Sternrubin does it again!

Philip Hobbs' Sternrubin repeated his front-running tactics to land another valuable handicap hurdle at Ascot.

Tom O'Brien and Sternrubin made almost every yard

The five-year-old had dead-heated for The Ladbroke over course and distance in December under Richard Johnson and produced a near copycat display on his return to the Berkshire track.

Tom O'Brien, who was completing a double on the card, was the man in the plate for the William Hill Handicap Hurdle and produced a perfect front-running ride.

The pair opened up a clear lead before allowing the pack to close although they did have Instant Karma for company when they increased the tempo turning for home.

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The jockeys in behind were hard at work as they jostled for room and tried to cover the move but Sternrubin and Instant Karma had opened up a crucial advantage.

Eventual third Modus would have finished closer but for a slightly troubled passage and a mistake at the last while Ch'tibello was only just run out of the places in a driving finish as Sternrubin faltered and drifted towards the stands' rail.

The line came just in time for the Authorized gelding who scored by half a length from Instant Karma with Modus a neck away in third.

The winner was cut from 25/1 into 12/1 by Sky Bet for the Greatwood at Cheltenham next month.

Owner Terry Warner said: "He is a very tough horse and was carrying nearly a stone more than when he won the Ladbroke last year.

"Philip said he was very well and said he would run well, but that he had too much weight.

"Philip wanted to win the race at Cheltenham in two weeks (Greatwood) and I said he would win the two races. I presume we will still go for that."

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