Martin Keighley received the perfect boost before saddling Back On The Lash and Talkischeap in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham this Friday when Dreamsundermyfeet secured win number four of the season at Huntingdon.
The Gloucestershire based trainer continued his flying start to the campaign thanks to the progressive six year old, who added to his three Southwell victories earlier in the campaign in the John Southgate Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Racing up with the pace throughout the two and a half mile contest the 3-1 chance bounced back from defeat last time out at Worcester when forging on after the last to defeat Begoodtoyourself by a length and a quarter.
Keighley said: “The horses seem in good form and we’ve now had 26 winners which is our best start to a season.
“Just switching this lad to fences has helped as he is a real chasing type. He is a real late developer.
“He might have looked un-genuine up the straight but he is just a big backward baby. He found the track a bit sharp but he did well as he gave the runner up more than a stone and a half.
“He was having a good look in front so hopefully the handicapper can’t put him up too much. He wouldn’t want the ground too soft.”
While Keighley knows plenty about Back On The Lash ahead of his assignment at Cheltenham he is excited to take the wraps off Talkischeap, who will bid to secure his first success since landing the 2019 bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park.
He said: “I was at Cheltenham schooling Talkischeap and Back On The Lash this morning and they both go to the Cross Country race on Friday.
“Talkischeap came from Alan’s to us this season and I’m really pleased to get him. I think the owner, who still has horses with Alan, thought a change of scenery would help him.
“The first two races will be tough as they are handicaps but the Festival cross country race is his target as that is level weights.”
Twenty four hours after partnering leading Betfair Chase contender Bristol De Mai in a schooling session Grade One winning rider Daryl Jacob enjoyed another foot perfect round aboard Onemorefortheroad in the Michaelmas Handicap Hurdle.
The Neil King-trained six year old showed a good attitude to follow up his last time out Stratford success in the feature two mile contest, which the 3-1 chance claimed by four and a half lengths from favourite Takeit Easy.
Jacob said: “Ideally I didn’t want to make the running but when Harry’s horse didn’t start we were sort of left in front. What I loved was how he good he was from three out to the line.
“Neil is a great trainer and I’ve ridden him for many years and we have done well together in the past. His horses are running well and it is nice to pick up a few spare rides.”
Following the race Jacob reported Bristol De Mai to be in good order ahead of his attempt to secure a record equalling fourth success in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park a week on Saturday.
He added: “Nigel and Sparky (Richard Bevis) have got Bristol in great form at home. We are just looking forward to getting a bit of rain for him at Haydock ahead of the Betfair Chase.”
Nicky Henderson moved on to the 49 winner mark for the campaign after Theatre Glory maintained her unbeaten record with a four and a quarter length victory under Nico de Boinville in the racingtv.com/freemonth Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
De Boinville said of the 13-8 winner: “That was fairly straightforward for her. She will just get better as time goes by and we will just bring her along slowly.
“She didn’t quite meet the second last right but she picked up and went on again. It’s all a learning curve for her.
“She gave me a lovely feel today, just as she did at Worcester. I was very happy with her.”
Theatre Glory is owned by the Canter For Banter syndicate which is run by Katy Croft and her partner Dave Fehily, who works as a head lad to Henderson.
Croft added: “We were hopeful as we think she is quite nice and does everything right. She loves her job and when they have a good attitude you are half way there.”