Bold George lays down the law

Tom George made a timely double visit to the winner's enclosure ahead of his Cheltenham Festival raid when Bold Punt and Overlaw were successful in the hands of Denis O'Regan at Market Rasen.

Tom George made a timely double visit to the winner's enclosure ahead of his Cheltenham Festival raid when Bold Punt and Overlaw were successful in the hands of Denis O'Regan at Market Rasen today.

The former belied his more recent form figures as he took up the running with a circuit to race in the Blue Square 0-0 Cashback Novices' Handicap Chase and found extra on the run-in to score by two and a quarter lengths from Chicago Alley.

George said after the 3-1 success: "He showed a lot of promise and won a novice event on heavy at Newcastle.

"But although he jumps (fences) well at home he just lost his confidence.

"Denis said it was a confidence thing with him and I hope he will go on now."

Overlaw was 4-7 to land the Cheltenham Cashback At Handicap Chase and never really gave his supporters an anxious moment.

George went on: "Overlaw is on a high at the moment and we have now got two weeks to run him before he gets his new handicap mark."

Looking forward to Cheltenham, George said his thoughts were with his stable jockey Sam Thomas who will miss the Festival because of injuries sustained in a fall while schooling at the Paul Nicholls stable.

He went on: "We will have five or six runners at Cheltenham, they are all going well and I suppose Tell Massini is our best chance (favourite for the Albert Novices' Hurdle).

"I always give Denis (O'Regan) plenty of rides when we can get him and if Paddy (Brennan) is not available then Denis could ride for us (at the Festival)."

Work Boy had left the impression his turn might not be far away when runner-up at Sedgefield last time and so it proved as he ran out a convincing winner of the Graham Bradley's Cheltenham Preview At Handicap Chase.

The Sue Smith-trained gelding was backed from 7-1 to 4-1 and sent to the front with a circuit to run by Tjade Collier. He kept up a relentless gallop and with nothing able to get in a serious blow to him from two out he was eight lengths in front of Tighe Caster at the line.

Smith was represented by her husband, Harvey, who said: "This is his first win but he is a good old-fashioned chaser and I think he will be all right."

Moonstreaker was below his best last time but was back on song in the Blue Square's New iPhone App Novices' Hurdle as he gained his first success at the fifth attempt under an enterprising ride from Adam Pogson.

Pogson sent him to the front from the outset and he made all the running, staying on strongly in the closing stages and having seven lengths to spare over King In Waiting at the line.

Moonstreaker (5-2) is trained by Pogson's father Charles, who said: "That is our sixth winner this season and the second since I took out a full licence a couple of months ago.

"This good ground suits him, it was soft last time and I want to run him now in the two-mile novice hurdle at Aintree if the ground is suitable."

Ballyvesey (11-4) swooped to collar Key Time on the run-in of the Cheltenham Bonuses At Handicap Hurdle but his rider Tom O'Brien was suspended for two days (March 28 and 29) for not allowing his mount time to respond from his use of the whip.

Winning trainer Peter Bowen said: "He is a proper chasing type but he won't go over fences until the new season, although I may give him another couple of runs over hurdles."

Muntami returned to his favourite course, found some of his old sparkle and got back on the scoresheet with a convincing success under Michael O'Connell in the Live Football Betting at Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

The 12-1 chance headed his stable companion Adjami at the second-last flight and then shook off Amir Pasha on the run-in to pass the post with three and a half lengths to spare.

John Harris, who trains the gelding for his mother Ann and Chris Owens, said: "He likes this track and good ground - at Doncaster last time the ground was a bit loose for him.

"It was good for Chris to have another winner as he was going to move Muntami on - the horse has ability but can be a bit of a monkey."

Reg Hollinshead's consistent mare Cloudy Spirit (2-1) gained a deserved first success in the hands of conditional Harry Skelton in the Champion Hurdle Specials at "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.

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