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Fakenham: National ambition for Aspell winner.

Byline: Will O'Hanlon

LEIGHTON ASPELL has a one-in-three strike rate at the tight Norfolk track, and improved it still further with a double on Dick Turpin and Skycab, writes Will O'Hanlon.

Aspell got some bold leaps out of Skycab, trained by Josh Gifford for Pat Betts, in the three-mile handicap chase. And the winner may be given the chance to display his jumping prowess on a much bigger stage.

Trainer's son Nick Gifford said: "Dad would love to run Skycab in the National - if he can persuade the owner and if we can get the horse's rating up sufficiently.

"He's a wonderful jumper, and I'm sure he'd go well at Aintree."

Dick Turpin, winner of the two-and-a-half-mile novice hurdle, had been out of action for three years with leg trouble, but he had shown promise when third over course and distance in October and proved he is fully recovered as he held off Cool Roxy.

Trainer Lucy Wadham said: "It's been a hell of a comeback - it's taken a lot of patience and hard work."

Aspell looked booked for a treble when sending Executive Decision to the front on the run to the last in the two-mile handicap hurdle, but Marigliano swooped late under Noel Fehily.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Words:206
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