Towton Novices’ Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Wetherby 14:40
£35,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 45y, Class 1   
Saturday 3rd February 2018

AutoUpdating 640x85 Gif

1 Ballyoptic 5/2JF
2 Vintage Clouds 5/2JF
3 Shades Of Midnight 9/1
6 ran Distances: 2¾l, 7l, 27l
Time: 6m 52.40s (slow by 55.40s)

Ballyoptic grinds out victory from Vintage Clouds


Having made a sparkling start to the chasing game at Exeter, Ballyoptic had been put in his place the last twice, admittedly in decent company.

Sent off the 5-2 joint-favourite, despite conceding a penalty, he was given an extremely patient ride by Tom Bellamy.

Vintage Clouds set the pace after the departure of Pearl Royale and led into the straight, but Shades Of Midnight, the outsider of the field, shot clear two out.

Approaching the last, though, his effort began to peter out and Ballyoptic jumped to the front, holding off Vintage Clouds by two and three-quarter lengths.

It was a third victory in the race for Nigel Twiston-Davies after Ollie Magern and Blaklion.

Bellamy, who was in the headlines for the wrong reasons at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when stood down for failing a breath test, said: "He was brilliant, very professional.

"To be fair, he was the best of these over hurdles but he hadn't shown that form the last twice.

"I felt they went quick enough up front in the ground, so I was happy to bide my time.

"Hopefully this will kick-start my career now, that's my second Grade Two and it won't do me any harm."

Free Racing Tips Towton Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
£35,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 45y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Ballyoptic (IRE) 5/2j Thomas Bellamy
N A Twiston-Davies 8
2nd Vintage Clouds (IRE) 5/2j Danny Cook
Mrs S J Smith 8
3rd 7 Shades Of Midnight 9/1 Harry Bannister
A M Thomson 8
4th 27 Captain Chaos (IRE) 4/1 Harry Skelton
D Skelton 7
PU Ami Desbois (FR) 8/1 Kielan Woods
G McPherson 8
F Pearl Royale (IRE) 6/1 Tom Cannon
N J Hawke 6