First Utility at Chepstow
A review of Wednesday's meeting at Chepstow as Jonjo O'Neill's Utility won under Aidan Coleman.
Jonjo O'Neill won with Utility
Coolmore owners are used to success at the highest level on the Flat but with their resident stallion Yeats making a mark at stud, the Irish operation are taking a serious interest in the jumps.
It is already paying off, though at an ordinary level, with Yeats' son Utility (11-4) opening his account in the familiar colours of Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor at Chepstow.
A promising fourth at Southwell on his seasonal bow, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained five-year-old put that experience to good use with a smooth win in the first division of the Grand Slam Of Darts At 188Bet Novices' Hurdle.
Leading two out, the gelding went on to score by a length and a half from Mister Big in the hands of Aidan Coleman.
"He ran really well the last time I rode him at Southwell and the horse who was just behind him I rode the other day and was second in a good novice hurdle at Wetherby," Coleman told At The Races.
"The form is there. I don't know if there was much strength in depth in that contest, but he jumped well and is very straight forward.
"For a horse with little experience he's very good."
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In the second division, the Paul Nicholls-trained Copain De Classe (10-11 favourite) also showed the benefit of an encouraging run last month to get off the mark by seven lengths in the hands of Nick Scholfield.
"He's a big horse so we gave him plenty of time to strengthen up. He'll be an awesome chaser next year when he's a five-year-old. He's very nearly 17 hands," said Nicholls.
"He just needs time but he's got a nice engine. He's had two quick runs and he won't run for six weeks. We'll look after him."
Ryan Hatch rode out his claim when steering top-weight Verygoodverygood (13-8 favourite) to success under top weight for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The five-year-old was following up a recent success at Ffos Las in 188bet.co.uk Conditional Jockeys' Novices' Handicap Hurdle to give his sire Yeats a second winner on the day.
Achimota (33-1) bounced back from a poor effort at Uttoxeter four days earlier when producing a brave front-running display to take the 188Bet Handicap Chase for trainer Graeme McPherson and Kielan Woods.
Bobble Boru (12-1), trained by Matt Sheppard and ridden by his son Stan, came out on top in the Equestrian Surfaces Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
Victory came at the main expense of Top And Drop, trained by Venetia Williams, who had the winner until two months ago when the eight-year-old moved to Sheppard's stable.
Williams went one better when Azert De Coeur (9-2) romped clear when leading four from home under 5lb claimer Charlie Deutsch to take the Free Spins At 188Bet Casino Handicap Chase.
"He's always promised to win a race like that, but first time out was perhaps the time to catch him," said the Herefordshire handler.
Court King (15-2) went clear from four out to run out a 10-length winner of the Cross Keys At Lydney Eddie White Memorial Handicap Hurdle for another father and son team of trainer Peter and jockey Sean Bowen.
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