Taunton glory for Fulgora

Sensible placing from trainer Tor Sturgis saw Fulgora land her second consecutive race in the Happy New Year Claiming Hurdle at Taunton this afternoon.

Taunton glory for Fulgora

Sensible placing from trainer Tor Sturgis saw Fulgora land her second consecutive race in the Happy New Year Claiming Hurdle at Taunton this afternoon.

A 33-1 shot when landing a seller at Ludlow under Sam Jones, the four-year-old filly was still a big price at 16-1 here but showed more steel than her opponents to close out the two-mile-one-furlong event a length and a half ahead of Advisor.

Sturgis, who is a tenant of sidelined champion jockey Tony McCoy in Lambourn, said: "One of the reasons I chose this race was because she didn't get a penalty for the Ludlow race and she also got the fillies' allowance.

"That's one for the landlord."

There was an extraordinary surprise in terms of the betting in the European Breeders' Fund Mares' "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle as 200-1 shot Lights Of Broadway led home Wishes And Stars and Fortuna Rose at 50-1 and 33s respectively.

The best Jo Hughes' mare had managed from four previous starts was fourth in a Southwell bumper and she was given a huge helping hand when Night Rose took a crunching fall at the second-last flight when looking like assuming the lead.

Mark Grant was then able to push out the big outsider to a three-quarter-length success.

"I'm not a gambler, but I did think she was capable of running well and the better ground and the shorter trip have helped," said Hughes.

Grant added: "They have always liked her at home and maybe she's got a bit stronger now."

A patient Will Kennedy prevented Sam Waley-Cohen from striking on his first ride back under Rules this year in the tauntonracecourse.co.uk Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

Gold Cup-winning amateur Waley-Cohen, who has been serving suspensions incurred for riding a finish a circuit too early at Fakenham, had a bold sight of glory on Time For Spring and was still in front at the last fence.

But Kennedy had been tracking him with confidence on Made In Time (8-1), who had unseated his rider on both previous starts, and produced him full of running close home to land the spoils by two and a quarter lengths.

Neither trainer Rebecca Curtis nor owner JP McManus were present and Kennedy said: "I had to bustle him a bit to hold my position going out into the back straight but he settled and although I thought two miles and seven would suit, I wanted to keep a little bit of speed for late on.

"He'd been unlucky but the trainer said he'd schooled well yesterday and he jumped nicely."

Supreme Novices' Hurdle candidate Darlan forwarded his Festival claims with a cheeky victory in the southwest-racing.co.uk Novices' Hurdle.

Winner of his three previous starts, Darlan was sent off the 10-11 favourite for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty.

Giordano Bruno made a bold bid from the front but he was dropping away as Darlan and Jump City came to challenge two flights from home.

Darlan was evidently going the better of the two though and despite a less than fluid jump at the last, Geraghty barely had to move a muscle as he came home half a length clear under a tight hold.

Geraghty said: "He's done it well but he probably made it look easier than it was. He's one of those that you just give him a kick and he goes.

"Jump City has been disappointing in the past and a couple of the others would need the run, but he still won nicely."

Coral cut Darlan to 14-1 from 20s for the Supreme following his victory.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Discover the

Install our free app today

Available on


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox