Rapid progress at Catterick
Rapidolyte De Ladalka notched his third course-and-distance victory of the season in the Watt Fences Novices' Chase at Catterick.
Trained by Simon Shirley-Beavan, the lightly-raced eight-year-old appears to have endless reserves of stamina and, just like his success at the course earlier in the month, victory looked unlikely with half a mile to run.
With Aidan Coleman making a bold big for home on Clouded Thoughts, Barry Keniry was hard at work on the 7/4 chance.
However when the leader began to tire, Keniry sensed his opportunity and brought his mount with a sustained run to run out a comfortable one-length winner from the 11/10 favourite Makethe Mostofnow.
Rapidolyte De Ladalka had been due to run in the abandoned Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturday and connections were left to think of what might have been.
"I think the cheekpieces may have helped a bit," said Shirley-Beavan.
"He is a bit ground-dependent so that may decide where we go for the rest of the season.
"I don't think he'd have been far away in the Eider but there'll be other days for him.
"I'm sure there's a big one in him next year."
John Ferguson lowered Buthelezi's sights dramatically for the TurfTV.co.uk Novices' Hurdle and was rewarded with a victory.
The former John Gosden inmate had tried his hand in Grade One company in Ireland and while not disgraced, he was not able to dominate as he likes.
Given a positive ride by Jack Quinlan, the 10/11 favourite beat market rival Roman Flight by 13 lengths.
There was a 66/1 shock in the opener when Cara Court provided Lucy Egerton with her first win under Rules in the racinguk.com Lady Amateur Riders' Handicap Hurdle.
Egerton, who works in the film industry, took up the running turning into the straight and the 10-race maiden stuck to his task gamely to hold off the late thrust of Glasson Lad by a length.
"Can you believe it?" said Egerton. "I'd ridden a point-to-point winner but this is my first ride under Rules.
"I work as a film technician the rest of the time."
Winning trainer Jo Foster said: "Philip Rothwell sent him to me as he can't handle heavy ground at all so there was no point him racing in Ireland."
Trainer Michael Smith had the inside line into the Follow Us On Twitter At CatterickRaces Mares' Maiden Hurdle.
Smith trained the odds-on favourite Toubeera as a bumper horse before selling her to Venetia Williams, but he believed his Dante's Frolic (8/1) to be better suited by the conditions and he was proved right.
Dante's Frolic beat Intent by a short head, with 1/2 favourite Toubeera back in fifth.
"I'd ridden both horses on the gallops so I knew which was the faster," said Smith.
"I didn't think goodish ground at Catterick would suit the favourite.
"Danny (Cook) has done brilliant to get her settled as she's tricky customer - she can be a moody cow."
Overshadowing the racing, there were three fatalities during the afternoon.
Chris Grant's Stop On broke a leg when challenging the eventual winner Everaard (15/2) in the yorkshire-outdoors.co.uk Handicap Hurdle.
It was only the second time Everaard had won anywhere other than Musselburgh.
Victorious North Yorkshire trainer Phil Kirby said: "At least we don't have to go to Musselburgh now, we can keep him a bit closer to home. It's just a shame that Chris's horse broke down."
Maurice Barnes' Soft Spoken Guy collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack after the same race.
There was also a horrible incident in the Cheltenham Preview Evening March 1st Handicap Chase when No Way Hozay broke a hind leg just as he was taking up the running at the last.
It left the Martin Keighley-trained The Fox's Decree (15/8 favourite) to win for just the second time in 42 races.