Angels Breath looks to have a bright future after making a triumphant debut over fences in the Sky Sports Racing Novices’ Chase at Ascot.
The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old made it two wins from as many visits to the Berkshire track after adding to his Grade Two victory over hurdles on his first start under rules 12 months ago with a facile success.
Tracking early pacesetter First Flow for much of the race, the well supported 5-4 favourite moved into the lead jumping the second last before running out an impressive eight-length winner.
Henderson said: “He was slick wasn’t he, as he is not the biggest. The funny thing is that he gave us all the impression last season he wanted good ground.
“Nico (De Boinville) said he couldn’t believe it the way he went down in the soft ground as we don’t do soft ground at home and he absolutely loved it.
“It was a proper gallop and Birchdale (stablemate) couldn’t go with them. I didn’t think they would outpace Birchdale like that but they have gone a solid pace considering the ground.
“He has had a solid blow and he will come on a fair bit for it. He has been good at home. The one lovely thing about that race is you are jumping six fences up hill and they are lovely fences to start with for a novice.”
Assessing future targets for Angels Breath, who was cut into 8-1 for the JLT and 10-1 for the Arkle by Paddy Power, the Seven Barrows handler hinted he could return to the course for the Grade Two Noel Novices’ Chase next month.
He added: “I’d be hanging around at two and half (miles) for the time being I would think. That (Noel Novices’ Chase) is probably the obvious one but I’ve not thought about pre-planning yet.”