De Boinville savours a week to remember

Nico de Boinville.
Nico de Boinville.
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Nico de Boinville capped what he termed an “unforgettable” week when steering Might Bite to a clear-cut triumph in the Kempton Park Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

The pilot of Cheltenham scorers Sprinter Sacre and Altior was ultra-confident on 8-1 shot Might Bite, who was returning to the course after a four-month absence when his chasing debut at Cheltenham proved unsuccessful.

Anxious to preserve the seven-year-old’s novice status over fences, owners the Knot Again Partnership were happy to skip a couple of options at Cheltenham to wait for this £33,000 contest on better ground.

De Boinville brought the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding home by eight lengths from Simply A Legend, with Abricot De L’Oasis another two lengths in arrears.

Owners’ representative Simon Philip said: “This looked a good option, as he was a long way down the batting order for the Coral Cup.

“He doesn’t like soft, winter ground, and Nico said he was very green in front in the home straight.

“To all effect, this looked like a Cheltenham race, but it was run on better ground.

“What we’ve done is picked up a decent prize and have preserved his novice status for fences for next season.”

De Boinville wasted no time in making it a double as he powered Portway Flyer home by seven lengths from Cernunnos in the Racing UK In HD Kempton Park Silver Bowl Handicap Chase. The victory put the icing on the cake of a red-letter week for trainer Ian Williams, who sent out his first Festival winner with Ballyalton.

Portway Flyer was backed from 14-1 in the morning to his starting price of 11-2, and scored in the silks of Williams’ landlord Patrick Kelly.

Williams was represented by assistant Richard Ryan, who said: “We’ve had to be very patient with this horse as he loves fast ground and is susceptible to problems with his wind. Our horses have put in a string of good efforts on the Flat and over jumps, and Patrick will be delighted as he’s especially close to this one, who is an easy-going fellow and something of a pet in the stable.”