FIDDLERONTHEROOF devoured the testing conditions at Sandown for the second time in four weeks to extend Colin Tizzard’s fine recent record in the Grade 1 Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle.
The Dorset handler saddled Finian’s Oscar to claim the prize in 2017, and Elixir De Nutz made every yard of the running 12 months ago.
After making it third time lucky over hurdles with an impressive course-and-distance success last month, Fiddlerontheroof was the 5/4 favourite to add his name to the roll of honour, and he did so in some style in the hands of Robbie Power.
Cheltenham winner Hang In There set out to make all the running, but he was a spent force early in the home straight, at which stage Fiddlerontheroof was sent about his business.
Gavin Cromwell’s Irish raider Jeremys Flame went in pursuit, but Tizzard’s charge never looked in any real danger of being caught and passed the post with six lengths in hand.
Son Of Camas was a long way back in third.
Impressive!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) January 4, 2020
Three from four this season, the novice Silver Forever lands all-important Listed success for @PFNicholls and @CobdenHarry at @Sandownpark
Results ? https://t.co/glajGV55GR pic.twitter.com/gnzeGPaLpF
Earlier on the card, Silver Forever enjoyed the perfect dress rehearsal for her first venture into graded race company by returning to winning ways in the Listed Unibet Mares’ Hurdle.
Her colours were lowered for the first time over hurdles last time out at Newbury, but the Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old relished stepping up to two and a half miles to claim the biggest victory of her career.
Moving smoothly into contention under Harry Cobden, the 6/5 second favourite quickened clear from the back of the last to defeat Copper Gone West by six and a half lengths.
Assistant trainer Harry Derham said: “She won over an extended two-mile-three at Chepstow first time out. Newbury worked out first time and last time the ground was a bit too good for her. She is a two-and-a-half miler, and she will stay further than this.
“She jumps very well. She was always going to be a stayer, and that’s why we tried to force it at Newbury. It was the wrong thing to do force her over two miles – whereas today you could take your time a little bit. She is a talented mare.”
A return to Sandown next month, for the Grade 2 Weatherbys TBA Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, will be next on the grey’s agenda.