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Racing: SCOUT'S A LUCKY WINNER.

IRISH raider Native Scout rode his luck to gain a confidence boosting success under Barry Geraghty in the betfair.com Novices' Chase at Uttoxeter yesterday and is set to return to England for another Cheltenham Festival date in the spring.

Native Scout was about three quarters of a length down but staying on well when the odds-on leader No Need For Alarm fell two out, leaving the former clear and he popped the last fence and went on to beat Jefertiti by a distance.

Trainer Donal Hassett, who is based near Shannon Airport, said: "He did that well and Barry said he still had plenty left when the other fell - I could not be more pleased with him.

"His owner wants to run him in the Arkle and we will give him another run or two for experience beforehand - he finished sixth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last year and it will be nice to go back to the Festival."

Geraghty, who won the Midlands National here on Miss Orchestra in 1998 and who will be in action at Navan today, said: "It would have been very close if the other horse had not fallen, they went a good pace and it rode a decent race."

Paul Keane, a BHB graduate and formerly a member of the Race Planning department, enjoyed his first taste of success as a trainer when Barton Nic stayed on gamely for David Crosse to hold off Just Beth in the Annual Badges Now On Sales Conditional Jockeys' Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

It was an appropriate win too, because Barton Nic was bred by Sir Stanley Clarke, Uttoxeter racecourse chairman, and Keane said: "It is a great thrill. I think that is my 13th runner!"

CAPTION(S):

FORTUNE: Barry Geraghty
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2002
Words:293
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