Hawke harbours Festival dream
Nigel Hawke wants to take Anay Turge to the Cheltenham Festival after the grey landed his second successive course and distance at Southwell.
The Devon handler had switched Anay Turge to the smaller obstacles after he had disappointed twice over fences following his latest triumph at Cheltenham in November.
The nine-year-old supplemented his win 12 days earlier with a two and a quarter length verdict over Vivaccio in the Download The totepool Mobile App "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
The evens favourite was never in much danger after leading two out under 7lb claimer Kieron Edgar.
"You always worry when you're a hot favourite that things can go wrong, but he couldn't have done more and he did it well," said Hawke.
"He goes on any ground and I put Kieron up so he was carrying the same weight as most of them.
"He's not been beaten in two races over fences at Cheltenham. He beat Colin Tizzard's horses (Sew On Target) that won at Sandown on Saturday round there. He's got to go back there."
Richard Johnson rode a winner for his parents when steering The Last Bridge, trained by his mother Susan and owned and bred by his father Keith, to victory in the Bet toteplacepot At totepool.com Handicap Chase.
He kicked for home on the 5/2 favourite before the straight and galloped away before sealing victory with a big leap at the last, defeating Somerby by eight lengths.
"We were very disappointed with him at Bangor, but he was coughing afterwards," said Johnson senior. "He only does as much as he needs to do. All his relations are the same."
The jockey completed a double when driving Whispering Harry to victory in the Like totepool On Facebook Handicap Hurdle.
He had to be at his strongest and most persuasive to get the Henry Oliver-trained 9/4 favourite to score by seven lengths from Pagham Belle.
Jamie Poulton's Farbreaga (9/2) defied top weight under Jerry McGrath in the Bet At totepool.com On Your Mobile Novices' Handicap Chase.
Royal Riviera looked a big danger at the final fence but he did not jump it cleanly while Farbreaga landed running and went on to win by three and a quarter lengths.
"There was obviously a blip at Towcester last time. It's been hard work at home schooling and keeping them going," said Poulton.
"He was entitled to go very close with a clear round. It's hard after a fall to be that confident. It did him the world of good clipping the first. It woke him up."
Martin Keighley's Flementime (4/6 favourite) landed the odds in the Text Your Bets To totepool On 60021 Novices' Hurdle, coming home two and a quarter lengths clear of Spyder under Ian Popham.
"It's just nice to get her head in front. She's got some good form in bumpers and her first two runs over hurdles have been very good," Keighley told At The Races.
"It was ideal today and I felt she jumped these hurdles a lot better, because she doesn't have much respect for normal hurdles. She'll be a cracking chaser for next season.
"She was only beaten six lengths in fifth at Warwick behind Willie Mullins' mare. It's really good form. It will be nice to get some black type for her so I'm sure we'll step her up into Listed class. I'm sure she's well up to that."
Violet Jordan was celebrating after breeding as well as training Alaccordion (12/1), winner of the Follow totepool On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.
The nine-year-old led after three out in the hands of Charlie Poste and kept on gamely to beat Veratan by a length and three-quarters in the testing conditions.
"It's the first winner I've bred. Until you run on it you don't know if they will go on the ground," said Jordan.
"There are only so many top spots and you've got to have this racing to go along with the big racing. These owners are just as important as the people who own Gold Cup horses. They have as much fun as anybody else."
Blinkered for the first time, Heavenstown (16/1) ran his rivals into the ground to take the We'll Double Your Deposit At totepool Casino Handicap Hurdle.
Nico de Boinville kept John Spearing's eight-year-old up to his work, and with the loose Jaunty Journey for company, collected by two lengths from Barton Stacey.
Sam Twiston-Davies took a nasty-looking fall when unseated from Jaunty Journey at the first flight. He limped away feelingly and was replaced on his remaining ride, Chankillo, by Will Kennedy.