Locally trained horses came to the fore on Saturday at Cheltenham as Jamie Bargary guided Redford Road (10-1) to a brave victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2), defeating fellow Cotswold Native Champagne Well and Paddy Brennan in a thrilling finish to a steadily-run race for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and owners the Options O Syndicate, writes Tom Williams.

Early on, The Mulcair and Harry Skelton stole a 5 to 6 length lead, with Mossy Fen the nearest pursuer under Sam Twiston-Davies, who earlier this week had stated that he had a tough choice to make over him and the eventual winner. The pace was not that strong after the first two hurdles, sensible given the going. Approaching the home straight on the first circuit, Kiltealy Briggs and Adrian Heskin took up the running, and the quite tightly bunched field remained as such until after 3 out. The early leader began to struggle, and as the field turned into the home straight 4 horses were in with a shout of victory. These included Champagne Well, who followed Redford Road forward and in the process checked Mossy Fen, who began to drop back.

Fergal O'Brien, who has recently relocated to Ravenswell Farm near Andoversford from his long time base at Naunton adjacent to Nigel, incidentally his former boss, would have been delighted at the final hurdle to see Brennan chuck Champagne Well at it, and immediately after the flight it looked as if they would prevail. But Redford Road was game, and under a strong drive from Bargary, got up for connections to prevail by just under a length. Speaking to Alice Plunkett on ITV Racing, Jamie stated the horse was "as honest as the day is long", and it seems certain that Nigel has another crack stayer at his disposal heading into the Festival.

Elsewhere on the card, Call Me Lord (2-1F) put his left-handed stigma to bed as he and James Bowen won the Grade 2 Unibet International Hurdle for trainer Nicky Henderson and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, in a race which developed into a sprint at the end.

The favourite was settled in mid-division for the majority of the race by Bowen, as Harry Cobden and Elixir de Nutz made the early running. Pentland Hills was settled nicely by Nico de Boinville, with Ch'tibello and Harry Skelton moving up along the turn to dispute 2nd. At the 3rd flight, Monsieur Lecoq, the Welsh Champion Hurdle winner, was big, and gave Lizzie Kelly more time in the air than she was bargaining for in a 2 mile hurdle. The steady pace continued throughout the side of the course, and at the top of the hill it was still pretty much anyone's race.

Pentland Hills was fast and accurate at the 5th, and at the next flight, Ballyandy was slow, being rousted along by Sam Twiston-Davies leaving the hurdle. Coming down the hill, over the second last and into the home straight, the sprint developed. Cobden kicked on Elixir de Nutz, but the lack of race fitness shown itself early on, as they dropped back through the field approaching the last. At the final flight, it was a picture to behold, as Ch'tibello, Call Me Lord and Pentland Hills jumped three abreast. Pentland Hills got away quickest, but just like Elixir de Nutz, the petrol tank emptied rapidly on the soft ground. From the clouds, Ballyandy came on the scene running a remarkable race, as Call Me Lord powered to the front, but Ballyandy was still coming. Call Me Lord needed the line, and thankfully for connections, got it just in time. Ballyandy had to settle for second, with Ch'tibello running a brave race for third. Monsieur Lecoq stayed on strongly to pinch fourth place from a tired Pentland Hills.

Afterwards, Call Me Lord was made a general 16-1 chance for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Festival. His stigma put to bed, it will be interesting to see how he fares in the big one come March.

Warthog (7-1) and David Noonan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a pulsating, slow motion, but thrilling finish to the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup to give David Pipe and connections a deserved victory.

Third behind Happy Diva in the Betvictor Gold Cup, Warthog was thrown into the race sponsored by some local Cotswold producersCup under the feather weight of 10st 3lb, having not been raised for his mighty effort last month back at the track. Adopting his customary front-running style, Imperial Presence was his co-front runner, and the two went at a sensible gallop in the soft going, which had been changed just prior to the race (from soft, good to soft in places). Early on, backers of Keeper Hill would have been concerned; just before the race, his trainer, Warren Greatrex, had said to Oli Bell of ITV Racing that the ground had gone against him, but he was hopeful of a run if his jumping was accurate and rhythmic. This was not the case, as in front of the stands he again made a bad error, and was pulled up just after the first fence on the side of the course.

Heading onto the final circuit, Cepage moved up towards the front, but belted the first fence on the circuit and dropped back. Knocknanuss then took a very heavy fall at the 10th; it was very sadly confirmed by Ed Chamberlin of ITV Racing that the fall was a fatal fall, which soured the atmosphere at the meeting that day.

At the top of the hill, Good Man Pat and Brelan D'As started to struggle, with the latter making a shocking mistake. Down the hill, Not That Fuisse was pulling double, as were most of the field. Approaching the turn, there were still 7 or 8 horses in with a decent chase of winning. Warthog and David Noonan kicked for him and skipped 3 or 4 lengths clear. A slow jump at the second last let in Spiritofthegames to challenge, and over the last the petrol tank looked like it had emptied. It looked as if Bridget Andrews had delivered her challenge to perfection, and with a host of challengers behind her, disaster struck as Spiritofthegames ran out of petrol and Warthog found a second wind to stick his head out and win it on the line. David Noonan stated to Alice Plunkett of ITV Racing that Warthog had "been a weak finisher in the past", but there was certainly no evidence that had ever been the case.

Botox Has provided Gary and Joshua Moore with the perfect start on Day 2 of the International Meeting at Cheltenham when winning the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Class 2) for owner John Stone.

2nd over Course and distance last time out to the smart Allmankind, Botox Has led from flagfall to finish, jumping fluently, albeit high at the last. Setting a sensible pace throughout, the winner was never really troubled, despite Langer Dan for the Skelton team and Group Stage for Adrian Heskin and Alan King mounting their efforts approaching the last. Despite wandering off a true line, Botox Has pulled away at the end in the soft ground, to provide not only a boost to the form of Allmankind, but also Gary Moore with a credible challenger for the Grade 1 top prize in March.

Having been second in the Grade 2 Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle at the November Meeting to Allmankind from the Dan Skelton yard, he relished the change onto the more galloping New Course and an easier class than previous to stay on stoutly up the famous hill.

The form that comes from the Prestbury was held on the Friday of the meeting when Repetitio took the Catesby Handicap Hurdle in stylish fashion, in addition to this victory, so that race could be an instrumental nod when tipsters, bloggers and the like are looking for an edge or pivotal moment from the season to try and find the winner of perhaps the Triumph, Fred Winter, or even a late season handicap that undoubtedly one or two of these will be sent into.

Whether the winner of this contest goes for the JCB Triumph Hurdle or the Fred Winter at the Festival remains to be seen, but wherever he runs he could be a nice sort that could potentially run a big race at a serious set of odds. He is currently trading between 16/1 and 33/1 for the Triumph, so may be worth getting an ante-post on if his potential is to be believed.

Mister Fisher backed up his 2nd on chase debut to Torpillo at Warwick by stepping up in trip and reeling in long time leader and locally trained Good Boy Bobby to win the Ryman Novices' Chase (Class 2) for Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson and owners James and Jean Potter.

Suited by the switch to 2m 4f and a good early pace, Mister Fisher looked comfortable all the way around Prestbury Park, and never made any hint of a mistake until getting a little into the bottom of the second last. Long time leader Good Boy Bobby had kicked for home off the top turn, attempting to stretch Mister Fisher and Beakstown, running for the Skelton team. Approaching the last, Mister Fisher was still a length down on the long time leader, but powered up the hill under de Boinville's urgings to score by a length. The second was nit disgraced under Sam Twiston-Davies by any means, as these two kicked clear from Beakstown and Garo de Juilley, who it must be said ran remarkably to be only 4 lengths off the trio rounding the top bend, having put some alarming leaps in under Paddy Brennan, who did well to keep the partnership intact at the 6th. Champagne Platinum was rather disappointing on chase debut, being well beaten at the top of the hill turning for home.

The win for Mister Fisher provided de Boinville and Henderson with a nice distraction, after breaking the news that after working unsatisfactorily, Altior is very likely to miss the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton.

Northern Beau (12-1) was game and if not more under jockey Brendan Powell to take the Cheltenham Club Handicap Chase (Class 2) for trainer Michael Scudamore and owners Lynne and Angus Maclennan.

Under the feather weight of 10 stone, the 6-year-old mare seemed to be in a spot of bother going to the fences away from the stands, and indeed at the first two she was sticky. Croco Bay, the 2019 Grand Annual winner and twice the winner's senior, took them along in his customary front-running style under Kielan Woods. Destrier, for the Skelton team, was happy to bob along and sit in midfield, with the likes of Theinval, Ballywood and Eamon an Cnoic happy to sit towards the back.

Magnificent leaps at the first open ditch saw Croco Bay and Destrier into a good rhythm, and coming down the hill the one horse really struggling was Theinval, who became detached just after the fence at the top of the hill. Destrier then loomed menacingly behind Croco Bay and looked the main danger. However, all this time, Brendan Powell had been nudging away at Northern Beau, and the mare entered the straight on the outside of a line of three, and took it up. Skelton then pressed go on Destrier, the Haldon Gold Cup third, but the petrol tank was beginning to splutter, and the powerful run that had been so eye-catching moments before petered out to nothing between the final two fences. Eamon an Cnoic, who departed the scene very early on in the Betvictor Gold Cup, then loomed large on the outside to deliver his challenge. But Northern Beau was very keen for her rider's urgings, and did just enough to prevail, with Ballywood finishing best of all to get third place.

Dame de Compagnie (2-1F) and Barry Geraghty stayed on strongly in the gloom at Cheltenham to take the finale on International Hurdle Day, the Park Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Class 2), for trainer Nicky Henderson and owner Mr J. P. McManus.

As the light began to fade dramatically at Prestbury Park, the runners set off as Sixty's Belle was slow away. Mega Yeats, Queen's Cave and Liberty Belle made it three-abreast at the third, where Lust for Glory was pulling keenly. Along the side of the course, Carroll's Milan made a mistake, as Vision du Puy came under pressure. Down the hill, the sprint for home really began, with the fancied Indefatigable making stylish progress. Geraghty was conscious to the move, and off the home turn, brought Dame de Compagnie between Queen's Cave and Indefatigable. At the last it was a straight fight between the two, with Geraghty's mare being the stronger at the finish, to give Henderson a treble on the day. Speaking to Alice Plunkett, Barry had feared he had been "a sitting duck" after the last, but this was not to be believed.

There was relief after the race as Deputy Jones, who fell heavily at the second last, managed to get up. A fantastic sight to see, as always in racing.