Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase
|Listed Handicap Chase, Ascot 15:00
2m 7f 180y, Class 1
1 Annsam 7/1
2 Phoenix Way 8/1
3 Jerrysback 11/1
13 ran Distances: 4¼l, 5l, 12l
Time: 6m 8.95s (slow by 13.95s)
In what was a timely tonic for Evan Williams and his team, Annsam held on to win for owner-breeders Wayne & Sarah Clifford.
The Llancarfan yard endured a major blow when losing top-class hurdler Silver Streak to a fatal injury on Friday.
Adam Wedge always had the six-year-old in the front rank with Cloth Cap sharing the pacemaking duties.
Finding more as the field turned for home with two fences to jump, Annsam kept on resolutely to hold the challenge of Phoenix Way by four and a half lengths. Jerrysback stayed on for third place, five lengths away. Valtor was fourth.
Williams said: “We were only going on breeding and half hoping what he could do over this trip, and I have to admit I was a bit critical of the handicapper after his win at Ludlow last year because I thought we’d just tootled around in a small field race – but I have to admit, he was right.
Annsam was running in the colours of Wayne Clifford, the owner of Coole Cody.
Williams added: “Well this old game is a big old wheel and you have to hang on to that wheel until your turn comes. Mr. Clifford has been a big supporter of the game for a good number of years – he has kept hanging on to that wheel and it appears his time has come.”
“Silver Streak was a very, very good friend to me and was a very good friend to Mrs Fell and an even bigger friend to all the boys and girls in the yard. I can’t begin to tell you how much he meant to us,” said Williams.
“The only way you can get on in this game is to keep looking forward. It doesn’t matter if it is today or racing as a whole. Racing has been through an awful lot over the last few weeks and months, so I suppose it is a new year and we can all look forward.”
Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed)
£70,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 7f 180y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
1 Annsam 6 10-10 Evan Williams Adam Wedge 7/1
2 4¼ Phoenix Way 8 11-2 Harry Fry Lorcan Murtagh 8/1
3 5 Jerrysback 9 11-0 Philip Hobbs Tom O'Brien 11/1
4 12 Valtor 12 11-0 Mel Rowley Mr Ben Bromley 40/1
5 ¾ Checkitout 7 10-8 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 8/1
6 1 Belami Des Pictons 10 10-11 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 4/1F
7 11 Step Back 11 11-5 Mark Bradstock Nico de Boinville 50/1
8 6½ Regal Encore 13 11-8 Anthony Honeyball Richie McLernon 18/1
REF Cloth Cap 9 11-12 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 7/1
PU Storm Control 8 10-11 Kerry Lee Richard Patrick 12/1
PU Grand Sancy 7 11-0 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 8/1
PU Dinons 4 8 10-6 2 Mark Campion Tom Bellamy 150/1
FELL Caribean Boy 7 11-7 Nicky Henderson Daryl Jacob 13/2