Zolfo keeps up winning run at Rasen

Four in a row for Candlish-trained grey.

  • Thursday 16 January
  • News
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Zolfo claimed his fourth consecutive win when victorious in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Handicap Chase at Market Rasen under jockey Sean Quinlan.

The grey gelding was a winner on Boxing Day at the same track, with his two prior runs at Bangor also lucrative as he scored decisive victories on both occasions.

A neat jump at the last gained the 7-1 chance ground over eventual runner-up Bandsman, though he was required to hold off Dan Skelton’s charge as the post neared for a head success.

“His confidence is up and that’s all we can put it down to,” said Alan O’Keeffe, assistant to his partner, trainer Jennie Candlish.

“We thought it was Bangor he loved, but maybe it’s here. He doesn’t do it on purpose, but he comes up late and gets to the front so the handicapper isn’t having to pile it on him.

“He’s so big and he carries the weight, but he’s just taken time to mature.

“It’s great to have him in form, we’ve got some lovely young horses and we’ve got him to keep us going.”

Trainer Micky Hammond enjoyed a double, with the first of his two victories produced by Blue Hussar, who launched a late challenge to take Racing TV Handicap Hurdle.

Sent off at 7-1, the nine-year-old bounced back from a below-par effort at Wetherby in December to eventually triumph by two-and-three-quarter lengths in the hands of Joe Colliver.

“I’m delighted,” said Hammond.

“It’s a drop in class for him and a step up in trip. He disappointed a little bit last time at Weatherby, but this is a bit more like the old Blue Hussar.

“He saw the race out really well, I was delighted with him, he jumped well in the main other than the one mistake.”

Square Viviani (8-1) then provided Hammond with a second victory, pulling away after the last fence to claim the Thank You And Best Wishes Paul Ash Handicap Chase by five lengths under Billy Garritty.

Fix Sun remains unbeaten on British soil after winning the Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle for Daryl Jacob and Nicky Henderson, who was also on the mark with two winners at Ludlow.

The 8-13 favourite was victorious on his first run since joining the Henderson stable when a 12-length winner at Sedgefield in May last year, following up that performance with a convincing four-and-a-half-length win on this return from a 247-day break.

Olly Murphy’s Strong Glance (7-2) shone on his handicap debut when taking the Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle by five lengths under Fergus Gregory.

The seven-year-old went one better than his previous second place at Fakenham, the outcome of his first run for Murphy after departing Fergal O’Brien’s stable in December last year.

“I thought he’d win a bit easier than he did in the end,” said Murphy of the performance.

“He’s probably still a bit raw, he’s a horse I think is going to carry on improving.

“He’ll win plenty of races and he’ll jump a fence next year. I’ll try him in another novice hurdle and then we’ll go back to running in handicaps in the spring.”

Elsewhere on the card, Balgemmois (11-2) obliged on his third attempt over fences in taking the Racing TV Handicap Chase by half a length.

Twenty lengths ahead of the rest of the field, the Ali Stronge-trained gelding chased down Two Hoots to draw level over the last, surging clear just yards from the post to win under James Bowen.

Zolfo keeps up winning run at Rasen
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