Totepool Towton Novices’ Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Wetherby 15:20
£30,500 added,
5yo plus,
3m 1f, Class 1  
Saturday 31st January 2015


1 Ned Stark 11/4
2 Kaki De La Pree 9/4F
3 Straidnahanna 11/2
NR: George Fernbeck, Gonow
7 ran Distances: nk, 17l, 14l
TIME 6m 33.00s (slow by 42.00s)

Another winner for Alan King with Ned Stark winning nicely under Denis O'Regan

The seven-year-old was successful on his first two starts over fences in novice handicaps at Huntingdon and Newbury, but failed to get competitive when fourth behind the exciting Ptit Zig in the 'Dipper' at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

An 11-4 chance for another Grade Two event in West Yorkshire, Ned Stark was being pushed along leaving the back straight, but responded to Denis O'Regan's urgings to chase down the bold-jumping pacesetter Straidnahanna.

As the latter began to falter, 9-4 favourite Kaki De La Pree emerged as the main threat to King's charge, but he was unable to get past as Ned Stark clung on by a neck.

The seven-year-old holds an entry in the RSA Chase at Prestbury Park in March, but connections could also consider handicap options, depending on the assessor's verdict.

King was at Sandown, from where he said: "I thought we were in a bit of trouble leaving the back, but he's seen it out really well and I'm delighted with him. It's great to win a Towton again.

"I haven't spoken to any of the guys on track yet, so we'll get him home and see how he is and then make a plan.

"We'll see what the handicapper does. I don't think he can hammer him as he didn't win by far and I think they were all much of a muchness.

"The three-mile handicap (at Cheltenham) might be a possible, but we'll see.

"It's just nice to get this out of the way."

O'Regan believes it could be next season before Ned Stark realises his full potential.

"He's a really nice young horse, he's progressing well," said the jockey.

"I think the experience of Cheltenham last time stood him well today, especially in the heat of the battle.

"I went looking for the better ground and he's a horse that needs a bit of time."

Totepool Towton Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
£30,500 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Soft, Heavy in places

  Dist Horse Jockey /Weight Trainer Age
1st Ned Stark (IRE) 11/4 D F O'Regan
A King 7
2nd nk Kaki De La Pree (FR) 9/4f Felix De Giles
T Symonds 8
3rd 17 Straidnahanna (IRE) 11/2 Danny Cook
Mrs S J Smith 6
4th 14 Top Totti 15/2 Jake Greenall
H D Daly 7
5th Return Spring (IRE) 8/1 James Best
P J Hobbs 8
6th nk Rattlin 20/1 Callum Bewley
Mrs S J Smith 7
PU Tonvadosa 8/1 J M Maguire
D McCain Jnr 7
NR George Fernbeck K Renwick
B Ellison 7
NR Gonow Henry Brooke
Micky Hammond 7

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