Philip Hobbs continued his excellent early-season form at Chepstow’s Jump Season Opener as Orbys Legend claimed the Grade Three Wasdell Group Silver Trophy.
After a one-two in the feature Grade Two Persian War Novices’ Hurdle on Friday, Hobbs took the Saturday feature for Tom O’Brien and the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing team, with the five-year-old being eased down to win by a length from Nick Gifford’s Didtheyleaveuoutto.
Paul Nicholls took third with Amour de Nuit (Harry Cobden), with stablemate and market leader Dargiannini (100/30) finishing tailed off.
Hobbs has now landed the Silver Trophy on four occasions after previous victories with Lacdoudal, Arthurian Legend and Lamb Or Cod.
Earlier on the card, Hobbs also took the Geoffrey Broomhall Memorial Hurdle with Masters Legacy by a head from Valentino Dancer.
The Tom O’Brien-ridden six-year-old powered home to edge out Paddy Brennan’s mount, with dual Grade One winner Allmankind only third on his seasonal reappearance.
Fergal O’Brien would get on the board later on the card, as Paint The Dream finished with a flourish to land the John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase from Manofthemountain and Espoir De Teillee.
Nicholls took the opening Champion Hats Juvenile Hurdle with Magistrato on British hurdling debut, seeing off main market rival Rocky Man to win by 12 lengths, with the champion trainer nominating Cheltenham’s November Meeting as a potential early-season target for the three-year-old.
Chirico Vallis and Richie McLernon took the Native River Handicap Chase in another dramatic finish, making all to hold off the late charge of Kitty’s Light for local trainer Christian Williams.
Fidelio Vallis – half-brother to Chirico Vallis – put in a bold round of jumping but could only finish second to Tea Clipper in the Listed Dunraven Windows Novices’ Chase, with the Tom Lacey-trained six-year-old powering clear up the run-in under Stan Sheppard to win by three lengths.