Danny Whizzbang makes fine start to life over fences with Grade Two Newbury win

Danny Whizzbang and Harry Cobden win at Newbury
Danny Whizzbang and Harry Cobden win at Newbury

Danny Whizzbang looks destined for big things after making a winning debut over fences to maintain his unbeaten record under rules in the Ladbrokes John Francome Novices' Chase at Newbury.

Making his first start in 270 days, the six-year-old stayed on strongly after going on two out to defeat odds-on favourite Reserve Tank by four lengths - giving trainer Paul Nicholls his eighth victory in the Grade Two contest.

Nicholls said of his Harry Cobden-ridden 9/2 shot: "It was a very nice surprise. I wanted to run him in a beginners' chase to get some experience and I thought I was chucking him in at the deep end today.

"I thought he would need the run and experience, but he must be very good. He is a big, strong, old-fashioned type.

"His breathing wasn't good, but we sorted that out. He surprised me there - I thought he would run an OK race, but I thought he would finish third and would improve and run in a beginners' chase over Christmas and carry on from there.

"He will improve massively, as he hadn't had a run. We brought him here a fortnight ago for a gallop and Sam Twiston-Davies said for one of mine he didn't feel very fit."

The Ditcheat handler has not ruled out running Danny Whizzbang - who was introduced at 16/1 for the RSA Chase - at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

He added: "He looks like he may well be that horse (RSA type) as all he can do is get better. He jumped well and Harry said he felt like he was riding a hunter all the way round, as he just kept popping away, and that he turned down the straight and just took off.

"I hadn't made a plan as I thought he would run in a beginners' chase over Christmas, but that (Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase) is possible. If it was soft, why not?

"He is the sort of horse that might keep surprising us."

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