25 November 2023

Fry eyeing another ‘home match’, as Boothill banks Ascot repeat

25 November 2023

Boothill booked his ticket to the Clarence House Chase as he continued his Ascot love affair in the Jim Barry Hurst Park Handicap Chase.

Harry Fry’s eight-year-old won the race off a mark of 140 last year – and having acquitted himself well in some hot novice events afterwards, defended his title off a 15lb higher mark having triumphed again over the course and distance on his return to action.

Sent off the 11-4 favourite there was still all to play for as Boothill and Jane Williams’ Saint Segal approached the last locked together, but a fall for the 5-1 shot opened the door for Johnny Burke and his willing mount, who had enough in reserve to repel a late rally from 7-2 second-favourite Frere D’Armes.

He finished with half a length in hand, to the delight of his trainer who had suffered a narrow reversal with Whitehotchillifili in the previous contest, and although holding an entry for the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 9, Fry suggested his winner will now return to his favourite playground for a shot at the two-mile Grade One on January 20.

“Sometimes you have to get the rub of the green in this game, I’m just pleased to see the faller at the last get up,” said Fry.

“It was still all to play for and it just went our way.

“I was delighted with the performance and it was brilliant to come here and win this again, he really likes this track. It’s great to see him win it again and we may have got away with it, but it’s a great prize and it’s onwards and upwards.

“We have the entry in the Tingle Creek, but that is only in a fortnight’s time. I suspect we will wait and aim to come back here for the Clarence House and it will feel like a home match.

“I think he deserves his chance in these Graded races now. Obviously it is going to be a big step up again, but he deserves to go there.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox