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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 24 October 2020

Agrapart storms home in convincing Betfair Hurdle win

Today’s big meetings were at Newbury, Gowran Park and Warick.

Image: John Giles

AGRAPART POWERED HOME to claim an 11-length win in the Grade Three Betfair Hurdle in Newbury this afternoon.

Lizzie Kelly steered Nick Williams’s five-year-old home to claim the £155,000 (€200,000) race ahead of Starchitect and Flying Angel.

The 16/1 shot was the latest big-race victory for Kelly, the first female jockey to win a Grade One race in Britain when she won the Feltham Novices’ Chase on Tea For Two at Kempton last December.

“He always had enough kick from the start,” Williams told reporters after the race.

“We knew we had to get a good position early and Lizzie was very much tuned up to that.

“We haven’t entered him at Cheltenham as we didn’t think it was his track.

“He’s very much a soft- or heavy-ground horse as well, so we didn’t make an entry in any of the novices’ there.”

Houblon Des Obeaux bounced back to winning ways at Newbury with a monstrous 28-length victory in the Grade Two Betfair Denman Chase.

Venetia Williams’s nine-year-old hit the line well ahead of The Giant Bolster and Splash of Ginge.

Top Gamble was another convincing Grade Two winner at the English track today, the 11/10 favourite striding home by 10 lengths from Dodging Bullets.

Kerry Lee’s eight-year-old easily dealt with the challenge of last year’s Champion Chase winner who made a return after almost a year out of racing.

At home, Henry de Bromhead’s Smashing was a comfortable 11-length winner in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

The seven-year-old, under Davy Russell, enhanced his Ryanair Chase credentials in next month’s Cheltenham Festival with an excellent jumping display and justified his 11/10F odds this afternoon.

Sempre Medici was also on target at the Kilkenny track, landing the Grade Two Red Mills Trials Hurdle for Willie Mullins.

With Ruby Walsh in the saddle, the 2/7 favourite came home by seven lengths, ahead of Bentelimar and Rory O’Moore.

Violet Dancer won the big one in Warwick this afternoon, upsetting 1/5 favourite L’Ami Serge in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase.

Gary Moore’s 8/1 shot completed a hat-trick of wins under Jamie Moore, who was completing a double for his father after a win on Flute Bowl earlier in the day.

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