Newbury treble for Nicholls

  • Last Updated: December 1 2012, 17:27 GMT

Ruby Walsh, who had been stood down at the end of Friday's meeting with a sprained thumb, showed no ill-effects when galvanising Rolling Aces home in the frootfal.co.uk Sure Bet For Cashback Novices' Handicap Chase at Newbury.

  • Ballyoliver (left) jumps the last before landing the opener
  • She Ranks Me wins the mares' novices' hurdle under an inspired AP McCoy 

This race had been a long-term plan for Paul Nicholls, who ran the unexposed six-year-old in a beginners' chase at Ascot last month to get him qualified.

Appreciating almost an extra half-mile here, the 4-1 favourite found more on the run-in than Merry King and prevailed by three-quarters of a length.

Nicholls said: "This was always the target - Ascot was too sharp for him but we had to get him started. He stays well, and we'll have to find something else for him."

Nicholls claimed a third victory of the day (having earlier seen Big Buck's extend his winning sequence) through Ulck Du Lin with Daryl Jacob taking over on the 2-1 favourite from Walsh, who could not do the weight in the Sportingbet Handicap Chase.

"We were running him over further but he's a funny horse, he's suddenly found the speed for two miles," said Nicholls.

"He's only a four-year-old, so we won't overdo it."

It is never a surprise to see Tony McCoy snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but the champion was at his magnificent best in the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Taking the mount on Donald McCain's She Ranks Me (10-1) in the Listed heat, McCoy had his work cut out against Barry Geraghty and Ma Filleule after she surged into the lead at the penultimate flight in the home straight.

However, the Ulsterman got a second wind out of the grey and finished a neck up after a nail-biting finish.

McCoy said: "She's a tough mare and you know with Donald's they will keep finding for you, but it was only halfway up the run-in that I thought I'd got Barry."

McCoy was back in business again when driving At Fishers Cross (4-1) clear in the Sportingbet Handicap Hurdle for trainer Rebecca Curtis.

Curtis said: "He's quite babyish and has been a slow learner but that was good. He'll want a trip in time."

Venetia Williams and old ally Will Biddick were re-united in the Sportingbet Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase.

Biddick has returned to the gentlemens ranks after giving up on an attempt to be a professional and often proves himself to be in a different league to his opponents.

The Cornishman pushed Ballyoliver (8-1) half a length clear of Present To You, and Williams said: "Will started out with us and eventually had to give in to an unequal battle with the scales.

"He's an amateur again, and having won a race at the Cheltenham Festival for us, it's lovely to be able to use him."


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