The feature race of a festive-themed Saturday at Doncaster was the Grade Two Summit Juvenile Hurdle, which went the way of Fox Norton from the Nick Williams yard in the hands of Noel Fehily.
The odds-on favourite Royal Irish Hussar led through the majority of the race, but when jockey David Bass asked him to pick up entering the home straight, he folded tamely and finished a well-beaten third behind Fox Norton.
John Ferguson’s Broughton ran a screamer in the runner-up position on his hurdling debut.
There was only a head between the first two at the line and Broughton, ridden by Denis O’Regan, is certainly the one who impressed the most as he was having his first start over hurdles and first since being gelded.
It was nice to see German raider Cafe Au Lait, for Christian Von Der Recke, competing in the race and hopefully we will see plenty of other European challengers coming over to Doncaster for future meetings on the Jumps and Flat.
Night In Milan went one better than last year in the closing BetVictor Handicap Chase, making just about all of the running for James Reveley.
He was beaten a short head last year by Court By Surprise when held up by Jonny England, but he was ridden much more positively this time around and also jumped well, although De Boitron looked as though he was going to breeze by between the last two fences, but his petrol gauge hit red and Night In Milan jumped back to the front at the last to win by six lengths.
Karinga Dancer made a successful chasing debut in the novice chase, holding off the challenge of Princely Player with a bit more up his sleeve for Noel Fehily and Harry Fry, the team behind former Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby who is being aimed at the Lightning Novice Chase at Doncaster at the end of January.
Off The Ground won here again for Leighton Aspell, defying a rise in the weights for a runaway win at our previous jumps meeting.
Looking for something to do with the family between Christmas and New Year? Our next raceday is the ‘Sprout-Free’ raceday on December 29.
Our Sprout-Free family package gets two adults into the races, with pie and peas for two plus a racecard.
Don’t forget, kids go free and there’s free parking available too.