The Flat season may be over for another year, but Conduct’s owners have plenty to look forward to in 2014 after the grey trounced his rivals in the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster.
The mile and a half took some getting in testing conditions on Town Moor but William Haggas’ charge rose to the occasion to win by five lengths in the hands of Seb Sanders.
It has been far from plain-sailing to the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned runner, though, as he has suffered a string of injuries before finally enjoying his moment in the spotlight.
Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert said: “We are looking forward to next season with him. I’m sure he will give his owners a lot of fun.
“William was very bullish and I know that Sir Michael (Stoute), who trained him in his early career, thought this horse was a Group performer.
“To win this having been prepared to pension him off is unbelievable – this game throws everything at you.”
Jack Dexter (100-30 favourite) defied a 6lb penalty in style to record a third course win in the Betfred Goals Galore Wentworth Stakes, while the Listed Betfred Mobile/EBF Stallions Gillies Fillies’ Stakes went to Andrew Balding’s Miss Cap Estel (25-1).
While the Flat was winding up at Doncaster, the jumps campaign is really getting into full swing and Nick Scholfield enjoyed a Wincanton double on a couple of horses who could well be featuring at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring.
The Jeremy Scott-trained Melodic Rendezvous had to miss an intended Festival run last spring after a minor setback and he showed he would have been a major player there as he ran out a taking winner of the totepool Enter The Ten To Follow Elite Hurdle for Scholfield.
Despite his lengthy absence, Melodic Rendezvous (9-2) showed plenty of determination in getting up to beat the Paul Nicholls-trained Far West by a length and three-quarters.
Scholfield said: “He’d had considerable time off but I imagine Jeremy will now look at the Gerry Feilden or the Fighting Fifth.
“Jeremy said he would come on for this. He travelled and gave me the feel of a Champion Hurdle horse, that is for sure.”
While Scholfield denied Nicholls in the earlier race, the duo teamed up to good effect with 11-8 favourite Wonderful Charm, who saw off Fox Appeal in the Congratulations AP McCoy Rising Stars Novices’ Chase.
Tony Martin dominated proceedings at Navan yesterday, with Flemenstar’s second successive Boylesports.com Fortria Chase triumph the highlight of a treble for the County Meath trainer.
Having his first start for Martin since leaving Peter Casey, Flemenstar was sent off the 1-4 favourite against just three rivals. His jumping did not please everybody as the eight-year-old gave his fences far too much air. But having seen off Realt Mor early in the straight, he just had to be shaken up by Andrew Lynch to hold off the rallying Days Hotel by a length and a quarter.
Martin said: “We’ll take our time with him. I’ll have a chat with Andy (Lynch) and Steve (Curran, owner).”
Nicholls also enjoyed a smashing Sunday when he claimed the ultra-valuable Grade One Prix Renaud du Vivier at Auteuil with Ptit Zig.