Sam Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls dominate at Wincanton

Sun 26 Mar 2017

Sam Twiston-Davies took the riding honours at Wincanton on a good day for the jockey and his boss, Paul Nicholls.

Twiston-Davies weighed in with a four-timer, while champion trainer Nicholls enjoyed a treble as he went through the £2million mark in prize-money for the season.

The pair wasted little time in opening their account, with Copain De Classe (6-5 favourite) striking in the Novices' Hurdle, before Antartica De Thaix (4-9 favourite) continued on the upgrade in the 188Bet Novices' Chase.

Twiston-Davies secured his treble courtesy of How's Vienna (5-4 favourite) for David Dennis in the Live Casino At 188Bet Handicap Chase, and rounded off his afternoon on another winning favourite in Winningtry (4-5) for Nicholls in the Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Maiden Hurdle.

He said: "I thought I had some nice chances coming here, but it doesn't always work out like that. It's been one of those days where I've been really lucky and things have gone really well.

"I thought Winningtry was one of my best chances, although he ended up being the one I had to work the hardest on, but he's got the job done. I think he'll improve for a step up to three miles and hopefully there'll be bigger days ahead for him.

"Antartica De Thaix has come forward from her Listed chase win, she was brilliant today, she was strong up the straight whereas sometimes she has been a little bit weak - she is getting stronger, better and fingers crossed there'll be plenty of more races for her. "

Twiston-Davies is expected to ride Gold Cup fifth Saphir Du Rheu in the Grand National at Aintree and told Racing UK: "He's got a bit of class and a nice weight, and considering how he jumped and travelled in the Gold Cup, you'd be looking forward to riding him in the Grand National.

"But it's a deep race, we've still got Vicente in there, he's got a nice weight and always does well in the spring.

"It's one of those, I imagine I'll ride Saphir Du Rheu but you never really want to put your flag to the mast until declarations are done and they have both come through their preliminaries."

For a delighted Nicholls, the three-timer also moved him to 139 winners for the season and further cut the lead Nicky Henderson holds in the trainers' championship.

He said: "Any season you train that number of winners and that amount of prize-money you'd be happy."

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