By Peter Moore at Kempton Park 27th December 2023
Despite trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville picking up doubles, the real honours of day two of the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival went to Horsham trainer Gary Moore.
The likeable trainer picked up three coveted Christmas stocking fillers in the space of just forty minutes with Nassalam winning the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, shortly after Salver was successful in the Grade 2 Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle.
In between bagging these two big races, Moore saddled Editeur Du Gite to repeat his success of twelve months ago in the Desert Orchid Chase.
Moore’s Kempton winner was welcomed back into the winners enclosure by part owner Trevor Jacobs, who this summer left hospital after an almost year long stay, during which time his heart stopped twice.
On another exhilarating day’s racing, Sir Gino became the first of Henderson’s double after bolting home by 14 lengths and in so doing put himself in contention to give the Lambourn trainer a record eighth victory in the JCB Truimph Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.
There was also a first pattern race success for Master Chewy in the Grade Two Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices Chase for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The deadly due of Henderson and De Boinville brought up their second success of the afternoon when Tweed Skirt won well to win the 3m handicap steeple chase. The six year old made up for her disappointment at Market Rasen 41 days ago after unseating her rider before the race had started.
This time no such problems, with the mare getting her nose in front for the first time this season.