Magico marks Beck switch with victory

Millionaire owner Paul Beck celebrated the transfer of 16 horses to Venetia Williams with a winner from his first runner for that trainer when Magico landed a gamble at Fontwell.

Millionaire owner Paul Beck celebrated the transfer of 16 horses to Venetia Williams with a winner from his first runner for that trainer when Magico landed a gamble at Fontwell.

Heavily-backed on course and returned the 5-4 favourite, Paul O’Neill’s mount took advantage of a mistake by Kyper Disco two out to land the Canine & Feline Cortaflex Novices Chase by six lengths.

Beck admitted he had “a little split” with Richard Guest but revealed the latter still has 10 of his horses, including his recently-acquired John Smith’s Grand National hope Shotgun Willy.

Beck explained: “This is my first runner with Venetia and it’s interesting that my first runner with Richard was also a winner.

“We are all looking for that special horse and 16 of mine have gone to Venetia, while 10 have been retained by Richard.”

The Cheshire-based owner added: “I’ve only been an owner for two and a half years, and I feel there was a certain amount of pressure on Richard when they were all with him which had something to do with what’s happened.”

Of Shotgun Willy, who started favourite for the 2003 National when trained by Paul Nicholls for Graham Roach, added: “He’s working very well at Richard’s and we are looking to get a run into him in February or March to help get him ready for Aintree.”

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