Just A Par shows RSA potential as Nicholls doubles up
Paul Nicholls has won the RSA Worcester Novices' Chase at Newbury with a few reasonable staying types and his latest winner, Just A Par, looks another from the same mould.
Michel Le Bon and Aiteen Thirtythree had provided the Grade Two honours for Ditcheat in the previous five years but looking further back, the likes of Cornish Rebel, Valley Henry and See More Indians achieved even better things.
Sent off the 5/4 favourite, Just A Par was ridden handily by Daryl Jacob but hit something of a flat spot jumping the first fence in the home straight, where four stood almost in line.
However, Just A Par saw the three miles out well as he stretched 17 lengths clear of Third Intention.
Nicholls said: "He's still as green as grass and you'd hope in a year's time he might be back here for the Hennessy.
"I don't think he's a Feltham horse, I could see him coming back here on Aon Chase day, and you'd definitely be thinking about the RSA because he was bought to be a nice staying chaser."
Stablemate Rolling Aces lifted the novice handicap chase a year ago, and it stayed in Nicholls' possession courtesy of a success from 5/4 favourite Easter Day. Nicholls said: "He had a run at Chepstow and off 135, he really had to win if he jumped. He's not the biggest of horses, but he does jump well."
David O'Meara has taken the Flat world by storm and the former National Hunt rider showed he should not be underrated under the other code as Ifandbutwhynot (8/1) made all the running in the Intermediate Hurdle.
A few aspiring stars lined up for the old Gerry Feilden, but jockey Timmy Murphy never gave his rivals a chance, even if his winning advantage of seven lengths over 5/2 joint-favourite Chatterbox was possibly flattered by the falls of Irish Saint and Back In Line.
O'Meara said: "It's great for Timmy, as he took a nasty fall off him and broke his hand when he was going well in the Scottish Champion Hurdle."
Nicky Henderson's Volnay De Thaix won as a 1/16 favourite should under Barry Geraghty in the opening novice hurdle. Jamie Codd struck for Warren Greatrex aboard Top Dancer in the amateur riders' handicap chase.