King sails in with a winner

  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 18:00 GMT

Midnight Sail earned his reward for a string of consistent efforts in the Rewards4Racing Handicap Chase at Kempton.

Midnight Sail: Winner of Kempton opener
Midnight Sail: Winner of Kempton opener

Second in three handicaps before a weaker effort at Plumpton, Alan King's runner was kept to the fore by Robert Thornton and galloped to a length and three-quarters success over Lexicon Lad.

"He deserved that - he has been running well all season," said King of the 5/1 shot.

"He's one of mine who has been waiting for better ground - the only time he was disappointing was at Plumpton last time where it was hock-deep."

The Pendil Novices' Chase was won last year by the Paul Nicholls-trained Cristal Bonus and the Ditcheat team defended their crown with Grandioso.

In a race where some of the jumping left a lot to be desired, the winner made steady gains from the rear of the field to lead between the last two fences and hold the rallying 11/8 favourite Molotof.

"If you'd seen him two races ago you wouldn't have thought he'd end up winning a Grade Two but he's an improving horse," said Nicholls.

"He's not in at Cheltenham and he does go a bit right-handed, so Aintree might play against him, but I'm sure we'll find another nice race for him."

Baby Shine(12/1) continued Lucy Wadham's great record in the Soccer AM Hurdle by winning her third renewal in the race from as many runners in the race.

Such A Legend (33/1) stole a march on his rivals in the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race and Ed Cookson caught his rivals napping to post a surprise victory over odds-on Beat That.

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