Monday 16 July 2018

Aspell steers Buywise to victory

Jockey Leighton Aspel. Photo: Sportsfile
Jockey Leighton Aspel. Photo: Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Buywise finally enjoyed his day in the sun when flying up the Sandown hill to win the 32Red Veterans' Handicap Chase.

Having come close in so many big handicaps in the last few years, he appeared to have missed his chance of a big day. However, ridden patiently by Leighton Aspell, he fairly sprinted home to reward his loyal supporters at odds of 12-1.

It looked as though 14-year-old Pete The Feat could replicate his victory of last year as he took over in the straight, only for Evan Williams' 11-year-old to swoop late and win by two lengths.

Gas Line Boy stayed on to take third.

"People will have seen him running in all those good races, knocking on the door for years," said Aspell. "He's turned up year after year, but a race like this gave him a good opportunity to win.

"It's the first time I've ridden him. As he gets older he's staying further, he got round in the National last year."

Speaking from Chepstow, Williams said: "That was very emotional to watch. I can't speak highly enough of the ride Leighton gave him. They went very hard up front, but you don't win two Grand Nationals like he has without being a supreme horseman.

"He stayed on really strongly up the hill and it was great to see him finally do it. It was just a very good ride - a brilliant ride from a brilliant horseman.

"I wouldn't have thought we'd go for the National this season, or the Cheltenham Festival. We'll look after him and I think we'll keep him to the park tracks, look for some nice handicaps. The race I think will really suit him is the old Whitbread (bet365 Gold Cup) back at Sandown - I think that will be his big aim now."

Charlie Longsdon was proud of Pete The Feat. "He ran a stormer. I thought jumping the second last he might have it, but then you knew going to the last the other horse was coming through."

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