Gary Moore was left reflecting on perhaps the greatest afternoon of his training career after the heavily backed Well Refreshed completed a major across-the-card double with victory in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Although one of the most respected dual-purpose handlers in the land, Moore is not a regular winner of the big Saturday prizes and was understandably thrilled after claiming two big pots at different ends of the country.
Stable stalwart Vino Griego landed a few hefty bets when winning at Ascot under the trainer’s son Jamie, and less than half an hour later, his younger brother and conditional jockey Joshua rode the biggest winner of his burgeoning career on Merseyside.
Having opened up at 6-1 on track, Well Refreshed was sent off the 9-2 favourite for the three-and-a-half-mile feature and Moore was sensibly in no hurry. The recent Lingfield and Plumpton winner began to creep into contention leaving the back straight and it was clear as he straightened up for home the hat-trick was very much on. The nine-year-old swept by the well fancied Rigadin de Beauchene at the second last and although he gave the final obstacle a real belt, he got away with the mistake to seal a ten-length verdict.
Rigadin de Beauchene ran perfectly well to fill the runner-up spot, with Welsh National hero Monbeg Dude finishing third.
At Ascot, Cue Card claimed his first Grade One win over fences in the Betfair Ascot Chase.
Colin Tizzard’s stable star looked imperious when winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter but failed to see out the three miles at Kempton.
Joe Tizzard set out to make all but his mount was keen and he did not meet every fence on an even keel.
Captain Chris moved up menacingly and was still going well when he made a bad blunder at the second last, handing the initiative back to Cue Card. The 15-8 favourite was kept up to his work and ran out a six-length winner.
Zarkandar completed his public preparation for the Stan James Champion Hurdle when maintaining his 100 per cent record this season at Wincanton. The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old is 5-1 from 6s with Paddy Power and 9-2 from 5s with Stan James for the Cheltenham showpiece after justifying prohibitive odds of 1-3 in the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle.