Festival in sights following impressive Fontwell run
LILY Waugh has Cheltenham in her sights following an impressive victory at Fontwell Park on Saturday.
The King's Theatre mare landed the 2m2½f NF flat race at the West Sussex track under a confident Rachael Green – and trainer Anthony Honeyball has nominated the new listed £20,000 mares' bumper at the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting in the Cotswolds on November 16 as the six-year-old's next assignment.
The handler from Mosterton near Crewkerne said: "Lily Waugh is a gorgeous mare. We knew she was ready and she ran every bit as well as we thought she would."
Lily Waugh won her only point-to-point in Ireland this year before joining Honeyball and finishing runner-up on her bumper debut at Ffos Las in May.
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Following a five-month break she stepped up on that performance at Fontwell Park winning readily by a length from favourite Third Act, saddled by Milborne Port trainer Colin Tizzard.
The mare completed a double for Honeyball who had struck earlier with a fine comeback display of fencing from Dorset Naga who had been out of action with a tendon strain following victory in a novices' handicap chase at Fontwell Park 13 months ago.
That success was over 2m2f off a mark of 105, so to win a handicap chase even more comfortably off 115 over 2m4f delighted the trainer who said: "Dorset Naga had been off for 400 days, was straight back into a chase off a career high mark and he's won it even more convincingly than he did last year."
The seven-year-old Alflora gelding – bred by late Wincanton Racecourse director Richard Jenks – finished five lengths clear under Aidan Coleman and is entered for Ffos Las this Sunday over 2m6f.