Champers sparks Pipe celebrations
A review of Tuesday's action from Uttoxeter, where Champers On Ice recorded a wide-margin win on his chasing debut.
Champers On Ice: Jumped out to the left on several occasions
David Pipe is looking forward to seeing how far Champers On Ice can go this season following an impressive start to his chasing career at Uttoxeter.
The six-year-old won twice from five starts over hurdles last season and was placed on his other three starts behind the high-class trio of Shantou Village, Yanworth and Unowhatimeanharry.
Making his first start since finishing third in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Champers On Ice was unsurprisingly a prohibitively priced 1/5 favourite to dispatch of his two rivals and did so with the minimum of fuss.
Of the obstacles that could be seen in the gloom, the grey jumped proficiently in the hands of Tom Scudamore and after emerging from the fog in a clear lead rounding the home turn, he comfortably stretched 27 lengths clear.
Runner-up Dueling Banjos was 14 lengths clear of the only other runner, Have A Go Hero.
Pipe said: "We're pleased. Apart from one mistake he jumped nicely and did what he had to do.
"He does jump a bit left-handed – he did that over hurdles as well – so we'll stick to left-handed tracks and see where we go.
"I haven't really made a plan. We've been waiting for softer ground, so it was nice to get that and get his first run out of the way. It's a good start to his chasing career and hopefully he'll improve from it."
Mrs Burbidge (9/2) followed up her Southwell success of just seven days ago in the Wildgoose Construction Novices' Handicap Hurdle.
A 7lb penalty was not enough to stop the six-year-old striking gold for the sixth time in her career and she holds an entry at Newcastle on Thursday should connections decide to bid for quick-fire hat-trick.
Winning trainer Neil Mulholland said: "She was very good and when these mares are in form, you have to run them. She coped with the ground well and did it well on the day.
"We'll see how she is in the morning before declaration time, but stranger things have happened than her running again at Newcastle."
Mrs Burbidge's rider Noel Fehily signed off his day with another winner aboard Harry Fry's Neon Wolf (7/4 favourite), who made a flying start to his career with a 12-length all-the-way success in the SIS Standard Open NH Flat Race.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Theatre Territory (4/9) was another winning odds-on favourite, confirming the promise of her bumper form with a comfortable success in the TBA Mares' Maiden Hurdle.
There was a more exciting finish to the Signs 2000 Handicap Hurdle, with 14/1 shot Applesandpierres getting the better of Deepsand by a head for Dan and Harry Skelton.
The brothers completed a double with 7/4 favourite Return Flight in the At UttoxeterTwit Interactive Novices' Limited Handicap Chase, while the Nigel Twiston-Davies trainer Florrie Boy obliged as the 15/8 favourite Equestrian Surfaces Handicap Hurdle under 10lb claimer Tom Humphries.
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