Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 February 2018

Simonsig kicks off treble for Geraghty

Keith Hamer

BARRY Geraghty continued his flourishing alliance with Nicky Henderson at Ascot yesterday, when they teamed up for a short-priced treble with some promising youngsters.

Henderson's Long Run and Oscar Whisky reappear this weekend and the stable could hardly be in better shape, having also won two at Haydock.

It would be wrong to suggest Simonsig was facing rivals of genuine quality in the opening novices' hurdle, but his ability to draw clear without any encouragement was impressive.

The striking grey had earned his position as 1/5 favourite after a strong spell point-to-pointing in Ireland, as well as when winning a good bumper at Fairyhouse for Ian Ferguson.

"You can see by his starting price that we expected him to win," said Henderson.

Henderson admitted he had been in a dilemma about which race Simonsig and Broadbackbob should have contested on the card, but it was of no concern when the latter took the two-mile Introductory Hurdle.

The 7/4 favourite is another recruit from Ireland, but had won at Catterick and finished sixth in the Aintree Grade Two bumper when trained by Stuart Crawford. He was always in touch and was driven clear of Cinders And Ashes.

"He wants further and I should probably have run Simonsig in this, and this horse in the other," said Henderson.

Solix is also one of those types too and he helped jockey and trainer secure the beginners' chase once again.

Master Of The Hall had been on the mark 12 months ago when surviving a blunder at the last and Solix had his own jumping issues early on here. But the 4/5 favourite began to grow in confidence and steadily moved 12 lengths clear of Duke Of Lucca.

Henderson added: "Barry said he started off badly, but credit to the horse, as it could have got worse but he jumped the last seven pretty well.

The Scottish combination of jockey Campbell Gillies and trainer Lucinda Russell made off with a decent prize through Quito Du Tresor (20/1) in the Winkworth Handicap Chase.

Prophete de Guye was given a fine Timmy Murphy ride in the Atlantic Enterprises Handicap Chase to hand trainer James Evans a first Ascot victory.

Decoy went off at even-money to repeat his recent win at Cheltenham, but he was collared close home by the Philip Hobbs-trained Featherbed Lane in the closing handicap hurdle.

Irish Independent

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