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Hands-on Thomas relishing next season as best campaign continues

Sam Thomas: recorded his 26th winner of the season at Bangor
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Sam Thomas is relishing the next campaign after his career-best season continued with Kala Noire in the 3m novice handicap chase.

The trainer, who won the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Denman, recorded his 26th winner of the season with the seven-year-old. He got off the mark at the eighth attempt when winning by five lengths.

It was a busy day for Thomas, who led up the winner and was on video duty for owners John Trolan, Steve and Patricia Capper and William Stovin.

"I've been getting hands-on! I love racing and it's part of the game," he said. "It's been a great season, I've been lucky in having lovely owners – they've been hugely supportive and put a lot of faith in me.

"We've got some exciting horses for next season and beyond, with some great staff and facilities too, and I'm relishing getting ready to go again in October."

Skelton remains in title driving seat

Harry Skelton increased his lead over Brian Hughes at the top of the jump jockeys' championship to six winners with a double on the card, but the duel is far from over according to his brother Dan.

Skelton strengthened his position in his quest for a first title with victories aboard Dan Gun and Dog Of War, but his bid for a treble was scuppered when Interconnected fell at the last in the 2m7f maiden hurdle.

The Skeltons were among the winners again with a double

"You can't think that it's over. The worst hope is false hope," the trainer told Sky Sports racing. "Brian will definitely have more than five winners before the end of the season, so there's no time for Harry to take his foot off the gas."

Midgely on a roll

Tom Midgely's red-hot form continued as the conditional jockey made it four winning rides in a row aboard Rukwa in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle following their victory at Huntingdon on Monday.

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I've been very lucky in having a lot of lovely owners, they've been hugely supportive and put a lot of faith in me
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