Gary Moore has his sights sets on an outing in the Grand National later in the season for Traffic Fluide following his game success in the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
Having looked booked for second after the last in the Grade Three contest, the eight-year-old rallied well to forge back past Art Mauresque on the run in to score by half a length and earn a 50-1 quote for the Aintree marathon with Paddy Power.
The Lower Beeding handler said: “It was amazingly satisfying for a very big owner and it’s great to train a big winner like that for them. The plan had gone right for once.
“We tried a bit of everything last season and, thank God, it worked and came good in the end.
“I will train him for the Grand National. I’ve never trained a National horse in my life, but I’m getting older and I will ask all the experts and see how it works out.”
Victory for the 4-1 shot was also a first winner at the track in more than eight years for the winning rider, and trainer’s son Joshua .
He said: “My very first ride here was a winner when I beat Ruby Walsh as an amateur, but I’ve struggled since. It’s good to start off the season with a win like this.”
There are many more prestigious races run at the track than the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase, but to connections of the Dr Richard Newland-trained Vosne Romanee his length-and-a-quarter victory felt like lifting a top-level prize.
Dan Abraham, racing manager to Foxtrot Racing, said: “He disappointed at Cheltenham last week, but Richard was adamant we should come here and he was spot on. It is our first ever winner at Ascot and it’s a dream.”
Twelve months after claiming the Bet With Ascot Handicap Hurdle with Elgin, trainer Alan King repeated the trick with Fidux after the five-year-old backed up his last-time-out victory a Southwell with a stylish eight-length verdict in the Listed contest.
King said of the 9-1 winner: “I’m slightly blown away by that as I was not expecting it. He had a fitness advantage over one or two, but I could not be more pleased.
“He is not in the Greatwood as I’m not sure he is up to that grade, but it was a good pot to win today.”
Harry Teal enjoyed a winner on his first ride at the track in front of his family and friends as the Warren Greatrex-trained Emitom (3-1) maintained his unbeaten record when taking the Maria O’Grady Memorial Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race by a length and a half.
The winning rider said: “He is a lovely horse and we think a lot of him. He won his Warwick bumper really well and coming her we were very confident.
“It’s lovely to get a winner here in front of my family and friends at a Grade One track on my second ride for Warren.”
Among those watching on was the 22-year-old’s dad, trainer Roger Teal, who said: “I’m very proud of him. I can’t buy a winner here, but God bless him. I’ve even backed the favourite to stop that from winning!”
Perseverance paid off for Gavin Sheehan after Anemoi, who is a half-brother to multiple Group One winner Laurens, claimed what at one stage looked an unlikely two-and-a-quarter-length victory in the GL Events UK Novices’ Hurdle.
Whittington said of the 11-2 winner: “It was brilliant from the second last, but I was not sure half way round.
“Gavin said stick to two on the next run, but I would not be surprised if he was to step up to two and a half at the back end of the season.”