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Press Release 13th November 2023 Kempton Park

Harry Derham insisted it is ‘nice when a plan comes together’ after stable flagbearer Dargiannini completed the second double of the trainer’s career in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Kempton Park today.

After celebrating his first brace at Newbury on Thursday, the Boxford handler was once again all smiles following the eight-year old’s latest success which came just under three hours after Queens Gamble hit the back of the net in the opening Watch Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle.

Sent straight into the lead by Paul O’Brien the well supported 2-1 Favourite, who Derham hailed as an ‘absolute star’, never saw another rival before cruising home by 11 lengths from Copper Coin much to the delight of winning owners Andrew and Julie Mitchell.  

Derham said: “It has been a really good few days. From the start of the season this has been a big target for him mainly because I know a lot of horses use this as a prep race. 

“He is really good fresh and it was on nice ground around a flat track so I thought it would be a good race to start in. It is nice when a plan comes together. 

“He has been an absolute star for me. He has won three races and I’ve not been training him for a year. He has been a proper yard star. It is lovely for Andrew and Julie Mitchell. They are lovely people and he was their first ever horse so to get them a winner like that is lovely. 

“He has done them more than proud. There is a possibility he could run in the Lanzarote Hurdle here back after Christmas, but there are a few options. This was a massive objective so it is good he has won today and we will go from there.”

Joe Tizzard ensured he kept in the good books of his wider family after Le Ligerien (6-1) bounced back to winning ways under an attacking ride from the front in the opening leg of the newly-formed Unibet Middle Distance Series Veterans’ Handicap Chase. 

Owned by David Churches, who is the uncle of Tizzard’s wife Rachel, the 10-year-old gelding left behind his non completion at Chepstow on his return when claiming the two and a half miles prize by seven and a half lengths which was his fourth win since joining the Milborne Port handler. 

Tizzard said: “He is owned by Rachel’s uncle and I thought he was a well-handicapped horse at the time when he came to us, but it is different this season coming into this off 130. 

“I just saw this race and I know he likes it around here and it turned out to be a small field which was perfect.  

“He will go up again so life will not be easy for him. He has won four for us now and that was as good a performance he has put in for me.”

An outing in the Listed Houghton Mares Chase at Carlisle on December 3rd will be next on the agenda for the Fergal O’Brien-trained Mulberry Hill who opened her account over fences by five and a half lengths in the Paul Ferguson’s Jumper’s To Follow Mares’ Handicap Chase. 

O’Brien said of the 6-1 winner: “She is a lovely mare. Jack (Hogan) did very well on her the last day at Carlisle. That was a lovely run there and it just brought her on. 

“She was very unlucky when she fell at Ludlow over fences last season as she would have probably nearly won. It was a bad fall, and she did a somersault, but she walked away. She is a tough mare. 

“She will go to the two and a half mile Listed mares chase at Carlisle now as she was only beaten a few lengths up there the last day.”


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