Leech lifted by surprise success at Chepstow
» 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.