Leech lifted by sur­prise suc­cess at Chep­stow

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING -

» TRAINER So­phie Leech recorded one of the big­gest suc­cesses of her ca­reer as Garo De Juil­ley sprang a sur­prise in one of the fea­ture races at Chep­stow’s jump sea­son opener.

The bar­gain buy from Ditcheat

Thor­ough­breds moved men­ac­ingly through­out Satur­day’s £50,000 Chep­stow Con­tract Ren­tals 10 Year An­niver­sary Sil­ver Tro­phy Hand­i­cap Hur­dle, be­fore Paddy Bren­nan kicked on at the third last flight.

The pack gave chase, but the race was al­ready won by the time the Glouces­ter­shire rider asked the six-year-old for max­i­mum ef­fort in the colours of Ge­off Thomp­son.

The owner is a fan of Win­ston Churchill and Leech trained his name­sake horse to win a race on the 50th an­niver­sary of the ex-prime Min­ster’s death in 2015.

Garo De Juil­ley won by a length and three quar­ters at odds of 25-1.

Other Glouces­ter­shire han­dlers were also in win­ning form for the meet­ing which tra­di­tion­ally marks the start of the Na­tional Hunt sea­son.

Kim Bai­ley’s Char­bel (5-1) gained the up­per hand in a close fin­ish to the John Ayres Me­mo­rial Hand­i­cap Chase, while Rocco made an im­me­di­ate im­pact after be­ing sold by top con­nec­tions Grech & Parkin for the Twis­ton-davies team.

Bai­ley’s yard is in stag­ger­ing form at present, with a 71 per cent strike rate in the last fort­night.

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