O'Farrell makes most of Nicholls opportunity
Paul Nicholls sent out a squadron of 11 runners on Saturday and Conor O'Farrell took full advantage of an opportunity to ride for the champion trainer with victory aboard Tagrita in the 2m4f mares' novice chase.
O'Farrell has done well for the champion trainer when called upon and he got the eight-year-old home by five lengths from favourite The Organist.
"Paul has been very good to me," O'Farrell said. "I ride out there when I can and it's great to get any rides off him as they all have a chance."
On Tagrita, the jockey added: "She's got a great attitude. Ideally she'd appreciate softer ground and I was flat out the whole way, but she's so tough and genuine. That's what's won it for her."
'Brilliant' Blackmore does it again
For the second time this week Rachael Blackmore showcased her talents in a race restricted to female riders, as she won the feature 2m handicap hurdle on Baby Jake by a short head.
It was a successful raid for Irish trainer Shark Hanlon, who said: "She's a brilliant jockey and when you have a girl like her working for you, you have to make use of her."
Finula faster than he looks
Niall 'Slippers' Madden, who bagged a 50-1 surprise with Finula in the 2m maiden hurdle, is enjoying his time riding in Britain and is considering a permanent switch from Ireland.
This was the second winner of a six-week spell for Madden, who was having his first ride at the track, and he said: "Brendan [Powell, trainer] is a good friend of the family and it's nice to ride a winner for him. I said I'd give myself six weeks, I'm having plenty of rides and I think I might stay."
Powell did not think Finula would have the speed for the trip but said: "At home he's not the quickest but he's shown more pace at the track. He jumped well but I think there's more room for improvement."
Wind op helps Miss Spent
Lucy Wadham was pleased to see Miss Spent return to form with a two-length win in the 2m3½f mares' novice hurdle, after she had suffered two heavy defeats.
The six-year-old's last effort, when beaten 85 lengths at Warwick in May, was easy to forgive as she broke a blood vessel and Wadham said: "She'd also stopped at Aintree and hadn't bled, but we did her wind over the summer and that seems to have made the difference."
Wadham also had praise for jockey David Noonan. "He rode a very mature race. They went steady and he found himself in front but wound it up soon enough that they couldn't catch him," she said.
Thought of the day
Rachael Blackmore has showcased her talent in Britain and Ireland this week and is a jockey going from strength to strength. With her 5lb claim, do not be surprised if other trainers start to make more use of her.