Buzz light years in front at Ascot

Buzz delighted the Ascot crowd as he easily accounted for a classy field in the Coral Hurdle.

Sent off the even-money favourite, the Nicky Henderson-trained Buzz was last seen winning the Cesarewitch on the Flat at Newmarket last month and he made a seamless switch back to the winter game in this Grade Two event.

Defending champion Song For Someone set out to make all, bowling along nicely in front for Aidan Coleman as Nico de Boinville kept his mount under wraps for most of the extended two-mile-three-furlong trip.

Buzz was clearly travelling best of all at the top of the straight and while his rivals were hard at work after jumping two out, he was pulling double in the hands of De Boinville.

The seven-year-old needed only the slightest of encouragement to push on and win by three and a half lengths from the gutsy Song For Someone, who was conceding 6lb to the winner.

Guard Your Dreams kept on for third, with Goshen only fourth.

Henderson said: “His jumping was amazing, that was Champion Hurdle-standard jumping.

“He was so quick from the get go, we always knew there was going to be a pretty strong gallop – Goshen didn’t do quite what we expected him to do, but even so they went a good gallop. He never missed a jump.

“I think we’ve got to try going up (in trip). Nobody knows if he’ll stay, all we know is he loves soft ground so we’re not going to be worried about that. He’s perfectly happy on this, which is probably the same as what Newmarket was.”

Betfair cut Buzz to 8-1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle, and the Seven Barrows trainer added: “The idea was always to try him at three, you can always come back.

“I think if you never ask the question…we’ll see what Nico says, he might say ‘that’s madness!’, but I can’t see him coming back and being a two-mile Champion Hurdler.”

There was extra joy for connections, as Buzz runs in the colours of the Thurloe For Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, with 25 per cent of the share of the horse’s prize-money for the owners donated to the charity.

James Stafford of Thurloe Thoroughbreds said: “On Tuesday we will hand over a cheque for £54,000, hopefully racing has done some good for the cancer charity.”

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