Tag Archive for: Rex Dingle

Ascot Chase defence on Dashel Drasher agenda

Jeremy Scott’s Dashel Drasher is poised to defend his Betfair Ascot Chase title after a gallant run in defeat at Lingfield on Sunday.

The nine-year-old won for the first time this season at Newbury in late December, reverting to hurdles to triumph under Rex Dingle and tee himself up nicely for a tilt at Lingfield’s Winter Million meeting.

The victory left Scott pondering a second run over the smaller obstacles at the valuable fixture, but the trainer eventually opted for the Fleur De Lys Chase and his gelding started as the 6-4 favourite.

In a tight finish it was Kim Bailey’s Two For Gold who prevailed, edging out Dashel Drasher by just a short head as Bristol De Mai finished three-quarters of a length back in third.

“He came out of it very well. I was concerned he was going to have a hard race and I’m sure he did have a hard race but he’s bounced out of it well, so hopefully we’re all on track for Ascot,” said Scott.

“It did just look like he’d thought he’d done enough when he got past the horse (Two For Gold), but the line came too soon and he was then headed again.

“In fairness, that was probably the toughest race he’s run in terms of having to come from behind and get up.

“It was really nice to see that he was determined to do that, it was just that our timing was slightly off.”

Dashel Drasher’s partnership with Dingle is a relatively new one as the horse was previously the regular ride of Matt Griffiths, who has been out of action since October and is continuing to recover after sustaining serious injuries in a car accident.

Dingle’s bond with the dark bay is strengthening with time and Scott believes the hurdles victory was pivotal in cementing the rapport between horse and rider.

“He just is a horse you need to get to know. The more he (Dingle) rides him, the better he’ll get going forward and that’s got to be a good thing,” he said.

“Rex is definitely building up a partnership now and I think that’s where the hurdle race was so useful.

“He got out and got a real feel for the horse without the complication of fences.”

Dashel Drasher in action at Ascot
Dashel Drasher in action at Ascot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The nine-year-old won the Grade One Ascot Chase in 2021 in what was a third successive victory at a track he seems to favour above all others.

Explaining his liking for the course, Scott said: “It just seems to suit, I think because it’s a straightforward track whereas at Lingfield you’re a bit up and down.

“We know how to ride him at Ascot and that helps, you know where you are with him at various places on the track.”

Dashel Drasher’s earnest efforts have not gone unnoticed amongst racing enthusiasts and the gelding seemed to have inspired as much admiration for his beaten effort at Lingfield as he did for any of his 10 winning performances.

“He seems to have become quite a popular horse, which is lovely,” said Scott.

“He’s got quite a following and people just seem to like his attitude.”

Scott not totally dismissing Lingfield hurdles run for Dashel Drasher

Jeremy Scott has not completely ruled out running Dashel Drasher in the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Hurdle at Lingfield on Sunday, although the Fleur De Lys Chase is still the favoured option at this stage.

A Grade One winner over fences at Ascot last season, the nine-year-old showed his versatility when an all-the-way winner at Newbury over hurdles last time out.

What is making Scott think twice is Dashel Drasher actually emerges as one of best in at the weights in the hurdle contest and it is over a more suitable trip, but the chase has an extra £50,000 up for grabs.

“The chase was definitely the original plan, but we just put a sneaky entry in the hurdle when we looked at the conditions and the entries,” said Scott.

“Relatively speaking he’s better treated in the hurdle and we haven’t totally ruled it out, as in a way it would give him an easier race as it’s two furlongs less – but the owners are keen on the chase to try to win the money.

“The money (£150,000) is extraordinarily good and the whole meeting is something that will hopefully grow as a venture in the future so that we have a nice target in January.”

A winner of 10 of his 19 races for owners Richard and Veronica Lock and Bridget and Patrick Tully, Dashel Drasher has truly been the horse of a lifetime.

“It takes a long time for one of these good ones to come along and he’s given them some wonderful days out. Let’s hope this weekend is another one of those,” said Scott, in a call hosted by Great British Racing.

Trainer Jeremy Scott has some thinking to do
Trainer Jeremy Scott has some thinking to do (John Walton/PA)

“We bred him and the nice thing is we’ve got his full brother at home and he looks particularly useful.”

Dashel Drasher’s victory over hurdles last time out was his first since April 2019, taking his record over the smaller obstacles to five wins from just eight races.

“We wanted to get a run into him as we could see the ground wasn’t going to be great through January, so we went there to get a race into him,” said Scott.

“He looked relatively well treated over hurdles and thankfully it came off.”

His regular partner until this season has been Matt Griffiths, who is currently sidelined following a serious car accident. He has been replaced by Rex Dingle, who this week rode his 100th winner.

Rex Dingle, a Cheltenham Festival winner, has stepped in to ride Dashel Drasher
Rex Dingle, a Cheltenham Festival winner, has stepped in to ride Dashel Drasher (Tim Goode/PA)

“As much as we’re trying to build a new partnership, it was probably what both horse and jockey needed just to get to know each other. It worked really well, Rex realised how well he can travel and jump,” said Scott.

“Rex has been coming into us for several years. The easiest thing would have been to go for one of the top jockeys, but the trouble is they might not have been available all the time. I and the owners felt it was important we had someone who knows him and can build the partnership up. Rex will ride in preference to anything else and that was the commitment we needed.”

Dingle said: “He’s a very likeable horse and has a great following. He loves being in front, even at home walking on the roads.

“He’s very tough, wears his heart on his sleeve and is a great horse to be associated with. I’m very lucky to be riding him.

“He seems to be quite a fast horse on testing ground, whereas on good to soft it can get him out of his comfort zone a bit. I’m not sure how much he enjoys it, he’s just very effective on it.

“I’m at a stage in my career where you need good horses to take you to that next stage and in unforeseen circumstances Drasher has come along.

“I speak to Matt quite regularly and he’s very much involved with this horse still. I spoke to him before and after Newbury, he knows him better than anyone.

“Matt is getting better and hopefully will be back on a horse as soon as possible.”

Dashel Drasher set to return to beloved Ascot on Saturday

Dashel Drasher is set to make his seasonal debut in the Channelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

Trainer Jeremy Scott is keen to get his stable star under way this season and the Grade Two contest is an obvious starting point.

Dashel Drasher enjoys cut in the ground – but Scott is happy with conditions as they were described on Monday afternoon as good to soft, good in places.

He ended the last campaign with three victories, all over the course and distance. He has not raced since completing his hat-trick in the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase over the two miles and five furlongs in February.

Dashel Drasher is unbeaten in four starts in all at the Berkshire track, having won a novice hurdle there in February 2019.

“If the ground didn’t alter too much from where it is at the moment, I think we’d run,” said Scott.

“I haven’t got too many options until Christmas time so at this stage that is very much the plan. The horse is well.

“He had a little racecourse gallop the other day at Exeter on what probably was the equivalent of the ground is at Ascot, and he seemed very happy there. We’ll see what the weather does and how we get on.”

The Somerset trainer confirmed Rex Dingle would take the ride in place of Matt Griffiths, who suffered a serious head injury in a car accident last month.

“Rex Dingle rides. He has schooled him several times and he rode him in the racecourse gallop, so he knows a bit about him,” Scott added.

Dashel Drasher would be likely to face some old rivals, including Paul Nicholls’ Master Tommytucker, who was runner-up in the Ascot Chase.

Also in the mix are Olly Murphy’s Itchy Feet and Dan Skelton’s Bennys King, who finished second in the other two races Dashel Drasher won at Ascot last term.

Defi Du Seuil could return to action in the  Channelle Pharma Chase at Ascot on Saturday
Defi Du Seuil could return to action in the Channelle Pharma Chase at Ascot on Saturday (Bradley Collyer/PA)

A quality entry includes 2019 Tingle Creek victor Defi Du Seuil from the Philip Hobbs’ yard and Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation, winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock in 2019.

Gordon Elliott has put in his dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll, while Willie Mullins’ Franco De Port is a second Irish-trained possible.

Cepage, Espoir De Romay and Pistol Whipped make up the 11 horses confirmed at the five-day stage.

Rex Dingle relishing Grade One opportunity aboard Indefatigable

Rex Dingle is fired up to make the most of his first ride in a Grade One contest when he teams up with his old ally Indefatigable in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The Paul Webber-trained mare gave Dingle his biggest success to date when pouncing late to land the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at last year’s Festival.

The dynamic duo came from the clouds to lead on the line and beat Pileon by a short head to spring a 25-1 surprise.

“It was fantastic last year. She was quite a big price – but going into it, I fancied the horse’s chances,” recalled Dingle.

“She had solid form round Cheltenham, so she wasn’t a write-off to me.

“She was a really strong finisher. I must have passed 16 from turning in, probably more, as I was last most of the way round.

“She’s quite quick and she loves passing horses. She stuck her head down and flew up the hill.

“She’s got really good form round there. She loves staying up that hill. She’s run around Kempton a couple of times this year and found it a bit sharp for her.

“I think she likes being dropped in, but it’s difficult to do that at Kempton, so she always has to be at the front end.

“It will be first time in Grade One company for the mare and for me. That’s exciting.”

Indefatigable needs good ground to be at her absolute best.

“The drier the better really for her, so fingers crossed,” Dingle said.

Trainer Paul Webber (right) with Martin Pipe after Indefatigable's success at Cheltenham
Trainer Paul Webber (right) with Martin Pipe after Indefatigable’s success at Cheltenham (Tim Goode/PA)

“To be fair, the plan last year was the Mares’ Hurdle or the Martin Pipe. Because it was wetter towards the beginning of the week, Indefatigable went for the Martin Pipe.

“On ratings, Indefatigable has every right to be there.

“It’s obviously a bit different this year (without crowds), but I’m still very much looking forward to it.

Rex Dingle is based with trainer Anthony Honeyball
Rex Dingle is based with trainer Anthony Honeyball (Neil Munns/PA)

Dingle, 23, who is based with Dorset trainer Anthony Honeyball, has ridden out his claim but remains a conditional jockey until the summer. He was an amateur rider before that and last year was not the first time he had competed at the Festival.

“I had ridden in the Kim Muir as an amateur for the Pipe stable a couple of years ago and finished fourth in the Martin Pipe on Champagne Court for Jeremy Scott,” he said.

“Cheltenham is the main stage of jump racing and at the Festival you are competing at the highest level. The tensions are high going into it. If it pays off, the rewards are massive.”

The Cheltenham Festival will be broadcast on ITV Racing March 16-19. For more info visit greatbritishracing.com