Silvestre De Sousa cut the gap at the top of the jockeys’ championship to just five after wins at Nottingham and Kempton.
The Brazilian, now on 152 victories for the season, kicked off the day at Nottingham with victory on Style And Panache in the Roseland Group Ltd Handicap for David Evans, and completed a double when partnering the Godolphin filly Kahraba to a narrow success in the Roseland Group Ltd Maiden Stakes.
De Sousa then headed to Kempton and won with 13-2 Al Aqabah, while title leader and reigning champion Paul Hanagan (157) endured a winless day at Musselburgh, which saw a remarkable training feat from Jim Goldie, who saddled the first, second and third home in the William Hill Scottish Cup, led by the Lee Newman-ridden course specialist Los Nadis.
The 11-1 winner swept into the lead about a furlong and a half out and kept up the gallop to the line to score by two lengths and five lengths from stable companions Gordonsville and Dazzling Light.
Goldie said: “I have never had the first three in a race before and I wish I had had a bet on them in a tricast. Los Nadis likes it around here and he could go chasing at some stage, but there are some nice hurdle races to go for with him – he is in good form at the moment.”
Donald McCain added another name to what is looking a mouthwatering bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, as he confirmed he was contemplating running Weird Al in Saturday’s big chase.
The eight-year-old looked destined for the top when making it four from four over fences for Ian Williams at Carlisle on this weekend a year ago, but the rest of his campaign failed to live up to expectations.
He was found to be suffering from a breathing problem when disappointing in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and broke a blood vessel on his final start in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. McCain has been pleased with what he has seen since Weird Al switched stables and is looking forward to seeing him line up against the likes of Time For Rupert, Diamond Harry and Nacarat in West Yorkshire.
“There is a strong possibility he’ll run in the Charlie Hall,” said McCain.
The first two jockeys home in the Gerard & Alurie O’Sullivan 30th Wedding Anniversary Handicap Chase at Haydock on Wednesday have also fallen foul of the whip rules.
Shane Byrne was given a seven-day suspension (November 9-15) for using his whip with excessive frequency on the winner, Work Boy.
Jonathan England was in even more trouble on runner-up Daldini, a stablemate of the Sue Smith-trained winner.
As well as being given seven days (November 13-19) for his use of the whip, he was also given a four-day ban (November 9-12) for ignoring the starter’s instructions.