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Abuffalosoldier is 10/1 winner for Warren Greatrex but no joy for Nicky Henderson as racing returns to Newbury





There was success for Hungerford’s Warren Greatrex but no joy for legendary Lambourn handler Nicky Henderson at Newbury’s first fixture of the year.

Greatrex was celebrating thanks to 10/1 shot Abuffalosolider, who was winning for the first time since his success in a Class 2 handicap hurdle in November 2022 at the same track.

The seven-year-old finished a comfortable 10 lengths clear of Henderson’s Blairgowrie, who was racing for the first time in almost two years but faltered over the final two fences.

Abuffalosoldier (purple silks) finished 10 lengths clear of Nicky Henderson’s Blairgowrie (light blue silks). Pictures by Phil Cannings
Abuffalosoldier (purple silks) finished 10 lengths clear of Nicky Henderson’s Blairgowrie (light blue silks). Pictures by Phil Cannings
Abuffalosoldier moves well clear of the field
Abuffalosoldier moves well clear of the field
Abuffalosolider produced an emphatic performance under James Bowen
Abuffalosolider produced an emphatic performance under James Bowen
Hungerford’s Warren Greatrex watched 10/1 shot Abuffalosolider win for his Rhonehurst yard
Hungerford’s Warren Greatrex watched 10/1 shot Abuffalosolider win for his Rhonehurst yard

There was further disappointment for Henderson after Doctor Kildare was unable to make a winning debut in the day’s final race.

The Doctor Dino gelding didn’t manage to make much of an impression inside the final furlong of the two mile contest, which was won by Ben Pauling’s Roysse.

It was just not Henderson’s day as 10/3 favourite Between Waters was pulled up by jockey James Bowen approaching the last in a three mile mares’ handicap hurdle. Gaye Legacy built on some progressive recent form, following up a November victory at Market Rasen with successive second places, including in a Class 2 Kempton contest two days after Christmas, when winning by a length for Tom Symonds, a former assistant to Nicky Henderson.

Six-time champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson endured a winless afternoon
Six-time champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson endured a winless afternoon
There was no joy for Nicky Henderson
There was no joy for Nicky Henderson

Winchester’s Chris Gordon went close in the penultimate race but I’d Like To Know was edged out by a short head to Gary Moore’s 11/10 favourite Isaar D’Airy, who has won on three of his last four starts. 11/1 shot Hidden History showed some promise on his debut run, finishing third for the Morestead handler in the afternoon’s second race, division 2 of a two mile maiden hurdle, which was won by 9/4 favourite Into The Park for Philip Hobbs and Johnson White.

Winning jockey Micheal Nolan aboard Into The Park
Winning jockey Micheal Nolan aboard Into The Park
Valadon finished three-quarters-of-a-length clear of debutant Wreckless Eric
Valadon finished three-quarters-of-a-length clear of debutant Wreckless Eric
Valadon edges out Ben Pauling’s Wreckless Eric
Valadon edges out Ben Pauling’s Wreckless Eric
J J Burke aboard Valadon, who won for the second time in a row for trainer Harry Fry
J J Burke aboard Valadon, who won for the second time in a row for trainer Harry Fry
Be Aware won the day’s first race for father-and-son team Harry and Dan Skelton
Be Aware won the day’s first race for father-and-son team Harry and Dan Skelton


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