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Lump Sum secures Dovecote riches

In dominating the Grade Two, the duo paid a handsome compliment to Nicky Henderson’s Jeriko Du Reponet, who had them both behind when booking his Cheltenham ticket on Town Moor.

Lump Sum was sent off the 13-8 favourite and Sam Twiston-Davies dropped his mount out in the rear early on as Fiercely Proud was close to the pace, racing keenly for the in-form Ben Jones.

When he joined Panjari on the turn for home, Fiercely Proud looked to have things under control but Twiston-Davies had bided his time on the favourite and ran out a comfortable four-and-a-half-length winner.

Thomas said: “I’m delighted. We’re not having as many runners as we may be have done in the last season or two and as a trainer I don’t have as much confidence as I should do going into races like that – I was nervous beforehand.

“I was delighted to see the horse transfer that Doncaster form, but he’s a smashing horse and learning all the time.

Lump Sum does not hold any entries in the Grade One novice events at the Cheltenham Festival, but does have options in the County Hurdle and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

Aintree is also an option later in the spring, but further down the line a trip to Ffos Las appears in order to try to fulfil owner Dai Walters’ long-held ambition of winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

“We left him out of the novices (at Cheltenham) because of how competitive it is,” continued Thomas.

“He’s in the handicaps and he could still be well handicapped, but that is a decision for Mr Walters and myself to have a chat about in the next week or two.

“Absolutely Aintree could be an option, but there is never any pressure from Mr Walters with any of the young horses and we’ve got a young horse to look forward to for many seasons to come.

“He’s a smashing hurdler for now and we’ll enjoy today before we think about the future. He’s up there with Good Risk At All who is a real mudlark and I just think he could keep going the way he is. He’s such a nice, straightforward one to train at home and is definitely one of the best ones yet. He’s done everything right.

“Our dream would be to try to win the Welsh Champion Hurdle and I know Mr Walters is desperate to win that, so that will be our first target next season.”

Tom Lacey’s Kempton specialist Blow Your Wad denied Paul Nicholls a fourth successive win in the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase.

Having already won over hurdles at the Sunbury venue, Blow Your Wad then won a competitive event at the King George meeting over fences.

He disappointed behind Nicholls’ Ginny’s Destiny at Cheltenham last time out but fitted with first-time cheekpieces and back on a flat track, he beat Tahmuras by three-quarters of a length, justifying 13-8 favouritism for Stan Sheppard.

“We have run him in Grade Ones before over hurdles but he was a five-year-old taking on six-year-olds, which was probably a bit harsh on him to be fair,” said Sheppard.

“We’ve always liked him and I think he probably has to stay right-handed now because he’s won three times round here. I would say here and Sandown would be where he goes I imagine.

“He’s probably still 10lb off the top races, but with another summer he might improve again because he’s only six and there’s still plenty of room for improvement.”

Earlier on the card, Gary Moore and Caoilin Quinn teamed up to go back-to-back in the Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle with 9-2 shot Mark Of Gold

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