STAVERTON trainer Michael Blake’s successful season continued with his first-ever winner at the home of jump racing, Cheltenham, on Saturday, writes ROSIE SAGE.

Blake, who handles just 10 horses at his small base near Trowbridge, earned his 11th winner of the season as Coole Cody won the Martin & Co Jewellers Intermediate Handicap hurdle race over two miles, five furlongs at the Prestbury Park course's November meeting.

Owned by Wayne Clifford, the horse, sporting Bathwick Tyres colours with Brendan Powell on board, was immaculate in dreadful conditions, heading the field from start to finish after the official going had changed during the afternoon to soft (heavy in places).

It was his first handicap race and although there are no plans to run before Christmas, Blake said: “I thought of sending him chasing but decided to keep him as a novice hurdler.

"It's our first win at Cheltenham and hopefully one of many.

"It is unbelievable, and it will definitely be celebrated.''

Blake has Waitonasunnyday, owned by the West Wilts Hockey Lads, entered at Wincanton on Thursday in the Lenny Roberts Memorial Trophy Novices' Hurdle.