Keniry back with a bang
Barry Keniry ended a four-month barren spell with a 408/1 double at Hexham, featuring the shock success of 125/1 shot Gymdoli.
Keniry may have been out of luck on his previous 42 rides, but he showed no lack of confidence as took the riding honours on Kealshore Man and Rayson Dixon's huge priced victor.
Gymdoli had shown nothing in two previous starts over jumps, so it was no real surprise to see him unconsidered in the betting for the EBF At The Races "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
However, Keniry's tactics of having Gymdoli up with the pace from the start paid dividends as he rallied stoutly on the run-in to defeat the 11/4 favourite Dotties Dilemma by two and a quarter lengths.
"He ran well in a bumper once (second at Carlisle), but twice he's run over hurdles he's absolutely hated it. I was out in front the whole way and he seemed to jump better. He's tough," the jockey told At The Races.
Nixon felt his horse had genuine reasons for poor shows on his two previous efforts.
"First time he was in behind and they rattled the hurdles and it frightened him," said the Selkirk trainer.
"Then at Kelso I shouldn't have run him. It was far too hot and he got himself too dehydrated."
Keniry got back in the winning groove with an aggressive ride on Kealshore Again (9/4) in the Ramside Event Catering Juvenile Maiden Hurdle.
Keniry made it a true test and none of the George Moore-trained gelding's three rivals could keep up as he chalked up a 23-length verdict over Madam Lilibet.
Highrate made a successful debut over fences in the Trevor Hemmings colours when taking the Dr Tom Kelsey 70th Birthday Beginners' Chase.
The Sue Smith-trained six-year-old and Brandon Thomas had the race between them from the start and it was Highrate, the 6/4 favourite, who went on to win by four and a half lengths after Ryan Mania kicked on at the second last.
"He jumped really well. When I made his mind up for him he knew what he was doing and he's done it nice in the end," said Mania.
Leac An Scail (9/2) won a gruelling contest for the four-mile Solar Signs Handicap Chase.
The 11-year-old, trained by Jo Foster, held Overyou in most determined fashion by a neck for 7lb claimer Samantha Drake.
James Reveley brought 7/4 favourite Samson Collonges with a late run to land the At The Races Novices' Handicap Chase.
A winner over three miles and a furlong on his previous start, the Ferdy Murphy-trained grey was not inconvenienced by the drop to an extended two and a half miles on heavy ground as he outpointed Sam Patch by two and a half lengths.
Lisdonagh House (15/2) took the Northumbria Handicap Hurdle by six lengths, while Cathy Walton gave 3/1 favourite Rupert Bear a cool ride when running out a 10-length winner of the Dr Howard Scott Memorial Handicap Hurdle.