Top lives up to his name

A review of the rest of Friday's action from Ascot as the imposing Topofthegame impressed his in-form connections.

Sam Twiston-Davies riding Topofthegame to victory at Ascot

Topofthegame (15/8) could prove well named after getting Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies up and running for the afternoon when holding on by a short head in the Winning Post Bookmakers Bristol "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle.

The red-hot duo went on to complete a treble with Capitaine and Politologue delivering in good style.

Nicholls said: "He is as big a four-year-old as I've had for a while. He is 17 hands plus.

"He won his point-to-point beating one of Dan Skelton's (No Hassle Hoff) and never came off the bridle.

"He sauntered to the front and just idled after the last. When Alan's (King) horse came at him he picked up again. He could be smart."

The smile on the face of Warren Greatrex told you all that was needed as to the regard he holds Western Ryder following his victory in the Neptune Investment Management Championship Standard National Hunt Flat Race.

Despite having more in front of him than behind turning for home, the 8/1 shot put his impressive engine to good use, claiming a two-length success and receiving a 25/1 quote for the Champion Bumper.

Greatrex said: "He is a proper horse. He could be a bit of a star. He doesn't show a lot at home, but every now and then you get glimpses of what is there.

"He will stay in bumpers. Whether he goes to Cheltenham, I'm not sure. There are other places and I quite like Punchestown."

Sean Corby celebrated his first Ascot winner when getting home the Neil Mulholland-trained Kalondra (7/1) by a length in the Mitie Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, while the Suzy Smith-trained Red Devil Star (6/1) took the Stella Artois Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

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