Triumph Hurdle favourite Porticello sparkles on British debut for Moore family
Porticello gave the Moore family further reason to smile, the day after injured jockey Josh came out of hospital following delayed spinal surgery.
His brother Jamie was on board the ex-French three-year-old, who made a successful debut for their father Gary in the Listed Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle.
The Auteuil winner had to give 5lb and more to his rivals in this Weatherbys-sponsored event and remains 16-1 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle with Paddy Power after scoring by nearly four lengths.
"He's still a bit of a baby," Jamie Moore said. "He's a big horse, he took time to acclimatise during the race.
"When he was in tight he was a bit messy over hurdles. Maybe in time a fence might just suit him, he'll bend his back. But he's won a Listed race, giving weight away. You've got to be happy with the performance."
Josh Moore had been in hospital since suffering serious injuries in a heavy fall at Plumpton last week and his brother said: "He came out last night [Thursday].
"He's over the worst of it. It's a long road to recovery but he works hard on his recoveries, he's so used to them nowadays and it's great that he's got home to see his family."
Howay the Lad
The day before the original Shan Blue steps up in class in the Charlie Hall Chase, the latest version followed in his hoofprints with an impressive debut over fences.
Ashtown Lad took the 3m chase his stablemate had landed 12 months earlier and could now bid to emulate his subsequent success in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
After Darren and Annaley Yates's seven-year-old's near-five-length win under Harry Skelton, trainer Dan Skelton said: "He jumped lovely, the more jumps there are and the further he can go the better. You can see why I waited until he was seven to go chasing, he needed a lot of time to get it all together. Marathon trips will be perfect for him next year.
"I was always half in my mind thinking of the Shan Blue route. Me, Harry and Darren had half made that plan and I don't see any real reason to back out at the moment."
Ahoy Senor was an absentee after Lucinda Russell pulled the Grade 1 hurdles winner out – for the second time in eight days – as she felt the ground was unsuitable.
"I walked the course and it's good to soft, good in a couple of places and it's not for him," the trainer said. "Mighty Thunder will be fine on it tomorrow but it's not for a soft-ground horse.
"He's declared for Carlisle on Sunday and that's the plan, provided he's okay in the morning."
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Good Boy Bobby ended a year and two days without a win by landing the Listed 2m3f chase.
Daryl Jacob, who rode the winner for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: "Nigel and the team have done a great job over the summer. He lost his form and lost his confidence a bit. It's nice he's won a competitive pot like that first time out."
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