Cole second as Its’afreebee wins
Former World Hurdle hero Cole Harden had to settle for second place on his first try over fences as Its'afreebee won the Constant Security Services Novices' Chase at Wetherby.
Cole Harden: Beaten into second
Warren Greatrex's star was made the 4/6 favourite for his first run on his reappearance after finishing fourth in this year's renewal of the Cheltenham showpiece behind Thistlecrack, and disputed matters with the eventual winner for much of the way before Dan Skelton's charge, a 5/2 chance, asserted.
Ridden by Ian Popham, Dan Skelton's charge was a ready victor in the end, being eased for a seven-length success over the market leader and in the process giving him 7lb.
But over a distance some way short of his optimum, connections of the second would be entitled to take some satisfaction from the way he ran on willingly to the line and there should be better to come.
Skelton was at Sandown, where he said: "He didn't jump too badly at Cheltenham, he just got tired. I put a tongue strap on today and that has made a bit of difference.
"The way the race has panned out with Alan's (King) horse (Minella Charmer) falling and Cole Harden not running as he should helped.
"I am very happy with him today, but where we go next I don't know."