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Last Updated: 21/01/12 2:37pm
Violin Davis leads the field at Ascot
Violin Davis narrowly prevaied in the Grade Two 1942 Was A Vintage Year Mares' Hurdle over three miles at Ascot.
The six year old mare had had to settled for third place on her two starts since making a winning reapperance in a Wincanton handicap but returned to the winner's enclosure with a half length success over Kentford Grey Lady and Our Girl Salley.
A big gamble on course - she was backed from 9-2 into 11-4 - Ruby Walsh never let early leader Love Of Tara get too far in front before kicking on as the field turned into the straight.
Walsh led by a couple of lengths over the last but the favourite - and eventual second - gradually begin to eat into the advantage and Violin Davis was all out to hold on at the line by an ever dwindling margin.
Walsh said: "It was a bit of surprise, but she quickened really well."
Nicholls said: "I thought she didn't stay three miles the last day so that was a great ride by Ruby - he was saving a bit the whole way.
"Once she was in front turning in I thought she'd be hard to beat
"They're not vintage mares about at the moment so we may as well aim high and let her take her chance in the mares' race at Cheltenham."
Sky Bet introduced the Paul Nicholls trained winner at 14-1 for the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.