Cobden and Nicholls bring up four timer after drama before start in the 1965 Chase

By Peter Moore at Ascot 25th November 2023

Harry Cobden’s disappointment out on riding Bravemansgame in the Betfair Chase proved short lived after Paul Nicholls stable jockey picked up a magnificent four timer after riding Farnoge, Pic D’Orhy, Blueking D’Oroux and Regent’s Stroll to victory all for the Ditcheat trainer on an afternoon of outstanding racing at Ascot on the second day of the November Racing Weekend.

The four year old Blueking D’Oroux continued with his progress for the Paul Nicholls yard to score by a length from Strong Leader in the Coral Hurdle Race.

Gary Moore saddled last years winner Goshen, but under top weight the seven year old finished well down the field, finishing fourth of five starters.

Progressive novice hurdler Farnoge was the first success of the day for Cobden, followed by Pic D’Orhy half an hour later in the Nirvana Spa 1965 Steeple Chase.

The Class 1 Grade 2 chase was billed to be a battle between Shishkin and Pic D’Orhy. B-ut right at the start drama unfolded with a major surprise when Shishkin refused to race at the start.

The six time Grade I winner was sent off the odds on favourite to score on his seasonal debut after Nicky Henderson opted to avoid Haydock’s Betfair Chase.

However the trainer and jockey Nico de Boinville were left baffled after Shishkin planted his feet in the ground at the start.

“It’s hard to tell you anything,” Henderson said. “Nico was totally in the dark too. He jumps off every day, he’s a quirky character but he’s never turned his head. 

“He was in a mood today and he wasn’t for moving. He’d still be there now if he had his way. I can do no more. I can’t read his head and my biggest concern is if this was ever going to be repeated, Kempton is not the place to try it.

“I don’t know what to do and I’m not sure where you can go with him. I’ve got to find where there’s an open handicap, as there are no conditions races for him. I could have a racecourse gallop instead of a prep run but that start at Kempton worries me.” 

Local trainer Ben Case picked up a winner after his son Charlie had managed to get Midhightreflection’s nose ahead of Whitehotchillifil in the Mares Handicap Hurdle- over 2m 7f.

Boothill backed up his success of twelve months ago in the 2m 1f Handicap Steeple Chase Class 2, but was given a helping hand when Saint Segal fell at the last to virtually hand Boothill the race.

The pair were stride for stride going into the last but Saint Segal’s big error proved fatal letting in Boothill to justify odds of 11-4.

The final race on the card a bumper race over two miles saw Cobden bring up his four timer after riding the four year old Regent’s Stroll to victory on his racecourse debut.