Gansey claims Wetherby gold

Sue Smith has a smart prospect on her hands in the shape of Gansey after his eyecatching success in the One Man Novices' Chase sparked a double for the trainer at Wetherby.

Sue Smith has a smart prospect on her hands in the shape of Gansey after his eyecatching success in the One Man Novices' Chase sparked a double for the trainer at Wetherby today.

The seven-year-old had looked a fine sort a couple of years ago for Paul Nicholls, but injury intervened and he found himself re-routed to North Yorkshire.

A son of fine staying chaser Ebony Jane, he was sent off the 8-11 favourite to oblige and after taking up the running from Rory Boy at the second-last fence, Ritchie McGrath did not ask him a question in winning by five lengths.

Owner Trevor Hemmings' racing manager Mick Meagher said: "He was a bit too brave at a few of his fences there and when he does let fly he tends not to get very high.

"He was a bit free also and needs to be ridden with control. Ritchie said where it was softer down the back he was struggling for a few strides and he appreciated the better ground in the straight.

"I don't know where we'll go next, he had a fair few problems as a young horse."

Smith's Flake (9-1) completed the double as he won the 11th race of his lucrative career in the Come Racing At Wetherby On Boxing Day Handicap.

Tjade Collier bided his time before kicking clear in the straight to beat the well backed Canada Street by eight lengths.

George Moore saddled a welcome winner when his stable star Pagan Starprincess (8-1) just lasted home in the Goes Mobile With Blujam Handicap Hurdle.

Having travelled well for Dougie Costello throughout, the five-year-old, winner of a Grade Two event at Doncaster last season, began to empty after the last allowing course specialist Terenzium one last crack, eventually going down by a neck with Helens Vision a close third.

"It's a waste of time running her on the Flat," said Moore.

"When Dougie rode her last time he said she blew up twice so I was hopeful today, but the way mine have been running I wasn't confident.

"She's filling out nicely and is a cracking mare. We might look at the Doncaster race she won last year when she beat Chomba Womba."

Wilson Renwick was suspended for two days (December 20 and 21) for his his use of the whip on Terenzium.

Graham Lee produced a masterful ride aboard Le Roi Rouge who collared the front-running Babe Heffron in the Book Corporate Hospitality @ Handicap Chase.

Ferdy Murphy's charge was not even sighted in fifth place over the second-last fence, but Lee galvanised the 5-1 chance to win by a length and a quarter.

"He ran a blinder over three miles at Kelso last March and he's won today over two miles," said Murphy.

"Graham said to drop him in trip because what he really wants is two miles, soft ground and a fast pace and he's got that today."

Donald McCain won the opening race on the card last year with Fabalu and repeated the trick with Edge Of Town (9-4) in the Book Boxing Day Tickets @ Novices' Hurdle.

He saw off odds-on favourite King O'The Gypsies under Jason Maguire.

"He's a big baby really and he should have won on his debut but the bit slipped through his mouth," said McCain.

"He's a nice staying chaser for the future."

Paul Kirby's Let's Go Girls (13-2) put a disappointing seasonable debut behind her with a well-backed success in the O2/Sony Ericsson Superstar 25 Novices' Handicap Hurdle and unsurprisingly Alan Swinbank won the EBF "Junior" Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race with Royal Riviera (5-2 favourite).

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