Yanworth makes winning chase debut at Exeter

The striking chestnut had come into the race with an imposing reputation having posted Grade 1 victories in the  2m Christmas Hurdle and the 3m Liverpool Hurdle and he got better with every fence on his chasing debut.

Trainer Alan King couldn’t have been happier with the performance happy saying: “He was a bit big at the early fences but was very good down the far side of the track and really warmed to his task. We were taking on a race-fit rival so he has done well in the circumstances.

"Barry was very happy with him as he came back and said he really warmed to the task. I was always going to bring him to Exeter at either this meeting or the one at the beginning of November as it's a lovely track and there is not a better place to run a novice as they learn plenty around here."

The trainer added that a reappearance at the course could be on the cards on November 15 in a two miles three furlongs novices chase and the seven-year-old has been given an 8-1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase and 12-1 for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Yanworth’s owner JP McManus was on hand to watch having flown in by helicopter on a rare visit to the racecourse and earlier saw an impressive display from Onefortheroadtom, ridden by Noel Fehily, who added to his Irish point-to-point success with an easy win in the Prydis Novices’ Hurdle.

Winning trainer Harry Fry said: “We wanted to come here, get started, and then progress from there. It’s only his second ever start and he’s only a four-year-old and he can only progress physically and with experience. He’s a lovely young horse to look forward to.”

The win came at the cost of 11-10 favourite Lalor but Richard Woollacott’s five-year-old lost nothing in defeat having gone down by just a short head in an above average race.

Fehily went on to complete a double aboard Johnny Farrelly's 20-1 shot Gingili in the Download The App At 188Bet Handicap Chase and in doing so secured his 50th winner of the season.

Midnight Request (16-1) made a winning reappearance in the Ilfracombe Food Service Handicap Hurdle. The eight-year-old had not been seen in competitive action since April, but showed a willing attitude under 7lb claimer James Bowen to score by two and three-quarter lengths, securing his fifth victory since joining trainer Nigel Hawke in 2014.

"We're delighted to see him win again, but it is tinged with sadness as his former owner Edward Donohue died in July of this year," said Hawke.

"He was pretty fit and ready for today and tracks likes this, over this trip on this ground suit him, so we were hopeful he'd run well.

"He can mix and match between hurdles and fences and might go back over fences with him next time, but we'll see what comes up."

The Oliver Greenall-trained Cave Top took the opening Read Noel Fehily at 188Bet amateur Riders’ handicap Hurdle with Will Biddick in the saddle. The concluding bumper was won by the Richard Johnson-ridden Christian Williams-trained Volcano, the 13-8 favourite, with Anthony Honeyball’s Acey Milan three and three quarters of a length away in second.

Exeter’s next meeting is on Tuesday, November 7 with racing featuring the Bet188 Haldon Gold Cup.

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