Djelo and Let It Rain impress with Ascot wins

Djelo was the star of the show at Ascot on Friday as he completed a hat-trick of chase victories for Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch with an impressive win in the Grade Two Howden Noel Novices’ Chase.

The five-year-old, who started the 6/5 favourite, made all the running and was never troubled as he was pushed out by Deutsch to score by six lengths from Kandoo Kid.

Deutsch told Sky Sports Racing: “I really enjoyed it, he travelled really well and jumped well apart from the second-last when I had to steady him slightly because I didn’t want to go any faster but I didn’t want to go any slower. Other than that his jumping was electric.

“He’d been long at quite a few so I didn’t want to chance it again and just let him run into it, but he picked himself up and jumped the last well. He will have learned a bit today and it’s good because it takes a bit of jumping this track.

Image: Djelo jumped impressively out in front at Ascot

“He’s a lovely horse, he enjoys his racing and he’s a hardy, racing type, he wants to get on and do it. He does what you need for a top-class chaser. I would be happy with today’s trip [two miles and three furlongs], he was a little outpaced the last day, today was more in his comfort zone.”

There was also a promising performance in the closing Thames Materials Open National Hunt Flat Race as Let It Rain made it two wins from two starts for Dan and Harry Skelton.

Let It Rain ridden by Harry Skelton wins The Thames Materials Open National Hunt Flat Race on day one of the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot
Image: Let It Rain, ridden by Harry Skelton, wins the closing Listed bumper at Ascot

The four-year-old daughter of Kayf Tara took control in the straight before easing home three-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Brechin Castle, who ran a fine race under a penalty giving 11lb to the winner, to score at odds of 8/1, with Celtic Dino third.

Harry Skelton said: “She shows you everything you want to see, she’s like a good woman and everyone needs one of those in their life! Bridget [Skelton, wife] has done a lot of work with her and she always said there was something about her – she’s got it all.

“It’s early on in her career, she’s definitely done everything we’ve asked. She’s a long way from where we want to be, but she’s going the right way. On paper there were a lot of good horses, lots of winners in there and she was getting the allowance so it was probably a mighty run from the second with his penalty, but we’re delighted with her.”

Persian Time justified 6/4 favouritism under Nico de Boinville in the Howden Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, although Nicky Henderson’s charge appeared a somewhat fortunate winner after Authorised Speed fell at the penultimate fence when still going well in front.

That left Homme Public to take second place as Persian Time, who had finished second to Djelo on his previous run, triumphed by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

Persian Time ridden by Nico de Boinville wins The Howden Novices' Limited Handicap Chase on day one of the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot
Image: Persian Time, ridden by Nico de Boinville, wins the Howden Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Ascot

The WB Wealth Handicap Hurdle produced the finish of the day with Titan Discovery and Toonagh Warrior locked together in the closing stages.

The former, trained by Robbie Llewellyn, eventually prevailed by a head under Liam Harrison at odds of 14/1, with Bad back in third place.

Titan Discovery ridden by Liam Harrison (right) wins The WB Wealth Handicap Hurdle from Toonagh Warrior on day one of the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot
Image: Titan Discovery (right) just outbattled Toonagh Warrior to score

The Paul Nicholls-trained Welcom To Cartries looked beaten as they approached the home turn in the Howden Maiden Hurdle as Harry Cobden got to work on him.

However, the 4/6 favourite responded well and made steady progress before streaking clear in the closing stages as he came home six-and-a-half lengths in front of Ideal Des Bordes.

Welcom To Cartries ridden by Harry Cobden (right) goes on to win The Howden Maiden Hurdle on day one of the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot
Image: Welcom To Cartries jumps the last on his way to victory

The Tom Lacey-trained Immortal Fame was prominent throughout in the opening Howden Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle before staying on strongly under Cameron Iles to score by three-and-a-half lengths from Roger Pol.

Iles was riding his third successive winner and his first at Ascot.

Source : Sky Sports