Minellacelebration remains unbeaten at Uttoxeter after capturing the Listed bet365 Summer Cup Handicap Chase by the narrowest of margins.
Ridden by Ben Poste and trained by Katy Price, the 7-1 chance looked set to finish second behind Dan Skelton’s Bandsman but capitalised on the latter’s less-than-fluent jumping to take the lead just as the line approached.
He prevailed by a neck, with The Young Master three lengths back in third.
“He knows where the winning post is round here,” Poste told Sky Sports Racing.
“He’s won two Staffordshire Plates, he’s three from three (at Uttoxeter). He’s hard as nails.
“He loves it. Fair play to Katy, she’s done a wonderful job with him. He keeps coming back, he’s been a star for everyone and like I say, he’s an absolute joy to win with.”
Timoshenko made a winning debut over hurdles when taking the second division of the two-mile bet365 Novices’ Hurdle for Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan.
A six-time winner on the flat when trained by Sir Mark Prescott, the five-year-old was an impressive newcomer over the jumps code, succeeding by a comfortable three and-a-half lengths at 2-1.
“We’re delighted with him, he’s been a delight to have from day one,” said Snowden.
“He’s a lovely individual and I thought that was a really lovely first run over hurdles. I think the further he went, the better he went.
“Obviously he was a thorough stayer on the flat when he was with Sir Mark Prescott and he won six on the bounce there, so I think the further he goes, the better he’ll be. For him to be as impressive as that over two miles was really exciting.
“Clearly he can win at two miles, so I think we might stick to that and see how we go before going up in trip.”
Division one of the same race went the way of Ginistrelli (2-1), who triumphed by a length and a quarter for Olly Murphy and Richard Johnson after the favourite and race leader Dusty’s Choice fell at the final obstacle.
Jonjo O’Neill Jr enjoyed a victory for his father as he steered 5-1 chance Perfect City to success in the Price Promise At bet365 Handicap Hurdle, after which Bryony Frost recorded her first win of the new campaign when taking the Cash Out At bet365 Novices’ Hurdle aboard Neil King’s 40-1 outsider, Balagan.
The bet365 Handicap Hurdle was claimed by Dan and Harry Skelton, who teamed up with Mister Universum to land the contest at 16-1 in what was the gelding’s return to jumping after an experiment on the all-weather last month.
The two-mile-four-furlong Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap Hurdle went to Dr Richard Newland’s Clever As A Fox, who held off Whiskey And Water by a length and a quarter under Sam Twiston-Davies after starting at odds of 8-1.
Ben Case enjoyed a victory when 5-1 chance Kings Temptation took the bet365 Handicap Chase under Keilan Woods, before 15-8 favourite Miss Farage rounded off a nine-race card when winning the bet365 Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.