Agrapart: won the Betfair Hurdle under Lizzie KellyPICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER
Lizzie Kelly wins Betfair Hurdle on Agrapart
Report: Newbury, Saturday
Betfair Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m69y, 4yo+
LIZZIE KELLY's astonishing season continued with another big Saturday success as she steered Agrapart to success in the Betfair Hurdle, the most valuable handicap hurdle in Britain.
Kelly, who became the first woman to ride a Grade 1 winner over jumps in Britain or Ireland when winning aboard Tea For Two in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, produced Agrapart to take things up on the approach to the final flight and had 11 lengths in hand at the line.
Starchitect finished runner-up while Flying Angel was third. The well-fancied Affaire D'Honneur made good ground from the rear to come home in fourth.
Agrapart is trained by Kelly's stepfather Nick Williams and owned by the Gascoigne Brookes Partnership III.
'Under the radar'
Agrapart may have been a 16-1 shot but Kelly wasn't surprised by the result.
"He's a funny horse. He ran extremely well at Aintree and also at Sandown. I was surprised he was as long odds as he was. It's nice when you go under the radar, people ignore you a bit more," Kelly said.
She added: "My plan was to really get them off it so there was no way any speed horses could come back at me because he has a very high cruising speed.
"It's a bit like winding up a toy car because once he gets going it's almost like nothing can stop him."
Lizzie Kelly shows her delight after another major victoryPICTURE: Getty Images
How the race unfolded
There was incident from the outset, with an early charging of the tape leading to a standing start.
Dicosimo, who was one of five horses representing Willie Mullins, was sent straight into the lead but forfeited his advantage with a shocking mistake at the first hurdle. He eventually departed down the back-straight, hampering a number of horses, including the well-fancied Modus.
As has often been the case in this race in recent years, it paid to race handily and Agrapart was never far off the pace under Kelly.
Starchitect, who was making his first start for David Pipe since leaving Donald McCain, briefly looked to have the upper hand jumping the second-last, but Agrapart found plenty for Kelly's urgings and was in control when Starchitect made a bad blunder at the final flight.
Agrapart was enhancing the excellent recent record of novices in the Betfair Hurdle. Agrapart, who contested the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle on his most recent outing, was the fifth novice to win the race since 2010.
He was following in the footsteps of Get Me Out Of Here, Recession Proof, My Tent Or Yours and Splash Of Ginge.
Scoop6 bonus hunters out of luck
None of the six Scoop6 bonus punters had chosen 16-1 shot Agrapart so the near-£900,000 pot was not won and has rolled over again.