Westow-based Paula Smith became the latest Ryedale trainer to celebrate a winner when Dallas Cowboy won the Jumping For Joy With Free Racing TV Handicap Chase at Catterick on Friday.

Although there were 12 runners for the two-mile-three-furlong contest it developed into a two-horse duel from the second last and, given a fine ride by the trainer’s daughter, Emma Smith-Chaston, Dallas Cowboy got home by half a length from Paddling, the pair finishing nearly 20 lengths clear of the remainder.

Owned by David Sturdy, the winner was having his third run for Smith having formerly been in the care of Norton trainer Tim FitzGerald and was giving her a first success as a trainer just two months after taking out a licence.

Smith said: “I have a permit at present which means I can train my own horses and I need three winners before I will be granted a full licence.

“I have only a handful or horses in at present so I will have to place them as well as I can.

“One good thing is that I always have a good jockey to call on. I am delighted for Emma, she has done amazingly well.”

Her daughter, who was completing her first-ever double, added: “I came today thinking my horse had a chance but wasn’t sure that he would like the ground. I would have been pleased to have got into the places and got some money so it was great.”

Her other win on Friday had come on Maison D’Or in the Jumps Season Starts Now Handicap Hurdle for Conditional Jockeys.

The winner, like all her others winners this season apart from Dallas Cowboy, is trained by her employer Micky Hammond for and it is typical of the swings and roundabouts of racing that Paddling, the horse with whom she had such a great tussle with on her second winner, is also trained by Hammond.

The two Smiths, mother and daughter, started with success in the point-to-point field before graduating to racing under Rules, and it has certainly been a shrewd move by Emma as she has a ‘McCoy’ like strike rate with eight winners from just 38 rides.

One piece of sad news last week came from trainer Brian Ellison who revealed that top chaser Forest Bihan, who got his career back on track when winning last month’s Old Roan Chase at Aintree, had picked up an injury during that race and won’t run again this season.

Although that race was slightly controversial because so many of the fences were by-passed because of the low sun it put Forest Bihan, who runs in the colours of Doncaster owners Phil and Julie Martin, very much of racing’s map for having proved that he stays two and a half miles and acts on soft ground and there did seem plenty of further opportunities for him this season.

His trainer hopes that the injury is not a serious one and Forest Bihan will make a full recovery and prove to be as good as ever next term.

The Norton-trainer also revealed that his other star chaser Definitly Red, who also runs in the Martin colours, has the Randox Health Grand National as his objective this season rather than the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

It would seem a good move for the now 10-year-old hasn’t quite been good enough to take on the best stayer chasers around though he has never been able to do so on his favoured good ground.

In his first Gold Cup, in 2018, the ground was much too soft for him and he never really travelled and finishing a well-beaten sixth behind Native River.

Last year he was unfortunate to be brought down at the 10th fence but the he went on to Punchestown where he proved no match for Kemboy who should be one of the strongest contenders for Gold Cup honours this season.

The testing ground at Wetherby wasn’t ideal for Definitly Red’s comeback race in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby earlier this month, but he was well beaten by Ballyoptic that day and as the winner was himself a well-beaten fourth behind Lostintranslation and Bristol de Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, it would appear that Definitly Red would still struggle to trouble the best.

He will though be an interesting candidate for the Grand National for he stays well, the going at Aintree should suit him and he is edging down the ratings so should get in off a far mark.

He is of course no stranger to the big Aintree fences having run in the big race back in 2017 when he was pulled up with a slipped saddle before Valentines on the first circuit having been badly hampered at Bechers.

Ellison said he will head back to Aintree early next month where he will run either in the Many Clouds Chase over the smaller Mildmay fences, a race that he won last season, or go for the Becher Chase over the National fences. At present his trainer is favouring the Becher Chase.

Following a rather stuttering start to the autumn jumps season Norton trainer Ruth Jefferson had a much-needed winner when Buster Valentine won the FMCG Network Novice Handicap Chase at Market Rasen last Thursday.

It was a first win over fences for the six-year-old who won two novice hurdles last season, and though he only scraped home in the hands of Henry Brooke, it will be a surprise if he cannot add to his tally in the forthcoming weeks.

Afterwards his trainer said that her horses have been under a slight cloud suffering from mucus on the lungs but that they seem to be over it now.

Two days later, at Haydock’s big meeting on Saturday, Jefferson’s talented mare Mega Yeats ran well for a long way in the fiercely competitive £100,000 Betfair Best Odds on ITV Races Handicap Hurdle at and as she should come on for the run, she looks the sort who should pay her way this season.

Jefferson’s flagship horse Waiting Patiently may well be dropping down in distance to race over two miles next month for he is a likely runner in next month’s Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

His trainer had pinpointed the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last month as his likely starting point this season but he scoped badly prior to the race so that idea had to be abandoned and Sandown’s feature contest in early December is now his likely target.

He is going to be an interesting contender as Cyrname, who beat him easily at Ascot last season franked the form by proving that he is the best chaser around when mastering the previously unbeaten Altior in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

As both Altior and Cyrname are likely to be going for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day the two-mile Tingle Creek might not be quite as strong as it has been in recent years so Waiting Patiently will have a sporting chance of bringing the valuable prize back to Malton.