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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Batsman hits rivals for sixHeadlines
It's all to play for as Opening Batsman (left) and Rolling Aces take the last

Harry Fry's first season as a trainer in his own right took a major step forward as Opening Batsman stole the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton from under the nose of the young handler's mentor Paul Nicholls.

Although responsible for last season's Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby, whom he prepared from what was Nicholls' satellite yard in Seaborough, the 26-year-old's name is now above the same Dorset premises and this Grade Three event was by some way his biggest success so far.

Still a novice but an evident improver, Opening Batsman (12-1) hugged the inside rail under Noel Fehily and finished the three miles that little more strongly than Nicholls' Rolling Aces, who was there with every chance but was beaten by two lengths.

He was roared back by owners the Twelfth Man Partnership, which includes cricketer Andrew Brassington.

"What a day," said Fry, who is the youngest jumps trainer in the country. "I thought Noel gave him an amazing ride and he didn't give away an inch from the inside. The ground and the track suited him perfectly and I'm so delighted.

"Big winners on a Saturday is what it's all about and for a young team, it shows what we can do in the future. He has multiple entries at Cheltenham, but this was the plan and we will enjoy today."

Fry went on: "I wouldn't be where I am without four fantastic years with Paul. He'll be disappointed to be beaten, as we're all competitive, but he was the first to congratulate me."

Nicholls himself said of Rolling Aces: "He's done everything right, but he maybe ran with the choke out a bit and it's cost him at the end. We will maybe look for a novice chase for him at Aintree."

Among the footnotes was the performance of the dashing grey Nacarat, twice a winner and twice more placed in the race. He made a howling error on the first circuit, eventually finishing last, and trainer Tom George announced his immediate retirement.

George said: "That's near enough the first mistake he has ever made and it's his way of telling us he's had enough."

11 February 2016

Uttoxeter makes early call to abandon Saturday fixture
Ruby Walsh left deflated by Killultagh Vic injury
Bangor Friday card declared a washout
JLT favourite Killultagh Vic ruled out of Cheltenham Festival
Weekend workout planned ahead of Ascot 'option' for Flemenstar
Triumph Hurdle contender Fixe Le Kap heading for Victor Ludorum at Haydock
Kim Bailey has Supreme thoughts for Charbel
North Hill Harvey bids to secure Cheltenham ticket at Huntingdon
Gigginstown happy to play waiting game in Cheltenham Gold Cup
Peace And Co undergoes 'straightforward' respiratory procedure
Victoria Pendleton poised for hunter chase bow at Fakenham
Paul Nicholls flat out to prove Aux Ptits Soins Cheltenham fitness

10 February 2016

Subtle Grey has Donald McCain smiling at Carlisle
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Nina Carberry awaits further news on back injury
Injured Wayne Hutchinson to return next week
Rookie trainer Andrew McNamara ready to roll at Navan
Revised Uttoxeter programme a doubt on Saturday
Bangor 'relatively pessimistic' about Friday fixture
Oliver Sherwood sets Rayvin Black Wincanton target
Brian Ellison outlines Cheltenham plans for 'monster' Small Talk
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Carlisle meeting given go-ahead
Paul Nicholls - Cheltenham domination for Willie Mullins would take title
Micky Hammond not afraid of Champion Chase challenge with Just Cameron
Dan Skelton thinking of Fred Winter for Market Rasen winner Kasakh Noir
Willie Mullins sits out weekend action with Gold Cup favourite Vautour
Barry Geraghty cautious on Betfair Hurdle chance for Blazer
Victoria Pendleton mount Pacha Du Polder could go straight to Cheltenham
Paul Nicholls hands Silviniaco Conti Ascot Chase mission
Dodging Bullets on course for Game Spirit return at Newbury
Kingmaker crucial in L'Ami Serge progression to Cheltenham

9 February 2016

Robbie in the care of jumping great Mary Reveley
Waterlogging beats Ludlow and Taunton
Tommy Silver going for Triumph Hurdle gold at Cheltenham
Taunton Thursday fixture abandoned
Waterlogging claims Ludlow card
Neil King considering Punchestown option for Lil Rockerfeller
Colin Tizzard outlines Gold Cup hopes for Thistlecrack
Martin Keighley hoping Any Currency can benefit from Cross Country changes
Highland Lodge on course for Grand National date
Ludlow look again
Hurdling campaign in store for Ptit Zig
Kim Bailey has Lingfield in mind for Wolverhampton winner Sunblazer
Thrilled Stuart Crawford considers Ryanair option for Fine Rightly
Twelve-year ban from racing for former jockey Darren Egan
Gary Moore left reeling by Traffic Fluide injury blow
BetBright Kempton option for Sue Smith's Wakanda
Willie Mullins dominates Betfair Hurdle contenders
Oliver Sherwood looks to Haydock with Deputy Dan
Nicky Richards mulling Newlands run with Simply Ned

8 February 2016

Day to remember for jockey William Featherstone at Fakenham
Ryan Winks in full cry after 'greatest day' at Musselburgh
Tuesday inspections called at Ludlow and Taunton
Limerick forced to call off early
Colin Bowe planning Festival prep for National Hunt Chase hope Shantou Flyer
Taunton call inspection for Thursday card
Joseph Tuite puts Yorkshire Cup on Litigant agenda
Paul Nicholls identifies Pendil target for As De Mee
Dean Ivory praise for Chelmsford star Kadrizzi
Nicky Henderson gunning for Cheltenham with Musselburgh winner O O Seven
Noel Meade still sweet on Cheltenham Gold Cup with Road To Riches
Nicky Henderson plans to assess Peace And Co
Gitane Du Berlais stamps class on Listed heat at Naas
Nigel Twiston-Davies hails Bristol De Mai performance
McCoy retains Ivanovich Gorbatov faith despite Leopardstown eclipse
Colin Tizzard considering racecourse gallop for Gold Cup contender Cue Card
Jonjo O'Neill favouring Newbury date for More Of That

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