RICHARD Johnson made the short trip from his Pembridge home to Hereford races on Wednesday and he was rewarded as the Champion Jockey partnered the novice Big Shark to an impressive success.

Big Shark had won impressively last time out at Worcester and the Phillip Hobbs trained five-year-old was sent off a generous 6/4 favourite in a field of three runners for the extended three mile novices hurdle race.

Johnson sent his mount to take up the running at the fourth last hurdle and although they were bit untidy jumping the second last hurdle the partnership cruised home an easy ten length winner from runner-up Mr Muldoon and it would be no surprise to see the winner upped in class next time out.

Jockey Ben Jones was back in the winners enclosure again at the track following his previous successful visits, where he has scored five winners from eight rides, this time partnering Pemberley to an opening meeting win in the two mile three furlong Handicap hurdle.

The Emma Lavelle trained Pemberley had been backed into 4/1 favourite for the contest and after a prolonged duel over the final two hurdles with Ventura Dragon it was Pemberley who stayed on the strongest to win by two lengths.

Jones said of the winner: “Pemberley is still very green and babyish and didn't like having a horse in front of him. He managed to find an extra gear and has done it very well."

Abberley trainer Henry Oliver places to good effect and he scored again when Hard to Forget won the extended three mile Handicap Chase for jockey David Crosse, who was following up an earlier success on the card with Templier for owner-trainer Katie Stephens, who also used to act as Clerk of the Course at the Hereford track.

Crosse was especially delighted as the winners were his first in this country since March, eight months ago, although he had scored on a ‘busman's working holiday’ to France.

The concluding National Hunt flat race went to the in-form yard of trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey Paddy Brennan with the promising French bred gelding Karl Phillipe, who stayed on strongly in the two mile event to beat the well fancied runner up Party Fuzz and favourite Frankie Baby.