Evening Times - - GOLF -


A LONG-HELD plan came to fruition at Sandown on Satur­day when An­thony Honey­ball’s good re­cent form was capped with the vic­tory of Jepeck in the £100,000 Uni­bet Vet­er­ans’ Hand­i­cap Chase se­ries fi­nal.

Run in mem­ory of last year’s win­ner Hou­blon Des Obeaux, there was to be no fairy­tale win for his trainer Vene­tia Wil­liams as her Bur­ton Port was one of the first beaten and pulled up.

Honey­ball had his eyes on the valu­able prize as long ago as last March, though, when Jepeck was sec­ond to Tak­ingrisks in a qual­i­fier for the se­ries at Carlisle.

Given Nicky Richards’ charge had sub­se­quently won the Scot­tish Na­tional and the Eider Chase, Jepeck looked a well-hand­i­capped run­ner and had been kept to hur­dles this sea­son to pre­serve his mark.

Sent off the 3-1 favourite, ev­ery­thing went well for young Rex Din­gle through the race and he took up the run­ning turn­ing for home, although on the run to the fi­nal fence he was al­most car­ried out by a loose horse. Thank­fully for con­nec­tions Jepeck he pre­vailed in a three-way pho­to­graph from Re­gal Flow and The­atre Guide.

“With the 129 [rat­ing], we were not sure if we had much in hand,” said Honey­ball.

“But the facts were that the only vet­er­ans’ chase we’d run in be­fore to­day, the win­ner went on to win the Scot­tish Na­tional, so we thought we would go hur­dling [first].

“I thought there was a good chance he would run to this mark, or be­yond it. We al­ready had a good sea­son, so to pocket that is great. I was not quite sure how bad it was if we were go­ing to get taken out – but thank­fully he came back in, and had enough in re­serve.”

Mean­while, Fid­dleron­theroof jus­ti­fied strong mar­ket sup­port to im­pres­sively land the Grade One Uni­bet Tol­worth Hur­dle.

Trainer An­thony Honey­ball

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