Oscar’s Elite performance secures an Ultima ticket.
In the Bateaux London Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot, Oscar Elite defeated the odds-on favorite Bold Endeavour to become Joe Tizzard’s first Graded race winner.
He won the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival as a hurdler, and as a novice, he finished close in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the big meeting the year before.
He had a lot of experience as a novice in his second season, but despite not having won over fences before, he was disqualified at 6-1 in a three-runner contest.
Oscar Elite, on the other hand, demonstrated once more that he saves his best form for spring. He made big leaps on the way around for Harry Cobden, who can’t go wrong right now, and he was too strong in the straight to beat the favorite, winning by seven and a half lengths.
“There’s no doubt he comes better in the spring. We fancied him going into the Coral Gold Cup but it all happened too quickly for him and they got him at it. On his day he’s got an engine,” said Tizzard.
“I saw this was going to cut-up and thought it would give him a confidence-booster if nothing else. He was able to get in a lovely rhythm and the further he went, the more he enjoyed it.
“He looked like he was going to win the Ultima jumping the last and then he had a trapped epiglottis at Aintree. You can kind of forgive him getting his confidence back. He’ll go back to the Ultima now and then there’s the novice options at Aintree.
“He had some stiff tasks last year, we threw him in at the deep end on a number of occasions. In the future he could be a National horse.”
For the Ultima the following month, Betfair reduced the odds to 8-1 from 16s.
Christian Williams had made it clear that Cap Du Nord (11-2) would be fully prepared for the LK Bennett Swinley Handicap Chase, and the stable favorite did as he had promised.
Williams, a seasoned jockey, almost picks his schedule these days, but this year he decided to switch things up and skip the Coral Trophy, which he won last year at Kempton, in favor of this race.
Williams was concerned that he would fall short of qualifying the following week with a rating of 127, but he proved he could win with it by leaping ahead under Jack Tudor to defeat Neon Moon by seven lengths.
“We think Frodon is going for the race next week which will push us out of the weights so we played our hand this week instead,” said Williams.
“It’s great to get an Ascot winner for the horse, Jack and the owners. He’s only a 125-127 rated horse but he means as much to us as a 160 horse would in another yard. He wins a big TV race for us every year.
“I bought him off a friend of mine, Pat Doyle, and as his confirmation wouldn’t be great, he wasn’t one for the sales so we bought him and it’s a great story.
“There’s no secret, every time he gets to 130 or above he cannot win a race, it’s in black and white for everyone to see. He ran well at Doncaster last time and Jack is still annoyed about not winning, so it goes to show he was unlucky that day – but he’s put it right today.”
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