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'There's no way I thought he'd win' - Economy matched at 800 in Ayr blockbuster

Strong Economy: defied an in-running price of 800 to win at Ayr on Monday
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Strong Economy came from behind to record a remarkable success in the 3m3f handicap chase having hit an in-running price of 800 before dramatically prevailing under Grand National-winning jockey Derek Fox.

The Ian Duncan-trained nine-year-old looked well beaten on the turn for home and still had seven lengths to find on the leaders after the final fence.

However, Strong Economy stayed on dourly on the heavy Ayr surface to overhaul Buddha Scheme and Scoop The Pot, who had traded at lows of 1.13 and 1.35 respectively.


1.55 Ayr: full result and race replay


"He looks a beaten horse when he's half a mile from home," Duncan said. "Coming to two out there is no way I thought he could win but he keeps pulling it out of the hat.

"He's a very good stayer and keeps galloping. He doesn’t have a lot of speed but he's relentless and has plenty of stamina."

Strong Economy will next be aimed at Newcastle's Eider Chase in February.

Henderson finds right spot

Last year's Coral Cup heroine Dame De Compagnie made the 355-mile trip to Ayr worthwhile as she made a smooth transition to chasing when beating Cornerstone Lad in a match in the 2m½f novice chase.

After a delayed start to her chasing career, trainer Nicky Henderson cited a lack of opportunities as the reason for making the long trip north over a distance shorter than ideal.

"I was very, very pleased, she jumped great," he said. "The lack of opportunities forced us to go all the way to Ayr which I wouldn't normally do.

Dame De Compagnie: an impressive winner on her chase debut

"It was getting a bit desperate, we missed a couple of races last week so we had to take a punt and send her north over the wrong distance."

Dame De Compagnie was shortened to 5-1 (from 10) by sponsors Paddy Power for the inaugural Mares' Chase at Cheltenham, but Henderson is leaving his options open for the spring festival season.

Results, replays and analysis


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He's a very good stayer and keeps galloping. He doesn’t have a lot of speed but he's relentless and has plenty of stamina
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