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Notachance takes Classic Chase honours

Notachance executed trainer Alan King’s plan to perfection when lifting the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick.

The Barbury Castle trainer decided to save the seven-year-old for this valuable contest after Notachance had won at Bangor 11 weeks ago.

It paid off with the youngest horse in the line-up landing the spoils.

Notachance had only had five previous races over fences – but that did not stop him being sent off one of the 7-2 joint-favourites.

Tom Cannon never had him too far off the pace set by Captain Chaos, before taking closer order down the back straight.

Notachance led two out, but was immediately challenged by Achille who put up a strong bid.

However, Notachance stuck to his task well to win by half a length from Achille. Le Breuil, who shared favouritism, stayed on strongly for third place, five and a half lengths away.

King said: “He is a progressive young horse and has really improved this season. We were delighted with him at Bangor and he seems to have come forward again.

“We probably got to the front a little bit too soon and he pricked his ears from the second-last, but he kept finding.

“We always thought he would suit this sort of race and going forward I would imagine we will target the Scottish National. He won’t go to Liverpool (Grand National), as I don’t like the race and neither do the owners.”

He added: “I was glad when the winning line came as it was a long way from the last, like I said. I’ve always thought he is a better horse on good ground and certainly last season he seemed a better horse on better ground.

“We will probably try to find something (before Scottish National), but we will have to go home and think about that. He is too young for Aintree, so he won’t be entered.

“I just think he has matured now and he is seeing his races out properly. He likes to be fresh and well so we won’t over-race him.”

On his season so far, King said: “It’s going terrific all round. We’ve not quite the numbers we used to have jumping-wise, but we can still produce the odd good one!”