Shabra raises Stratford roof

Imperial Shabra received the loudest cheer of the afternoon at Stratford after claiming the Alice's Noodle Bar Novices' Handicap Chase - but the decibel level would have been considerably higher had Oliver Brady been present.

Brady, who is based in County Monaghan in the north of Ireland, is known for his raucous celebrations and his fellow countrymen stopping off in Warwickshire to warm up for Cheltenham Festival week had to compensate for the fact the trainer is still recovering at home from a heart attack.

Imperial Shabra (3-1), out of his depth on many occasions this season including against Sizing Europe at Punchestown, still had plenty of his plate at a fair less illustrious level, with jockey Gerry Fox working hard just to keep him to the fore.

He was given another chance due to the erratic jumping of Surf And Turf in front and pulled out a little more on the run-in to finish a length and a half clear.

Brady's assistant, Anthony McCann, said: "The boss had a massive heart attack in January and the doctors wouldn't let him fly. This was a good performance. He hasn't had good ground in Ireland and the trip suited. He might go for the Jewson on Thursday if he's all right. He'll stay the two and a half miles."

Owner Terry Pryke looked as happy as if he owned a Cheltenham winner after his bargain mare Beyeh (18-1) beat the boys in the Try Our New Gallery Restaurant Juvenile Hurdle, striding into the lead turning into the straight and finishing two lengths clear of Greyfriars Drummer under Charlie Wallis.

Pryke said: "She only cost 800 guineas and you wouldn't think for a minute she might end up winning a decent little race. I'd been watching her on the Flat and thought she might be worth trying over a bit further over hurdles. We've had a few winners before, but this is very special."

Wallis very nearly rode a double in the DC Catering Handicap Hurdle, but Red Skipper was nabbed close to the post by Traditional Bob (12-1).

Mylord Collonges had a prior course victory under his belt but his welcome was rather muted as he landed the Firs Mitsubishi & Firs Ssangyong Handicap Chase at 25-1.

Susan Nock, who trains the black gelding for her daughters Camilla and Rosie, said: "There wasn't much of a cheer, so I don't think many people had backed him! He was brilliant when he won at Wincanton, but very disappointing when he ran at Hereford. The ground was very tacky that day."

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