De Rasher Counter wins Ladbrokes Trophy, Buveur D'Air beaten at Newcastle

De Rasher Counter wins at Newbury
Jockey Ben Jones celebrates De Rasher Counter's win at Newbury

Trainer Emma Lavelle sealed a Newbury double as 12-1 shot De Rasher Counter captured the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase.

A day after Paisley Park claimed the Stayers' Hurdle, her seven-year-old gelding won by a length and a half.

The Conditional (20-1) was second, while 13-2 favourite West Approach unseated jockey Robbie Power early on.

Micky Hammond's 16-1 shot Cornerstone Lad beat 2-13 favourite Buveur D'Air by a short head to win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

In the Ladbrokes Trophy - formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup - 20-year-old jockey Ben Jones moved De Rasher Counter to the fore from five out.

"It's just unbelievable. I'm so proud of what Ben has done on him and so proud of the team," Lavelle said.

"We could have taken this horse to Cheltenham last season, but mentally we didn't think he was ready for it and the owners were prepared to wait with this being the target."

On good to soft ground, De Rasher Counter gave another victory to the Makin' Bacon Partnership, with owner Andrew Gemmell describing the two days in Berkshire as "pretty special."

De Rasher Counter had finished 21 lengths back in sixth when favourite over two miles seven furlongs on soft ground at Uttoxeter last month.

Meanwhile, the two-mile Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle was a first Grade One victory for Hammond and jockey Henry Brooke.

Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'Air had won by two and a half lengths over two miles last time out at Punchestown in May, but along with the rest of the field was more than seven lengths behind Cornerstone Lad with three to jump.

The eight-year-old rallied but jumped the penultimate fence badly and was just unable to get past the intrepid Cornerstone Lad, who recorded a third successive victory this season.

Analysis

BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Emma Lavelle has long been regarded as a successful racehorse trainer, but these two days have propelled her further forward.

To win Newbury Winter Carnival's top steeplechase - a beacon during the jumps season for over 60 years - 24 hours after taking the fixture's feature hurdle is a feat of which any higher-profile name would be justly chuffed.

Lavelle and her husband, ex-jockey Barry Fenton, moved in 2016 to their current base at the historic Bonita stables in Wiltshire, and it was touching to hear how she walks into work thinking "now nice that we're actually doing it proud".

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