Bold jump seals Doncaster win for Baron

Ellison runner too good for Perfect Predator.

  • Saturday 14 December
  • News
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Brian Ellison’s Baron De Midleton (6-1) benefited from a big leap at the last to win the bet365 Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster.

He looked booked for a place at best as Alan King’s Perfect Predator went clear approaching the final flight, but he met it all wrong which gave Ellison’s runner a chance.

He pinged the obstacle under Henry Brooke and the winning pointer went on to score by a length and a quarter.

“His jump at the last sealed it. He’ll come into his own over fences,” said Ellison.

“He had over two years off before his run two weeks ago, just with niggly problems, but he’s very tough.

“Phil (Martin, owner) is going on holiday after today, so we said we’d give him a run and it’s worked out.”

Jonjo O’Neill’s Pagero was backed as if defeat was out of the question in the opening Bet365 Handicap Hurdle.

A winner six days ago at Huntingdon in a conditional jockeys’ race, the 4-11 favourite cruised up alongside Kajaki before being given his head by Jonjo O’Neill jnr to win by two and a half lengths.

The winning pilot said: “He did it well and we’d have been disappointed if he’d been beaten to be honest.

“Two miles isn’t a problem but the ground is key to him, he needs good ground. He was a winner without a penalty, so he had to win today to back it up. Hopefully there’s a few more to come.”

The O’Neill team looked sure to double up with Sky Pirate in the Handicap Chase, but Storm Control showed far more resolution in the finish and ran out a ready five-length winner.

Often well backed, Sky Pirate was sent off the 6-4 favourite again and O’Neill was content to sit well off Danny Cook on Storm Control (11-4) before creeping into the race quietly, but his mount found little for pressure.

Lee said: “It was a nice ride from Danny, he got a great tune out of him. This was a nice performance and he’s a nice young horse.

“Mr Roseff, his owner, has been ever so patient. He’s had a wind problem which took four months to get right, but he said we could have as long as we wanted.

“Danny actually rode him in January at Wetherby when essentially the horse pulled himself up, but since then we’ve got him right. He’s still a novice so we’ll look for something similar.”

O’Neill jnr did make it a double on the day, however, when Blu Cavalier (14-1) defied top weight in the bet365 Handicap Hurdle.

Third on his debut for Ali Stronge in the Betfair Hurdle last season, he was out of his depth the next twice but was far more at home in handicap company.

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