Bally strikes Silver Trophy gold

Ballyoptic kicked off his season with a determined victory in the totepool Silver Trophy at Chepstow.

Ballyoptic won for Nigel Twiston-Davies at Chepstow

The Irish point-to-point graduate made a successful debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies at Ffos Las in February and after following up at Uttoxeter, he graduated to Grade One level with honours to complete his hat-trick in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

Sent off a 9/2 chance for his handicap debut and seasonal reappearance, Ballyoptic travelled well in the hands of Ryan Hatch and took over the running jumping the third flight from the finish.

It was hard work for the remainder of the home straight, but the six-year-old responded to his rider's urgings and kept on well from the last to score by a length and a quarter.

There was just a nose between Crimson Ark and Forever Field in second and third respectively.

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"They kept telling me it was a prep run, but it's not a bad prep run," Hatch told At The Races.

"It was obviously very competitive and he's done it well.

"Over two and a half (miles) we thought he might struggle with the early pace, but he's gone through the race pulling my arms out.

"I let his head down in the straight and he just kept galloping.

"I think he'll go to Wetherby at the end of the month."

Barry Geraghty claimed his first winner since returning from injury aboard the Rebecca Curtis-trained Geordie Des Champs (5/1) in the toteplacepot 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

Colin's Sister justified 2/1 favouritism in the totescoop6 Mares' Novices' Hurdle, before 6/1 shot Rock The Kasbah impressively claimed a well-contested totequadpot Novices' Chase.

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