It was a busy day at Southwell with eight races on the all-weather Fibresand surface to kick off the All-Weather Championship fixtures at the course for the winter, and the feature race, a two mile handicap, certainly lived up to its billing.
There were only six horses in the line up, with the favourite Cousin Khee, a winner at the track back in August for Silvestre De Sousa and trainer Hughie Morrison. He led for much of the contest from Moidore and the Godolphin representative Arabian Revolution. However, Robert Havlin made a swift move just after the four furlong point on the home bend to close up on Kingscombe, who was trying two miles for the first time on the Flat after winning here six times before. In a fantastic dual up the home straight between Kingscombe and Cousin Khee, it was the gallant Linda Jewell trained grey Kingscombe who came out on top to land his seventh course win from eight starts on the Fibresand. Connections were absolutely delighted and hopefully we’ll see him back here again soon.
Toto Skyllachy destroyed his field in the seven furlong handicap beating plenty of previous course winners, after showing some reluctance both during the race and beforehand, making it hard work for jockey Jacob Butterfield.
There was local success as well as Pyrocumulus came from a very uninspiring position under Ben Curtis, giving Averham Park trainer Alan McCabe a winner with his only runner at the meeting. The final race of the day, a five furlong maiden for two year olds was won by Sproxton based trainer Derek Shaw with odds on favourite Extreme Supreme ridden by Dale Swift.
Although Toto Skyllachy won easily, his was not the most impressive display on the day. Reve De Nuit annihilated his field in the eleven furlong claiming stakes by fifteen lengths from a pair of previous course winners Layline and Lean On Pete. Silvestre De Sousa always had the 8/15 favourite in a good position and he kicked off the home bend to virtually seal victory, so much so, that with a glance to the big screen on the infield inside the final furlong, Silvestre could ease his mount down to give trainer Karl Burke yet another winner in 2014.
The other winners on the card were Master Of Song, Delightful Sleep and Spirit Of Zeb.
There are two meetings at Southwell next week, with a jumps fixture on Monday 10th followed by a Flat meeting on Thursday 13th. For more information, visit www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk.