Antony and Jamie Moore in glorious isolation
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony McFadden 3:41PM 29 OCT 2016
Report: Ascot, Saturday
Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m,4yo+
FATHER-AND-SON combination Gary and Jamie Moore landed the spoils with Antony, who turned a competitive-looking £100,000 handicap chase into a procession.
Arriving on the back of a comfortable win in a four-runner race at Fontwell, Antony took a significant step forward on that form and produced a clear career-best effort to win this valuable prize by four and a half lengths.
Junction Fourteen just held on for second from the staying-on 9-4 favourite Saphir Du Rheu, but neither looked like throwing down a challenge to the easy winner, who travelled strongly and readily asserted on the approach to the final fence.
Antony was sent off as an 11-1 shot, having been tipped in the Racing Post by Pricewise supremo Tom Segal at 16-1.
“It’s a massive surprise to me to be totally honest,” said Gary Moore.
“I kind of felt he’d won by default last time. He won but I thought he was a certainty and I was disappointed. But all mine have needed the run and it’s done him the world of good.
“He’s not over-big but he’s very handy and when he won his chase at Sandown I thought he was a natural. I think he will be better on softer ground.”
Hennessy for Saphir
Plenty of punters would have been left disappointed by Saphir Du Rheu’s defeat, having backed him into 9-4 (from 7-2) earlier in the day. But trainer Paul Nicholls was delighted by the performance of his Grade 1-winning chaser, who endured a disappointing campaign last season after a reappearance win that had promised so much.
“I’m very happy,” Nicholls said. “I couldn’t understand why he was favourite as he wants slower ground and is as big as bull.
“You can’t win with all of them first time out and he’s not a horse you can get ready – he’s taken a hell of a lot of getting fit.
“We wanted a good clear round and I’m thrilled. Hopefully he’ll get slower ground at Newbury for the Hennessy.”