Well-backed Palos Conti just gets his nose in front; FAKENHAM.
Star performance The crowd. Nearly 9,000 were in attendance with under 16s getting in for free Eyecatcher Palos Conti can only improve for getting his nose in front and could be seen to even better effect on a bigger track Did we see a potential star of the future in the bumper? Results and analysis, page 74
IT WAS a case of gamble landed but only just, as Palos Conti got up in the final strides of the 2m4f handicap hurdle to win by a nose.
The six-year-old had been available at 14-1 in the morning but returned on course at odds of 9-2. Winning trainer Tim Pitt was not surprised by the outcome, and said: "He's a nice horse and worked very well on Saturday. To be honest, I thought he'd win easier than that. The track hasn't suited him and he'll be a lot better on a bigger course. He's a nice, immature horse and will make a decent chaser one day." Palos Conti's rider Felix de Giles completed a double aboard the Nicky Henderson-trained Katmai in the bumper.
Leopold landed the feature 2m51/2f handicap chase for David Thompson.
The eight-year-old travelled well throughout and recorded a 21-length success after American World unseated at the last.
Thompson said: "Absolutely brilliant.
He had his ground today. I ran him last week at Market Rasen and he came out of that race absolutely fantastic." Tampa Boy landed the 2m71/2f handicap hurdle in a thrilling finish. It looked as if Indefensible was going to give Evan Williams a double on the card, but Oliver Greenall's mount came home quickest to win by three-quarters of a length.
Earlier Lilac had given Williams victory in the 2m4f seller, winning easily by seven lengths. The ten-year-old is now two from two at the track and will remain with the trainer after attracting no bids at the auction.
Bonne Noel's landed the 2m51/2f novice hunter chase, giving jockey Rupert Stearn his first hunter chase winner.
Stearn quickly made it two aboard Coat Of Honour in the 3m1/2f hunter chase.
Marc Goldstein, who suffered a heavy fall at the first aboard Lease Back in the 2m51/2f handicap chase, was taken to hospital in King's Lynn with a dislocated elbow..