Coral Hurdle: Buzz cruises to Ascot success

Buzz was shortened into 8/1 for Stayers’ Hurdle success after an easy victory in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot.

Sent off the even-money favourite, the Nicky Henderson-trained Buzz was last seen winning the Cesarewitch on the Flat at Newmarket last month and he made a seamless switch back to the winter game in this Grade Two event.

Defending champion Song For Someone set out to make all, bowling along nicely in front for Aidan Coleman as Nico de Boinville kept his mount under wraps for most of the extended two-mile-three-furlong trip.

Buzz was clearly travelling best of all at the top of the straight and while his rivals were hard at work after jumping two out, he was pulling double in the hands of De Boinville.

The seven-year-old needed only the slightest of encouragement to push on and win by three-and-a-half lengths from the gutsy Song For Someone, who was conceding 6lb to the winner. Guard Your Dreams kept on for third, with Goshen only fourth.

“His jumping was amazing, that was Champion Hurdle-standard jumping. He was so quick from the get go, we always knew there was going to be a pretty strong gallop – Goshen didn’t do quite what we expected him to do, but even so they went a good gallop. He never missed a jump.

“I think we’ve got to try going up [in trip]. Nobody knows if he’ll stay, all we know is he loves soft ground so we’re not going to be worried about that. He’s perfectly happy on this, which is probably the same as what Newmarket was.”

Betfair cut Buzz to 8-1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle, and the Seven Barrows trainer added: “The idea was always to try him at three, you can always come back.

“I think if you never ask the question…we’ll see what Nico says, he might say ‘that’s madness!’, but I can’t see him coming back and being a two-mile Champion Hurdler.”

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Trainer Sam Thomas has praised the efforts of Before Midnight who ground out victory in the Hurst Park Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

In the following race, Before Midnight added another victory to the increasing CV of fledgling trainer Sam Thomas in the Hurst Park Handicap Chase.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies had to fend off the early frontrunners and then rally at the finish when Amoola Gold and Bridget Andrews charged home in trademark fashion, winning by a nose.

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