Frodon books ticket to BetVictor after completing a three-timer
After Frodon completed a hat-trick over fences by landing the Grade 2 novice chase, his trainer Paul Nicholls immediately declared that the four-year-old would bid to add to his winning record in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Bookmakers Paddy Power quickly shortened the Harry Cobden-ridden winner into 6-1 from 12-1 for the showpiece at the three-day Open meeting next weekend.
Frodon looked to be in control when his nearest pursuer Shantou Village buckled on landing at the final fence – leaving him to come home in his own time as the only other runner, Virgilio, pulled up.
"We ran him this afternoon in the hope that he would win and get a 5lb penalty which should see him get in the BetVictor," said Nicholls. "Harry will ride again and he can claim 3lb in that race so the horse effectively only has a 2lb penalty.
"He has always looked like he would make a nice staying novice chaser and his jumping of fences is his strong suit. He was good at the final fence where it mattered so it's onwards and upwards."
Nicholls and Cobden appeared to be in for a profitable afternoon at their local course as they took the first two races on the card with Capitaine and Boa Island.
Following Capitaine's rout in the opener, Nicholls sportingly pledged his winning percentage to the fund to support Freddy Tylicki. He said: "It's the least I can do after all that has happened to him and it's a reminder that racing can be dangerous under both codes."
Royal Sceau impressive
Although Alan King withdrew his other three runners at the Somerset venue, he elected to let Sceau Royal take his chance in the Grade 2 Stan James Elite Hurdle and was all smiles afterwards as the four-year-old cruised to a clear cut success following the last flight fall of Zubayr.
King said: "It was as quick as this horse really wants but we have taken a chance and I hope we have got away with it. He is a very fast jumper and not too bad on the flat either so he has plenty going for him.
"We will now think in terms of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle at the end of the month, but we will wait and see how he is as we also have the option of waiting for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton."
Conditional jockey Patrick Cowley was unshipped from Peckhamecho at the last hurdle and sustained suspected fracture ribs. He will have to pass the doctor before he can resume riding.
John a proper gentleman
If you are not in it, you can't win it. That is how Colin Tizzard summed up Gentleman Jon's victory in the 3m1f Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase in which he had fortune on his side as favourite Southfield Theatre was in front at the last fence but crashed out.
Tizzard said: "We took our chance and have come out on top. It might look lucky with the other horse falling – it was close at the time and who knows what might have happened – but we ran in the race when several were non runners and we have won."
Thought for the day
Frodon looked a horse with a bright future when landing the Grade 2 novice chase but the owner's prize money of only £13,946 looked rather paltry in the circumstances when similar races in France are worth so much more.