Feltham next for Amore Alato after bold Listed success
Johnson hits seasonal 100 with Farrelly winner
Amore Alato winged his way round Esher without seeing a rival in the feature Listed chase, giving champion jockey Richard Johnson his 100th winner of the season, and next on the cards is a Grade 1 assignment.
While he might find Thistlecrack a different matter from three rivals giving weight in the Future Stars Intermediate Chase, trainer Johnny Farrelly is keen to run the seven-year-old in the Feltham at Kempton over Christmas.
Owner-breeder Sarah Faulks made the trek up from north Devon on a Sunday when she usually goes to Farrelly's Bridgwater stables to ride Amore Alato.
Farrelly also praised Alan Walter for helping to make the winner such a spectacular jumper, saying: "I take this horse to Alan's to school over his poles and I ride him out every morning so he's more used to carrying a big weight."
Johnson, who got some breathtaking leaps out of the front-runner, is himself well clear of his rivals in pursuit of back-to-back titles.
He said: "The 100 is always the target at the start of the season. The last two weeks I have had a lot more finish second than win, but the important thing is the horses are running well.
"It's been another great start but not as quick as last season and I've got to keep it going."
Another double for Williams
Ian Williams made it three doubles inside a month when after Red Infantry won the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle, Poker School slightly surprised his trainer in winning the 2m handicap hurdle in style under 7lb conditional Toby Wheeler, who was riding his tenth winner.
Williams said: "The golfing owners Chubby Chandler and Lee Westwood are in Turkey for the Turkish Open and I'm not sure how Lee has been getting on, but I'm sure they will have found a way of watching Poker School win."
Red Infantry showcased David Noonan's talents again and gave Cheshire owner Rob Little his first winner in his own colours having been involved in winning partnerships.
"I said on the way down it was five years to the day I had a first winner, Prince Of Denial, with Anabel Murphy, so wondered whether it was an omen," said Little.
Not a Bardd day's work
Nicky Henderson was smiling in and at the long-overdue rain after Bardd completed a double which the trainer felt was a little unlucky not to have been a treble and a double for Bardd's enthusiastic Elite Racing team of owners who thronged the winner's enclosure.
"I thought Clemency was a shade unlucky in the first but this horse is all schooled up to go hurdling and wouldn't have run today if the firm that was in the ground just a couple of days ago hadn't come out," said Henderson, for whom Khezerabad had earlier won the maiden hurdle.
Rowe's Dark relief
"I'd have been in trouble if he hadn't run well today," said trainer Richard Rowe after Dark Flame overturned favourite More Buck's in the novice limited handicap chase.
The potential stable star was a welcome winner for Andrew Glassonbury, who calls himself part-time jockey now he is an integral part of the Gary Moore stable.