Betfair Ascot Chase
|Grade 1, Ascot 15:50
2m 5f 110y, Class 1
|Saturday 14th February 2015|
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1 Balder Succes 4/1
2 Ma Filleule 4/1
3 Ballycasey 3/1
NR: Rajdhani Express
5 ran Distances: 3¼l, 23l, 1¼l
TIME 5m 23.10s (slow by 15.10s)
Balder Succes outstays Ma Filleule to win the Betfair Ascot Chase, with the other two finishers well beaten
The 4-1 shot, trained by Alan King, put his rivals to the sword once Wayne Hutchinson took him to the front at the fourth-last.
Ma Filleule tried to make a challenge, but Balder Succes always had her measure as he jumped superbly and a typically brilliant leap at the last confirmed the win. He scored by three and a quarter lengths to register a second Grade One triumph.
Leading novice Ptit Zig, the 6-4 favourite, fell at the ninth fence.
Hutchinson said: "This a horse who has been great to me. The owners have been very supportive and it's for the team as well. Good horses like Voy Por Ustedes and My Way De Solzen don't come along very often. He's a flag-bearer for us now."
King added: "After today's performance we've got to stick to the Ryanair route. I've got to speak to the owners as they're away today, but I think that will be the way we go.
"Over two and a half they just go that half-stride steadier early on. While he'd been running well in the early part of the season, those good two-milers were just getting him out of his comfort zone. Now he's won the last twice over that bit further."
Balder Succes has an unfortunate record at Cheltenham, failing to complete in three outings.
King went on: "He fell in the Triumph Hurdle and unseated in the Champion Hurdle, but he would have won over fences (as a novice) as he was bolting up but fell at the last fence because of the low sun.
Ma Filleule's trainer Nicky Henderson said: "She's run a super race and she will come on a bit for that.
"I suspect the Ryanair will be the race for her. She travels and jumps and at that distance you can fire her into her fences, which you couldn't do if you went any further with her. If you go any further with her you would have to curtail her jumping."
Betfair Ascot Chase
£150,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 5f 110y, Class 1
|Dist||Horse SP||Jockey /Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Balder Succes (FR) 4/1||W Hutchinson
|2nd||3¼||Ma Filleule (FR) 4/1||B J Geraghty
|N J Henderson||7|
|3rd||23||Ballycasey (IRE) 3/1||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||8|
|4th||1¼||Theatre Guide (IRE) 20/1||Aidan Coleman
|C L Tizzard||8|
|F||Ptit Zig (FR) 6/4f||S Twiston-Davies
|P F Nicholls||6|
|NR||Rajdhani Express||Mr S Waley-Cohen
|N J Henderson||8|