Malystic claims Castleford Chase win during Yorkshire Christmas Meeting at Wetherby

Malton-trained Malystic claimed the William Hill Castleford Handicap Chase at Wetherby yesterday – the feature on the concluding day of the Yorkshire Christmas Meeting.

Trained by former jumps jockey Peter Niven and ridden by Danny McMenamin, the 13-2 prevailed by two-and-a-quarter lengths over 7-4 favourite Cheddleton, the mount of Sean Quinlan.

Eclair D’Ainay came home third for trainer Dan Skelton and jockey Tristan Durrell, with Micky Hammond’s Cornerstone Lad, a former winner of the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, fourth.

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Malystic’s win made it Yorkshire double in the Christmas Meeting’s feature races, following on from Into Overdrive’s emotional victory in Boxing Day’s Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase for Mark Walford and jockey Jamie Hamilton – riding for his parents Michael and Wendy – the owners and breeders of the horse.

Wetherby Racecourse staged a successful two-day Christmas Meeting (Picture: Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images)Wetherby Racecourse staged a successful two-day Christmas Meeting (Picture: Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images)
Wetherby Racecourse staged a successful two-day Christmas Meeting (Picture: Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images)

Despite his defeat in the big race, Quinlan did however ride a double on the card with success on Harry Whittington’s Juniper (9-4 jt fav) in the William Hill Pick Your Places Mares' Handicap Chase and then Start in Front (11-2) for Rebecca Menzies in the William Hill Plus Card Juvenile Hurdle – taking his tally of winners across the two days to four.

The Imposter (5-2) made the long trip up from Devon a worthwhile one for handler Nigel Hawke as he claimed the opening Follow WillHillRacing On Twitter Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle under Tom Buckley.

Olly Murphy’s Grandads Cottage (22-1) ridden by Will Kennedy held on by a neck to defeat the heavily fancied odds-on favourite Bass Rock, ridden by Ryan Mania, in the William Hill Extra Places Daily Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

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Dr Richard Newland’s Quick Sharpener (17-2) denied another short-priced favourite Royal Mogul, ridden by champion jockey Brian Hughes, in the William Hill Lengthen YourOdds Novices' Hurdle while Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost teamed up to win the last –the William Hill Radio Open NH Flat Race – with 2-1 favourite Tarras Wood.

There was a shock in the Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase – the feature on day two of Kempton’s festive meeting – as Gary Moore's Editeur Du Gite made every yard in the hands of Niall Houlihan to record a scintillating victory at Kempton.

The race was billed as a clash between Arkle and Tingle Creek hero Edwardstone and 2020 champion Nube Negra and the main protagonists were content to sit in rear as Editeur Du Gite bowled along in front during the early exchanges.

However, the complexion of the race changed at the fifth fence when Edwardstone made a bad blunder at the open ditch and parted company with big-race pilot Tom Cannon.

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Harry Skelton crept his way into contention aboard Nube Negra rounding the home bend, but was soon sending out the distress signals on the 4-1 second favourite and had to settle for the silver medal as Houlihan kept the revs up and the leader and jumped to victory.