bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle
Grade 2, Wetherby 14:45
£40,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 26y, Class 1   
Saturday 29th October 2016

1 Silsol 13/2
2 Native River 5/2
3 Lil Rockerfeller 14/1
NR: Oscar Rock (IRE)
6 ran Distances: 2¾l, ½l, 2¼l
TIME 5m 49.90s (slow by 1.90s)

Gutsy Silsol lands dramatic West Yorkshire Hurdle

© Racehorse Photos

Silsol made a winning start to the new campaign as Ballyoptic came down at the last.

The Romford Pele was kicked into the lead three out by Jonathan Moore and the Grade Two contest suddenly turned into something of a sprint, with favourite Ballyoptic caught out of position and outpaced.

Native River and Silsol found top gear at that point, and by the time the field headed to the final flight, The Romford Pele had been put in his place, but Ballyoptic was still responding to Ryan Hatch's urgings and inching closer when getting the final flight wrong and crashing out.

That left conditional Jack Sherwood to continue his fine association with Silsol by driving him clear to score by two and three-quarter lengths, with Lil Rockerfeller failing to reel in Native River for second place by half a length.

Happily, there was a positive postscript to the race when Ballyoptic was able to get to his feet a few minutes after the fall and walk back to the racecourse stables.

Succesful trainer Paul Nicholls, watching from Ascot, told Channel 4 Racing: "He came in late because he'd run in Auteuil.

"It's great to give Jack some nice rides because he's a good lad, who works hard and he's had some tough times. He's a good member of the team.

"Now we won't even consider going back over fences - we'll just stay in those sort of long-distance hurdles."

Sherwood added: "He's won a Welsh Champion Hurdle with me too and is my favourite horse. I've been with Paul three years and he was the first horse I ever rode there.

"I've had a Cheltenham winner (Ibis Du Rheu) but this is my first Grade Two.

"Everyone thinks he needs heavy ground but he's gone on good ground before, he's just versatile."

In victory, Silsol earned a 25/1 quote from Sky Bet for the World Hurdle next March, with Ballyoptic eased out fractionally from 14/1 to 16/1.

Bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle
£40,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 26y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Good

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Silsol (GER) 13/2 Jack Sherwood
P F Nicholls 7
2nd Native River (IRE) 5/2 R Johnson
C L Tizzard 6
3rd ½ Lil Rockerfeller (USA) 14/1 T E Whelan
N B King 5
4th The Romford Pele (IRE) 10/1 Jonathan Moore
Miss R Curtis 9
5th 19 If In Doubt (IRE) 6/1 B J Geraghty
P J Hobbs 8
F Ballyoptic (IRE) 6/4f Ryan Hatch
N A Twiston-Davies 6
WN Oscar Rock (IRE) 25/1 B Hughes
J M Jefferson 8