Moon shines bright
Mr Moonshine had Harvey Smith dreaming of future glories after an impressive win in Haydock's Junior Betfair Novices' Chase.
Mr Moonshine, already a winner at three miles two furlongs over hurdles last season, was quick enough to dictate the pace at two-miles-six here and come home 10 lengths clear of Paul Nicholls' Bold Addition in the £25,000 feature race.
The seven-year-old, ridden by Henry Oliver, was following up his two-and-a-half-mile Carlisle victory on his fencing debut first time out last month and was undoubtedly the star of the show on a new card for this course.
The 11-4 winner's task was perhaps made a little easier by the fall of favourite Tornado Bob, who gave champion jockey Tony McCoy an awkward but ultimately safe landing in the back straight.
Smith, husband of trainer Sue, is hoping Mr Moonshine will benefit from their sensible handling and may progress much further yet.
"If we give him a chance to develop, I think he could be tops," he said.
"He has a brain and everything. He's not a dope; he wants to be a racehorse.
"He just loves it. Long may it continue."
The Smiths are already planning Mr Moonshine's next outing over Christmas. But Harvey gave no clue today as to whether that might possibly mean a trip south for Kempton's Feltham Novices' Chase.
"We'll look for another nice race in a month's time - around Christmas, Boxing Day," he said.
"That's only his second chase. He knows nothing.
"He is just relentless. He gallops them to death."
David Moyes got his weekend off to a winning start as his Desert Cry took the opening Alvin Morris 'Million in March' Polyflor Sales Handicap Hurdle.
Everton manager Moyes, whose team return to Barclays Premier League action tomorrow at home to Wolves, was not in attendance to see the horse he owns in partnership carry Grand National-winning jockey Jason Maguire to his 51st victory of the season.
But Moyes' son David and father were present to greet Maguire, making it two from two following his return only yesterday from three months out with a neck injury, in the winner's enclosure.
Maguire, already successful at Hereford for Kim Bailey, was back on the board for his own trainer Donald McCain.
The jockey got serious to keep the 11-2 shot a neck in front of the closing Little Hercules at the line.
McCain said of Maguire: "It's good to have him back. He's a big part of the set-up.
"The boys have done very well, but it's great to have the stable jockey back."
Another 11-2 shot Nadiya de La Vega, last successful at Kempton's rearranged King George meeting in January, scored first time out for in-form Nicky Henderson under McCoy in the Betfair Graduation Chase.
The only mare, and only non-grey, among five runners for the two mile race had 10 lengths to spare over Doctor David but might have had to work a little harder at least had Nicholls' favourite Toubab not put Ruby Walsh on the floor when apparently still going well at the third-last.
McCoy made it a double, and an across-the-card five-timer for Henderson, with a hard-fought win for Molotof at 8-15 in the Listed Newton Novices' Hurdle for four-year-olds - in which debutant Our Joe Mac was a promising second, after making a mistake at the last flight.
There was also a double for McCain, and a continuation of Maguire's '100 per cent' record, when unbeaten odds-on favourite Super Duty made most to give 7lb all round in the TLC Alvin Morris LVT 'Fixed Brush' Novices' Hurdle.
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