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May 27, 2024
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My Silver Lining lands thrilling renewal of Wigley Group Classic Handicap Chase

My Silver Lining hung on for victory in an exciting finish to the Wigley Group Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick.

The three-mile-five-furlong heat proved a thorough test of stamina on soft ground and it was Emma Lavelle’s charge who emerged the victor in the hands of James Best.

Percussion was the first to really set sail for home but the two mares, Galia Des Liteaux and My Silver Lining, had the race to themselves in the straight.

My Silver Lining (17/2) had a couple of lengths in hand jumping the penultimate fence and still held a distinct advantage at the last, but Galia Des Liteaux was cutting into her lead with every stride on the flat.

However, the winning post arrived in time for My Silver Lining, who prevailed by three-quarters of a length, with the pair 12 lengths clear of third-placed Guetapan Collonges.

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Best hailed it as a career highlight as My Silver Lining is owned by his mother-in-law Celia Djivanovic. He said: “Emma, Barry (Fenton, assistant trainer) and the team at home have got her spot on for today and particularly Phoebe who rides her every day – she loves the mare more than me I think – and I’m just thrilled for all connections.

“I hadn’t fully gone for her and gave her a flick turning in just to keep her up to her work. I knew I was in front a long way from home and they can prick their ears have a look around, but I knew she would dig deep for me. As long as we jumped the last full of running, I was confident it would take a good one to get by us.

“With the family connection I think it is the best day of my career. It means that much that the whole family are here, my wife and my two boys. My mother-in-law loves her racing and I’m just so pleased to win a nice one for her. This is a very big race in it’s own right and the family connection makes it so special.”

Skelton team ponder National for runner-up

Galia Des Liteaux had won the Grade Two Hampton Novices’ Chase on this card 12 months ago, but was having to settle for the silver medal this time around.

However, connections had no excuses after her strong staying performance and hinted at a Grand National entry for the likeable eight-year-old, who was attempting to concede 20lb to the winner.

“I think you would have to enter in the Grand National and see,” said Tom Messenger, assistant to Dan Skelton who is currently away on holiday.

“Credit to the winner, we obviously gave her a lot of weight but it is good to see two brave mares at the end of a race like that. She was staying on well and Harry (Skelton) just said she was running a bit awkwardly round the bend, but once he straightened her up, she stayed on again. I think if we keep her in these staying races, she has a good attitude and jumps well.”

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