By Alex Wiltshire 4:31PM 9 OCT 2016
Report: Chepstow, Sunday
totepool Persian War Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2), 2m3f100y, 4yo+
PAUL NICHOLLS landed a third winner on the card at Chepstow as El Bandit stayed on strongest under substitute jockey Sean Bowen to deny Coo Star Sivola. The JP McManus-owned 6-4 favourite No Comment crashed out at the second flight of hurdles.
Securing a fourth win on the trot, El Bandit stepped up to Grade 2 company to announce himself as a potential star of the novice hurdle scene this season.
It was a sixth Persian War win for Nicholls and El Bandit follows in the footsteps of stable star Silviniaco Conti and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Blaklion, who won last season’s RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after landing the 2014 Persian War.
El Bandit, Coo Star Sivola and Scottish raider Mirsaale jumped the last almost in a line, but as the challenge of Coo Star Sivola, last season’s Fred Winter third, and the hat-trick-seeking Mirsaale faded, El Bandit was left to claim the prize.
The five-year-old was driven out to the line by Sean Bowen, who picked up the ride after Sam Twiston-Davies was stood down after a fall on One More Go in the 3.25.
Also at Chepstow on Saturday
PP Control and Automation Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Class 2), 2m7½f, 10yo+
LEG six of the Veterans’ Chase Series went to the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Double Ross, who saw off a glittering field of racing stalwarts to win at 3-1.
The ten-year-old survived a slight scare at the last fence to beat Loose Chips who held on for second ahead of Your Busy, while favourite Rocky Creek failed to return to form and could only finish sixth.
The Veterans’ Chase Series, now in its second year, will culminate with the final at Sandown in January next year and any horse that participates in a qualifier will be eligible.