy Rath is owned by talk show host Jeremy Kyle's wife, Carla.
The couple are in the Caribbean with Andy Stewart and are not believed to have seen the race.
O'Regan said: 'He was very game. He picked up again after the last and then just idled.'
Houblon Des Obeaux made all the running for Venetia Williams and Aidan Coleman in the totepool Rising Stars Novices' Chase.
In what looked on paper to be a red-hot renewal, Houblon Des Obeaux was preferred in the market by several rivals and went off at 9-1, in spite of having been impressive when scoring on his debut over fences at Worcester.
Measuring his fences with accuracy, the five-year-old benefited from the jumping deficiencies of Aegean Dawn (unseated rider second) and Court In Motion (bad mistake middle fences down back) to come home four and a half lengths clear of Poungach, who rallied to catch Court In Motion for second.
Coleman said: 'That was super. We were a bit worried that there wasn't going to be a lot of pace and he wants further, so I had to pop out and make it. He jumped for fun and will do even better over a longer trip. If he carries on along this path he could be an RSA Chase type.'
Coral gave the winner a 25-1 quote for the RSA.
Miss Milborne took the spoils in a Bet totequadpot Test Tote To 89660 Mares' Handicap Hurdle in which five of the 10-strong field were line-abreast approaching the final flight.
You could have thrown a blanket over the protagonists, but on the run-in Jamie Snowden's mare showed the best resolve to forge two lengths and three clear of Prima Porta and Tempest River under Harry Skelton.
It is the dream of the winner's part-owner Adrian Brown to land the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, as he is CEO (UK) for the same company.
Snowden observed: 'She is as tough as nails and had a good blow on her comeback at Chepstow. The trip was too short and we knew that had put her spot on for today.
'She can be the first off the bridle, as she was at Towcester, but she's a mare with plenty of guts and that counts for so much.
'All being well she'll run next in a mares' Listed race at Kempton in a fortnight.'
Kings Lad helped make it a red-letter week for Colin and Joe Tizzard when he floored 2-7 favourite Mr Mole in the Bet totescoop6 Text Tote To 89660 EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.
Fresh from their Haldon Gold Cup triumph with Cue Card at Exeter, the father and son trainer/jockey combo can do little wrong and Kings Lad (5-1) defied connections' belief that he would improve for the outing.
In charge after the penultimate flight, he never looked like being reeled-in and came home with a seven-length cushion over the disappointing market leader.
Owner Graham Gingell, related to Tizzard as his son married the trainer's daughter, said: 'Colin thought he would need the run so we didn't get carried away. It was his first run since May and we are over the moon.'
Gingell spotted and purchased Kings Lad at Doncaster Sales as a three-year-old. He and wife, Sylvia Musgrove, live just a mile from Wincanton.