Forecast is for a sunny future for Rainyday Woman after win at Huntingdon
- Credit: TIM GOODE/PA
There has been plenty of the wet stuff falling from the sky in the last few days so it was perhaps apt that Huntingdon Racecourse's last meeting of 2020 was dominated by a horse called Rainyday Woman.
She proved a cut above her rivals in the Fitzdares Club Adores Henrietta Knight Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race to form the highlight of a Huntingdon double for trainer Paul Nicholls.
Having made a winning debut for the 11-times champion trainer at Stratford last month, the imposing five-year-old had little problem in following up, running out a decisive winner.
Prominently-ridden throughout, the 7-2 joint-favourite galloped on strongly all the way to the line under Nicholls' daughter, Megan, winning by three and a half lengths.
Assistant trainer Harry Derham said: "I think the fact she is a big, strong mare in those conditions suited well as she stays very well.
"Meg was a bit concerned she did a fraction too much for the first mile, but I'd say she has a good level of ability."
Rainyday Woman is likely to wait until next season before having her attentions switched to hurdles, according to Derham.
He added: "I suspect we will stick to bumpers for this season. You could either go to the listed bumper at Sandown or the Grade Two at Aintree for girls.
"She will be one to really look forward to in mares' novice hurdles next season."
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Silent Revolution completed a brace for both Nicholls and jockey Harry Cobden after landing the Fitzdares Wishes Everyone A Merry Christmas Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race by a short head.
Derham said of the 11-10 favourite: "He is a nice horse, but he wouldn't want the ground that deep.
"He got done for a bit of toe turning in but he showed a fantastic attitude for a young horse to stay on like that."
Cobden had earlier crossed the line first with the Colin Tizzard-trained Premiumaccess in the Fitzdares Club Right Now Novices' Handicap Chase.
Jockey Bryony Frost and trainer Lucy Wadham struck gold together for the second time in three days following the nine-and-a-half-length victory secured by Eclair De Guye in the Fitzdares Fancies Goose Over Turkey Handicap Chase.
Frost said: "He took a bit of time to warm up, but down the back he really started to jump.
"He made some good ground then and over the last mile he really started to operate.
"I enjoyed trying to work out what the best thing to do with him was and get him on my side."
Niall Houlihan received an early Christmas present with the four-length victory aboard Zhiguli in the Fitzdares Thanks Lily O'Shea This Christmas Handicap Hurdle setting a season-best total.
Houlihan said of the Gary Moore-trained winner: "That's eight winners for the season, which is great.
"There was no set target - just to ride as many winners as I could. I'm just happy to have beaten last year's total."