HEREFORD Racecourse celebrated Ladies Day, and it was the women trainers who took the honours with a double success for Venetia Williams and wins also for Kerry Lee and Emma Lavelle.

Williams started Saturday in great fashion as her Cuban Pete justified strong pre-race support in the two mile five and a half furlong Handicap Hurdle and came home untroubled recording a four and a half length success in the hands of jockey Charlie Deutsch.

Williams said: “I’m delighted for owner Jackie Jones who has been very patient with him. He’s taken his time to get it all together and he will be a better chaser in time."

She also had news of her Cheltenham entrant Yala Enki, who as well as Handicap entries also has a speculative entry in Friday's Gold Cup.

She added: “I’ve kept him in the Gold Cup just in case with all the forecast rain over the coming days – you never know."

Williams and Deutsch later kept up their impressive scoring rate, completing a double later in the afternoon with the win of Top and Drop in the extended three mile Mares Handicap Chase with Deutsch trying hard not win by more than the given four and a half lengths over the Michael Scudamore trained Northern Beau.

Kerry Lee saddled her own Kings Monarch in the two mile five furlong novice chase and was sent off the 6/5 favourite in the field of seven.

Ridden by jockey Richard Patrick, Kings Monarch had to negotiate some trouble in running early on but once getting a clear passage the partnership was untroubled after leading at the second last fence and came home five length winners.

Lee said: “He didn't have much luck in running but he overcame it well and he will stay further, and he’s for sale."

Jockey Aiden Coleman prepared for his Cheltenham rides in good style as he teamed up with trainer Emma Lavelle’s Fonsanta in the final novices hurdle and after given a fair impression of a statue he allowed his mount to saunter to the front after the second last hurdle and win easily by 11 lengths.

This was a quick double for Coleman who had scored on Adrrastos half an hour earlier in the two mile Handicap Chase.

Jockey Mitchell Bastyan got a good tune out of his mount Buble in the extended three mile handicap hurdle as despite looking in trouble at the second last hurdle when challenged by Good and Hardy, the outsider Buble responded well to pressure and stayed on well to win at odds of 14/1.

The racecourse season finale is on Tuesday, March 26, when the course hosts the St Michaels Hospice Charity Raceday.

In other Cheltenham news Richard Johnson returned to the saddle at Sandown races after his recent injury to his back, triumphing on Duke Des Champs for his retained trainer Phillip Hobbs, and is all set for the Cheltenham Festival.

His father Keith Johnson said: “His back was very sore and he needed treatment but he rode out yesterday for Olly Murphy and was fine so raced today and it’s off to Cheltenham next."