Jamie Spencer notched another valuable double at Wolverhampton yesterday as he continued his quest for a second jockeys' title.
After his lead was cut to just one by Seb Sanders at Kempton on Saturday evening, Spencer was keen to capitalise on the enforced absence of his championship rival, who was serving a one-day suspension.
Spencer's first winner came aboard Ed Dunlop's 4-11 favourite Formation in a maiden stakes and he followed up 35 minutes later in a handicap on Chief Editor, trained by Mark Wallace for whom he has two rides at the West Midlands course today.
Spencer now leads Sanders by three – 185 winners to 182. However, the Irishman will be out of action tomorrow and Wednesday due to a ban, although the bookmakers still expect him to prevail when the Flat turf season ends at Doncaster. He is now 1-2 from 8-11 for the title with Coral, who quote Sanders at 6-4 from evens. "We've made the mistake once of thinking this race was all over and Seb Sanders proved us wrong," Coral's David Stevens said. "So although he trails by three, we're not writing him off just yet."
At Auteuil, Mid Dancer made it 18 wins in 21 career starts when he landed the Grade One Prix La Haye Jousselin. Still only a six-year-old, he survived a last-fence scare to win comfortably and was introduced into King George VI Chase betting by Blue Square at 16-1, although two of his defeats have come in Britain.
L'Antartique is poised for a return to Cheltenham for the Paddy Power Handicap Chase after making a successful seasonal return to action in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle. "Cheltenham will suit him better – he won the Jewson Chase at the Festival in March," Ferdy Murphy, his trainer, said.