Punters enjoy pay day

Bookmakers were left on the ropes at Plumpton yesterday after six of the seven races went the way of favourites, with Oh Crick (7-4) getting proceedings off to the perfect start for punters in the first race.

Next up was Dear Villez (2-1), trained by Paul Nicholls, who made a pleasing return to the Sussex course after his mishap 16 days earlier when he unseated his rider, with a smooth front-running performance in the Cenkos Securities Beginners' Chase.

Nicholls' assistant Dan Skelton said: "He was a good horse over hurdles and apart from one little blip he has jumped well. He had a small injury and had to miss last year, and we will try and find a similar race under a penalty."