A DOUBLE AT ASCOT
A double at Ascot on Friday 24 November set us up nicely for a return to the same track on Saturday with Boothill seeking a second successive triumph in the valuable Hurst Park Handicap Chase.
Beat the Bat was the first to score after a sustained duel with Welcom To Cartries in the opening maiden hurdle over two miles three furlongs.
Gin Coco then completed a fine day for the day with a cosy success in the two mile handicap hurdle.
Both were coolly ridden by Johnny Burke who took his time before unleashing them with timely late challenges.
Beat The Bat, in the colours of the Twelfth Man Partnership, just denied the highly rated Welcom To Cartries in a photo finish. It was a poignant victory following the death in the spring of the partnership mastermind Martin Powell.
The first two are lovely prospects and finished well clear of their rivals. Beat The Bat did nothing wrong on his debut, jumps for fun, is progressing nicely and we can now start to plot a programme for him. He will eventually be a smart recruit to chasing.
Gin Coco justified my decision to pull him out of the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on the morning of the race when the ground turned soft. He needs drier conditions to produce his best and found them at Ascot wearing a tongue tie for the first time as he stretched clear of Faivoir on the run-in.
We will look for similar conditions when he runs next.