Brennan takes his chance on Moscow
Paddy Brennan gave Moscow Chancer a fine ride to emerge victorious in the Skyline Solar Triumph Novices' Handicap Chase at Kempton.
The Tom George inmate had been unsuccessful in nine previous starts under Rules and not always looked the most genuine, but having ridden him on seven of those appearances, Brennan is getting to know the six-year-old.
Brennan looked at pains not to ask for maximum effort from his mount for much of the extended two-and-a-half-mile journey, but he managed to coax him to the front in the straight.
With a clear-cut victory seemingly assured after the final fence, the 5-1 chance gave his supporters a few jitters as he began to pull himself up as the line approached, but he held on by half a length from Anay Turge.
"He's been very difficult. I wouldn't say he's monkey, he just lacks a bit of concentration," George told Racing UK.
"He's been hanging right and hanging left. Paddy actually said a couple of runs back that the horse was making him look stupid. He's looked uncomfortable and awkward but today his jumping was good.
"He was in front long enough, but he held on and Paddy has put a lot of work into him."
Nicky Henderson has enjoyed a spectacular season, but will have saddled few more fortunate winners than Woodbank.
The 22-1 chance was booked for second in the Sika Liquid Plastics Pioneers "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle until Bold Henry squandered a big lead by falling at the last.
This left Woodbank and Andrew Tinkler in the clear, passing the post with 12 lengths in hand over Call Back.
Connections of Bold Henry gained compensation later in the day as 15-8 favourite Fighting Flynn ran out a determined winner of the Flag-Soprema Waterproofing Classic Novices' Hurdle.
Trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Tom O'Brien, the market leader held off a thrusting Ballypatrick by three-quarters of a length.
The jockey went on to complete a double on board Baseball Ted in the Sika Sarnafil Sparks Handicap Chase.
Charlie Longsdon's charge was one of the first off the bridle but as the pacesetters weakened, the 9-1 chance gradually worked himself into the race.
The prominently ridden Kikos stayed on the front-end longer than the rest, but he was leaden legged on the run-in and Baseball Ted picked him up to score by a length and three-quarters.
"He's taken a drop in grade today and I think that's helped him a lot," said Longsdon.
"He's been handicapped to the hilt for a lot of this season, but he dropped back down after his last run and that allowed us to get into this race.
"They've gone quite fast and then stopped in front, so it's fallen perfectly for us as he's not a quick two-miler.
"Hopefully he doesn't go up in the weights too much or he'll be struggling again."
The Tony Carroll-trained Luggers Hall (5-4 favourite) deservedly opened his account over timber in the Certass Self Assessment And Auditing Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
The four-year-old had been placed on numerous other occasions and showed plenty of tenacity to beat the front-running Alfraamsey by three and three-quarter lengths.
"He's been a bridesmaid a few times and just bumped into one or two, so it's nice to see him get his head in front," said Carroll.
"He was given a lovely ride by Lee (Edwards) and everything panned out nicely for him.
"There is a race at Sandown in about a fortnight which could be his next target and then he could have a run on the Flat."
Valento made a winning return after over a year on the sidelines in the SFS Intec 316 Stainless Steel Handicap Hurdle.
The 16-1 chance came through late and outstayed favourite Mister Dillon to wrest the spoils by a length and a quarter under Sean Quinlan.
Winning trainer Kim Bailey said: "He's a bit of a quirky character and he had been working well, but I didn't know what to expect.
"I'm delighted for the owners as they've been patient with him and he'll probably go over fences now in three or four weeks time."
The closing Marley Eternit Fired Sienna Hunters' Chase went to 13-8 shot I Have Dreamed.