Jonjo O'Neill delight as Go Conquer wins well at Ascot

Sat 4 Nov 2017

Go Conquer made most of the running as he powered to a convincing victory in the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained eight-year-old ran his rivals ragged with a polished display of jumping as he followed up his Fontwell success four weeks ago in the hands of Aidan Coleman.

Go Conquer (7-1) held a healthy advantage turning for home with two to jump and was good value for the winning margin of four and a half lengths.

Jason Maguire, racing manager for owners Paul and Clare Rooney, said: "He stayed well and the last time he has been here he has not really seen the trip out.

"Obviously Jonjo has tweaked a few things with him and he won well at Fontwell. Today was a test to see if he was a genuine horse off that mark as we are hoping he may make up into a National horse one day.

"He slowed it up where he wanted then he was able to use his jumping up the side of the course. He stretched away and it was just a good bit of riding."

James Bowen celebrated his biggest winner after the Phil Middleton-trained Exitas (11-2) delivered a near-flawless performance in the Byrne Group Handicap Chase.

The 7lb claimer said: "He jumped and travelled brilliantly. I got left in fourth or fifth where I wanted to be at the start.

"That is definitely my biggest winner."

Elgin (6-1 joint-favourite) took a marked step forward from his seasonal return at Chepstow to register a battling length-and-a-quarter success in the Listed William Hill Handicap Hurdle.

Trainer Alan King said: "If it had not have rained I would have taken him out. He has battled well.

"We were going to go straight to the Greatwood but this was a nice prize and he was in good form."

Gary Moore hopes the sky will be the limit for Benatar (9-2) after he made his first start over fences a winning one with a three-and-three-quarter-length triumph in the Ascot Underwriting Chase to complete a double for the Lower Beeding handler and his jockey-son, Jamie.

Moore snr said: "He is probably one of the nicest horses I've had for a long time.

"I've always said that he is a Hennessy horse and hopefully that's where he might end up one day."

Dell Oro (5-1) got the ball rolling for the father-and-son team with a length-and-a-half victory in the GL Events UK Novices' Hurdle.

Moore said: "That was the perfect start. He is a horse that I've always liked a lot and I think he has got talent.

"We will run him in another novice under a penalty then take it from there."

Nick Gifford enjoyed a welcome winner after Brown Bear (16-1) completed a hat-trick with a neck success in the Gardiner & Theobald Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

Gifford said: "I'm a little bit surprised, to be honest, as most of mine have been needing their first run.

"His jumping has won it as he pinged the second-last and last."

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