The drying ground played to the strengths of Killer Clown who swooped late to collar top-weight Pistol Whipped under Adam Wedge in the featured Virgin Bet Handicap Chase at Kempton Park – earning himself a possible tilt at Aintree’s Topham Trophy.
The 11-2 chance looked to have it to do at the second-last, where Pistol Whipped was showing no sign of stopping, but Wedge conjured a fine leap from his mount to lead at the last, before pulling clear on the run-in.
Trainer Emma Lavelle, who also ran Manofthemountain whose chance disintegrated with a bad mistake at the final ditch, said of Killer Clown: “He loves it round here, it plays to his strengths, and although he was flat out early he jumped great.
“I know this horse needs good ground. At Wincanton it was just wet and he got away with it, but it was gluey and horrible at Ascot where Tom (Bellamy) looked after him.
“I feel sorry for Tom who had to make the decision which to ride today. Manofthemountain fluffed the ditch and unfortunately it was game over for him.”
Of plans for the winner, Lavelle added: “If it’s good ground at Aintree the Topham is a strong possibility, there’s also a nice race over two and a half at the Cheltenham spring meeting.”