Emma Lavelle earmarked a potential outing over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree next month for Killer Clown, who got his career back on track when making it two wins from as many visits to Kempton Park in the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase this afternoon.
The Getaway gelding confirmed his appreciation for the Sunbury course when making a triumphant return to the track where he previously claimed victory at on Boxing Day in 2020 with a decisive victory in the extended 2m 4f feature.
With Lavelle putting his defeat last time at Ascot down to trainer error, the 11-2 chance looked a much happier individual back on a sounder surface, despite being taken off his feet early on in the race.
Demonstrating a good level of stamina Killer Clown, who was one of two runners for Lavelle in the race, continued to pass rivals up the home straight before surging clear of the field on the run to the last.
After negotiating the last, the Tim Syder-owned eight year old bounded clear under Adam Wedge before passing the post eight lengths clear of Pistol Whipped to set up possible outing in the Randox Topham Handicap Chase on 8th April.
Lavelle said: “He loves it around here, he really does. It definitely plays to his strengths. He was flat out earlier as they went so fast.
“What I loved about him today was that he ground it out and kept galloping. He jumped great and I was delighted with him.
“I know this horse wants nice ground. We got away with it (ground) at Wincanton when it was soft because it was wet so he was just able to gallop through it.
“It was one of those races where nothing declared on that ground and nothing wanted it so something was going to alright on it and it was us.
“I thought let’s have another crack at it at Ascot and I probably shouldn’t have done as the ground was just soft hard work and gluey.
“He could never get out of it and he never ran a race at all. Tom (Bellamy) looked after him and pulled him up.
“It was tough this race for Tom as he loves both horses as he has won on both horses but he had to make a decision. Unfortunately, Manofthemountain rooted the open ditch and that was us over.”
While Killer Clown is yet to tackle the Grand National fences Lavelle believes he has the scope to deal with the unique course should connections elect to go that route.
She added: “I think the Topham would be something to look at as would that Grade Two handicap at Cheltenham (the Ceres Estates Charity Silver Trophy Handicap Chase on 13th April).
“I think he would be alright with the National fences but you never really know until they have gone and jumped them to know. Ground is the most important thing to him.
“We will see how he comes out of this and if he comes out of it well it is something we will definitely be looking at.”