Josies revels in Ascot quagmire

  • Last Updated: December 21 2013, 14:15 GMT

Rain in Ascot led to stamina-sapping conditions, but Josies Orders showed an aptitude in the mud to win the Foundation Developments Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

  • Josies Orders wins at Ascot
  • Easter Day (right) beats O'Faolains Boy 
  • Lancetto wins under Adam Wedge 

Jonjo O'Neill's gelding has taken a while to get it altogether, but had broken his duck at Aintree in October before running a good third at Wetherby a fortnight ago.

Always going nicely under Tony McCoy, who kept the 6-1 chance wide throughout, Josies Orders stayed on best to finish two and a half lengths ahead of Sybarite.

"He works well at home, but we stuck the blinkers on as he hasn't always been doing it on the track," said O'Neill.

"AP (McCoy) said it's heavy out there and it's great he has shown the ability he has at home."

Even-money favourite Easter Day gave Paul Nicholls his fourth David Johnson Memorial Shawbrook Graduation Chase in a row.

The two-mile-five-furlong heat is for horses that have not won more than a couple of chases but it boiled down to a match between two novices, Daryl Jacob's mount Easter Day and the McCoy-ridden O'Faolains Boy.

They duelled down the straight and were split by two and a quarter lengths at the line.

"I've normally won it with second-season chasers rather than novices," said Nicholls.

"It's nice to win David's race. He was a great owner and a great man who is missed by everyone.

"I'm not sure this horse would be quick enough for Cheltenham, but we'll find some staying handicaps.

"I thought he ran a little flat today."

  • Josies Orders wins the opener at Ascot
  • A shot of the runners in the opener
  • Easter Day (right) beats O'Faolains Boy in the Graduation Chase
  • Aidan Coleman after his ride on Lone Ranger
  • Sam Twiston-Davies after his ride on Sybarite
  • Lancetto on his way to winning under Adam Wedge
  • Reve De Sivola led all the way...
  • ... and won his second consecutive Long Walk Hurdle
  • At Fishers Cross unseated AP McCoy at the last when beaten
  • Houblon Des Obeaux wins at Ascot
  • Willow's Saviour on his way to winning the Ladbroke...
  • ...for Dan Skelton (tariner) and his brother Harry (jockey)
All the best photos from Saturday's card at Ascot featuring the Ladbroke.

Confidence had not been high in the Evan Williams camp ahead of the BGC Partners Handicap Chase, but 14-1 chance Lancetto proved him wrong.

The Sneezer went off at a fair lick in front before Grey Gold took over, while Lancetto and Gus Macrae waited in the wings.

The latter delivered a serious challenge over the last but was repelled by half a length.

Jockey Adam Wedge said: "I'm very surprised he won as Evan thought he was too high in the handicap, but his jumps over the last two fences have been crucial."

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