In The Hold back in the groove at Catterick

Fri 2 Feb 2018

In The Hold registered his first victory under Rules in the Racing UK Winter Season Ticket Handicap Chase at Catterick.

The eight-year-old was returned to trainer Evan Williams by owners William and Angela Rucker after two wins in point-to-points.

Williams had previously looked after him as a five- and six-year-old, when he showed promise in bumpers, over hurdles and in one race over fences.

Having had time to mature, In The Hold put in a professional display under Brian Hughes, with Iskabeg Lane making most of the running until between the last two fences where the 9-1 winner took it up and and pulled four lengths clear at the line.

"It's nice because we had him as a young horse and he's been home with Mrs Rucker point-to-pointing," said Williams.

"They do a wonderful job and I'm very lucky to have horses like him when they've had chance to mature.

"His first bumper run was great. He finished just behind Might Bite at Newbury. We were disappointed on the day, but it wasn't a bad race. West Approach won it.

"This horse has a great pedigree and we thought it might be worth going back on the track."

He added: "I've only had him back a month. We'll see how he comes out of the race and go from there."

Hughes was completing a double having landed an unlikely success on Some Circus (15-8) in a dramatic race for the Only 1000 Racing UK Free Trials Mares' Handicap Chase.

Donald McCain's charge had looked booked for last place when becoming detached after setting the early pace.

Milly Baloo led from the third-last and was clear when she crashed through the wing at the final fence, leaving Sheneededtherun in front.

However, Hughes conjured a great run out of Same Circus, who finished with a flourish to snatch the spoils by a length. Timon's Tara was last of the three finishers, four and a half lengths away.

Irish raider Alohamora (13-2) made a winning debut over jumps in the Racing To School Fillies' Juvenile Hurdle.

Aidan Coleman let the even-money favourite Spirit Of Rome do the donkey work before going on running to the final flight and scoring by 10 lengths from Hazy Manor.

James Nash, who owns and trains the filly, said: "We were obviously delighted with her. Every time she did some schooling she seemed to really enjoy it, so it brought a bit of improvement.

"I appreciate it was a weak race, but she couldn't have done any more than win like that.

"I'd say we'll probably end up coming back to England. We'll take things easy for a month and see if we can find a little winners' race for her."

Nash and Coleman looked like chalking up a double when Scheu Time took up the running at the final flight in the Novices' Hurdle.

However, Sean Quinlan had different ideas on Sam's Gunner (85-40), bringing Mick Easterby's five-year-old with a well-timed effort to lead on the run-in and score by a length and a quarter.

Nash was pleased with Scheu Time on his first start for 197 days.

"We were delighted with him," said the Curragh handler

"He hadn't run for a while and it was his first run over hurdles. Fitness might have caught him out from the back of the last."

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