RACING: Fry buoyed by Buttons

Dorset Echo: GOING FOR THE LINE: Blue Buttons, ridden by Noel Fehily, jumps the last on their way to victory in the Racing Welfare Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle during the Festive Fun at Exeter GOING FOR THE LINE: Blue Buttons, ridden by Noel Fehily, jumps the last on their way to victory in the Racing Welfare Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle during the Festive Fun at Exeter

BLUE Buttons caused a minor shock when flooring hot favourite Centasia in a dramatic running of the Racing Welfare Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Exeter on Thursday.

In the Richard Barber colours made popular by Rock On Ruby, Blue Buttons, pictured, relished the ground made extremely testing by an overnight deluge.

Always travelling and jumping well under Noel Fehily, the 13-2 shot skipped away from Centasia on the approach to the final flight before going on to score by four lengths.

Her trainer Harry Fry was delighted while at the same time a shade surprised at the outcome.

The Seaborough handler said: “I am very pleased, and Noel was taken with how much she had improved.

“This is a bit of payback for her first run back when she was almost knocked over and lost all chance.

“She is a nice mare, going the right way, who will now run through her engagements in mares’ races.”

Meanwhile, Midnight Lira, who had looked set to score when falling two out on her previous start at Taunton, made amends for Motcombe trainer Caroline Keevil in the EBF Stallions/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Exeter.

The six-year-old was foot-sure for James Best, and although challenged by both Fair Bramble and Stone Light two out, found much the best on the run-in to win by a length and three-quarters.

Keevil was not surprised at the outcome, even though the winner competed from 9lb out of the handicap. She said: “It’s a case of justice being done as she was rather unlucky at Taunton.

“I knew she would love the track and the conditions.”

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