Murphy holds on

Timmy Murphy endured an up-and-down afternoon at Huntingdon with the pain of a two-day ban eased by winning the feature race.

Timmy Murphy endured an up-and-down afternoon at Huntingdon with the pain of a two-day ban eased by winning the feature race.

The highlight came aboard Hold Em, who booked his ticket for Cheltenham in the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle.

Keith Goldsworthy brought his gelding from Pembrokeshire to contest the event and felt there was room for improvement for the 7-4 favourite, who scraped home from Junior under a fierce Murphy drive.

“The first thing Timmy said was ’he’s better than that’,” explained Goldsworthy.

“He battled it out at the end and will go for the Ballymore Properties race now. He’s in the Coral Cup but might be a bit high in the handicap for the moment.”

Murphy was suspended for two days (March 3 and 4) for careless riding in allowing second-placed Senora Snoopy to drift in the BetChronicle Best Antepost Prices Mares Only Maiden Hurdle.

Venetia Williams had amateur Aidan Coleman to thank for steering the winner Fretwork home, although she made rather heavy weather of it and just got up on the line.

“Sam Thomas recommended him after he spent his first year out of school at Henrietta Knight’s,” said Williams.

“He’s based with me now and I have been putting him up quite a bit.”

Charlie Longsdon’s Omega King could not be recognised from the passport and did not run.

Modicum (2-1 favourite) emerged more than a little too good for his rivals in the Bet With At The Festival Novices’ Chase.

Rider Rose Davidson, teaming up for her father and owner Duncan, took up the gauntlet with a circuit to go and was good value for a three-length verdict over Desert Quest.

“He’s in the Arkle and I stood the forfeit, but I suppose that might be a bit ambitious,” reported Duncan Davidson.

“He’s so consistent – I think he’s only been out of the first two once in his last nine races.”

John Quinn’s Brook No Argument (100-30 favourite) cleared away on the level in the On Course And On Line Mares Only Handicap Hurdle.

“She’s tough and she stays,” said Quinn.

“The owner bred her and if I can persuade her, we’ll run the mare again in a handicap at Doncaster next week.”

I’m Supreme (9-2) relished the step up to three miles in the John Bigg Oxo Handicap Chase for Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs.

An eventful For Chronicle Crackers Novices’ Hunters’ Chase ended up a dead-heat between Lord Of The Hollow (5-1) and Would Wouldn’t (16-1) with Scare Lotte only a nostril behind in third.

The For Better Prices Handicap Hurdle was taken by Andy Turnell’s Lordsbridge (9-1), given a finely-judged ride by Jason Favell.

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