Gravey 12-1 for JLT after impressive chasing debut
Different Gravey: "we had him penciled in last year as an RSA type"
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Gravey 12-1 for JLT after impressive chasing debut By Bruce Jackson 1:23PM 18 NOV 2016
DIFFERENT GRAVEY maintained Nicky Henderson's incredible record in beginners' chases at Ascot when making an ultimately impressive start to his career over fences.
The six-year-old, who was not alone in being unable to cope with Thistlecrack over hurdles last season, was sent off evens favourite and duly improved Henderson's success-rate in these races to ten from his last 11 runners in the last ten years.
Paddy Power reacted by cutting Different Gravey to 12-1 (from 14) for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival ahead of 20-1 Cloudy Dream, who had won just as impressively at Haydock minutes earlier. Yorkhill remains generally 6-1 favourite for the March 16 race.
The race only hotted up around the home turn and frontrunning Brother Tedd momentarily stretched his advantage when Different Gravey got in close to the second-last with Hell's Kitchen, who had refused to settle through the 2m3f race, looming up on the outside.
David Bass quickly got Different Gravey back running without picking up his whip and they quickened away with a predigous leap at the last settling any doubts as he came six lengths clear of Brother Tedd with Hell's Kitchen paying for his impetuosity weakening into third a further three lengths behind.
The winning rider was suitably impressed, reporting: "That was an ideal start. He jumped well in the main and he quickened up.
"He's still a big baby and there's lot of improvement in him. That was just greenness between the last two."
Toby Lawes, Henderson's assistant, said: "He'll be a three-miler, but he's not short of speed so there are plenty of options for the future. We had him penciled in last year as an RSA type but we stuck to hurdles as we got a bit behind time. He's just a natural and he's built for this."
Olympus Introductory Hurdle (Class 3) 4yo+, 1m7½f
THOMAS CAMPBELL gave trainer Nicky Henderson a quickfire double when justifying odds-on favouritism, but not before being given a scare by rivals Criq Rock and Resolution Bay.
Winning rider Barry Geraghty admitted he thought the game was up when the front-running Resolution Bay and challenging Criq Rock left him a couple of lengths to find running into the second-last.
A couple of firm cracks after jumping two out woke up Thomas Campbell and he quickened ahead and settled the race with a fluent jump at the last.
Geraghty was able to ease to a four-length success over Criq Rock.
Geraghty said: "I'd say the penny hasn't quite dropped yet. I was booked for third at the back of the second last but when I got serious with him he seemed to pick up well and he jumped the last well. He's a bit of a playboy."
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