The Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last Saturday is the most valuable jumps handicap run in Europe and it went to a 33/1 outsider, Splash Of Ginge, who was ridden by seven-pound claimer Ryan Hatch and trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Hatch has already got a Cheltenham Festival winner to his name after winning the 2013 Kim Muir aboard Same Difference and this victory was his ninth of the season.
The jockey rode Splash Of Ginge prominently and hit the front shortly after three from home, before fending off a host of challengers including Dell’Arca, Irish Saint and Cheltenian.
He is now as short as 20/1 for the Supreme Novices Hurdle on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival on March 11.
Harry Topper also showcased himself with an easy win in the Denman Chase, for Jason Maguire and Kim Bailey.
The gelding is a real mudlover and relished these very testing conditions to draw a long way clear of Al Ferof and Katenko.
Over at Warwick, Alan King’s Balder Succes brought himself back into the Arkle picture with a fine front-running display in the Grade Two Kingmaker Novices Chase.
The King yard are in great form at present, showcased by the victory of First Mohican last week who triumphed on hurdles debut here at Doncaster and who will now go to Kempton on the February 22 for the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle.
Rock On Ruby was also an impressive novice winner here last week.
He jumped well on his second start over fences to see off his only rival, Mr Mole, with ease under Noel Fehily.
The jockey was suitably impressed with the former Champion Hurdler and Rock On Ruby will go straight to the Arkle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.
Our next major meeting is the William Hill Grimthorpe Chase weekend and guests can enjoy a free Cheltenham Preview Evening after racing on Saturday March 1, with a star panel to include trainer Sean Quinn and jockey Brian Hughes.
Ladbrokes St Leger Festival tickets are now on sale – for raceday tickets or more information, visit www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk.