Thahab Ifraj rewards Dunn's patience with feature success under Gillard
Alex Dunn's test of patience with Thahab Ifraj in search of summer ground was rewarded in impressive fashion as he landed the feature 2m2½f handicap hurdle.
The consistent eight-year-old was given a confident ride by Fergus Gillard, who rode out his 5lb claim with this 40th career success.
Gillard had been on board for Thahab Ifraj’s last success at Kempton in November and the Somerset-based trainer praised the hard work put in by the jockey at home.
She said: "Fergus has been helping in the yard for the last ten days. He's bought some store horses for us and it's lovely to give him a nice winner."
It has been a waiting game for Dunn as the persistent rain throughout May forced her to withdraw Thahab Ifraj from various intended targets.
She added: "We couldn’t run him, we had to wait. It was such a wet May. He has been a great servant to us and he could run under a penalty at Aintree next week."
Buckley back with a bang
Tom Buckley made an instant winning return to the saddle aboard Some Detail in the 2m7f handicap hurdle.
The conditional rider had been on the sidelines for 76 days following a shoulder injury but made the perfect comeback as he came home in front by two and three-quarter lengths on the Nigel Hawke-trained seven-year-old.
Middleham trainer Micky Hammond enjoyed a double as Raddle And Hum landed the 2m4½f novice handicap hurdle before High Noon obliged in the 2m5½f handicap chase.