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Ascot

  • 15:50 Betfair Ascot Chase 2m 5f 110y

  • (Grade 1) £150,000 added 5yo+ 8 ran
  • Winner £84,405 2nd £31,800 3rd £15,915 4th £7,950
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 29.60s
  • Off time: 15:53:28

Captain Chris glides to Ascot Chase win

Last Updated: 15/02/14 6:01pm

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Captain Chris comes home alone to win at Ascot

Captain Chris comes home alone to win at Ascot

Captain Chris and Richard Johnson came home in splendid isolation in the Betfair Ascot Chase.

The 8/11 favourite was well-backed and gave his supporters little cause for concern, bar two over-zealous leaps down the far side.

Johnson's mount was very enthusiastic but took off too early at both the eighth-last and seventh-last obstacles.

However those were the only blemishes in an otherwise faultless performance, one which saw him eased down at the line for a 19-length success.

Sue Smith's Clouty Too (7/1) ran a gallant race in second place, having tried to keep tabs on the winner turning in, whilst long-time leader Kauto Stone eventually faded and it was the returning Hunt Ball (20/1) who filled third place.

Winning trainer Philip Hobbs said: "This was his race. I'm delighted he's done what we hoped he would - he was very impressive.

"There's nothing in March for him except the Gold Cup, so we will consider it. If he goes to Cheltenham, he is only in the Gold Cup, but there is Punchestown to think of and perhaps Aintree, too.

"I don't think we can realistically do both Aintree and Punchestown, but there is nothing for him over this trip between now and April.

"He might take his chance in the Gold Cup, but we will have to see about the ground.

"It is not as if he can't run left-handed - he won an Arkle there (2011) - but if you could ask the race planners to run the Gold Cup at Ascot or Kempton rather than Cheltenham, it would be appreciated because he prefers going right-handed."

Johnson added: "That was very good. He was a little over-brave at the second and third on the back side but that's it.

"It's sticky ground and ideally we would have had some rain just to loosen the ground, and I was a bit worried that I'd be on my own turning in as I committed early.

"It's a shame the Gold Cup isn't run this way round, but it was nice for him to win a good race."

Sky Bet were impressed with his win, cutting the 10-year-old to 25/1 (from 40s).

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "It was hard not to be impressed with the style of his win and having won at Cheltenham before, he could yet play a hand in what looks an open Gold Cup."

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