Fehily helps himself to a Christmas double

Noel Fehily on his way to victory on board Superior Quality in the maiden hurdle at Warwick last Sunday. Picture: Les Hurley
Noel Fehily on his way to victory on board Superior Quality in the maiden hurdle at Warwick last Sunday. Picture: Les Hurley

Champion jockey AP McCoy took the day’s longest race at Warwick’s Christmas Jumps fixture on Sunday when getting Mission Complete up to head Reblis in a thrilling finish, writes David Hucker.

After a dry night, the going was soft, good to soft in places, although described by jockey Denis O’Regan after the first race as “tacky”.

Racegoers needed to wrap up against the chilly wind but, after suffering so many lost meetings this year, officials were glad the weather had not intervened again.

Newmarket-based John Ferguson had two entries in the opening Betfred “The Home Of Goals Galore” Juvenile Hurdle over two miles, but opted to send Ruacana to Catterick in midweek, where he was a 9-4 winner. This left Bordoni, twice successful on the flat for Mark Johnston this summer, to fly the stable flag.

With the yard having such a good record with their bumper and novice hurdlers, punters backed Bordoni as if defeat was out of the question, sending him off at 11-10. But the money stayed with the bookies as, despite being prominent throughout, Bordoni could only finish second behind In The Crowd, who stepped up on his debut third to Tidal Way at Ludlow last month.

Favourite backers missed out again in the following Betfred Mobile Beginners’ Chase, when Greywell Boy also finished second behind Fulgora, who was gifted the race when clear leader Prince Of Dreams fell at the final fence.

Greywell Boy’s trainer Nick Williams, who was in double-winning form at Exeter on Friday, went one better in the two-mile handicap chase as George Nympton scored in the hands of Noel Fehily, beating Kykate and Christopher Wren.

The biggest field of the afternoon lined up for the Betfred Still Treble Odds On Lucky15 Maiden Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs with 6-4 favourite Titchwood, ridden by McCoy, the pick of trainer Jonjo O’Neill’s three runners.

But none of the runners could get close to 12-1 shot Superior Quality, who made it a quick-fire double for Fehily, the pair racing five lengths clear of Salmanazar and Silver Eagle, who put in an eye-catching run to take third.

With three absentees, just six went to post for the longest race of the afternoon, the Betfred On 0800 221 221 Handicap Chase over the marathon distance of three miles and five furlongs.

Jonjo O’Neill had provided three of the original 23 entries and, having sent Arbor Supreme to win Exeter’s long-distance chase on Friday, opted to saddle Mission Complete here.

Sent off the 7-4 joint favourite, Mission Complete stayed on well to catch Reblis near the line and deny Felihy another winner.

Spanish Arch carried joint top-weight in the handicap hurdle to give trainer Charlie Longsdon a double after the success of Superior Quality earlier in the afternoon and the well-backed Werenearlyoutofit won the finale to open his account at the third attempt.

Next up is the course’s popular New Year’s Eve meeting and advance tickets can booked by telephoning 08445 793013 or online at www.warwickrace course.co.uk