Williams and Fox enjoy Haydock double

Robyndzone continued the excellent recent form of Venetia Williams with victory in the Betfred Last Fling Handicap Chase at Haydock, the second leg of a double on the card for the trainer and conditional jockey Ned Fox.

The nine-year-old impressed on his seasonal reappearance at Ludlow in early November before falling at the halfway stage on his next appearance at Sandown.

Robyndzone was a 100-30 chance to get back on the winning trail on Merseyside and made most of the running on his way to an eight-length success over Fortescue.

Williams and Fox had earlier successfully combined with even-money favourite Hill Of Tara in the Betfred Nifty 50 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

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Fox said: “It was a great day. It was Hill Of Tara’s first run over three miles and he saw it out really well.

“He galloped home really strongly and did it really well, he was really good.

“Robyndzone was also stepping up in trip and he jumped really well and just galloped the others into the ground really. He’s not the quickest in the world, but he just galloped and he’s a very tough horse and did it very well.”

It was a first career double for the 23-year-old, who is based with Williams and has now moved his career tally up to 30 winners thanks to his Haydock brace.

He added: “It’s good to get that one out of the way and hopefully there will be a few more along the way.

“I’m very lucky to be working for Venetia who is giving me these good opportunities on Saturdays and big meetings.

“The yard is in great form and everything is going well, so long may it continue.”

Bertie’s Ballet (5-4) dug deep to land the Betfred TV EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle for Dianne Sayer and Henry Brooke.

The dual bumper winner chased home subsequent Grade One runner-up Favour And Fortune on his hurdling debut at Wetherby and made no mistake at the second time of asking, seeing off Norman Fletcher by a length and a half.

Sayer said: “I’m really pleased, his owners are lovely people and the horse is a professional in every way. It’s great to have him in the yard and we’re lucky to have him.

“I was very hopeful today. I think a small field suits him and heavy ground helped as they just went steady. He’s got lots of ability this horse, but very little experience.

“I’m very aware that he hasn’t got many miles on the clock and going forward that’s my biggest fear as we’ll be putting him into company that’s a lot more experience than he is, but hopefully he’ll continue to take it in his stride and we’re looking forward to the future with him.

“We might look to run in the EBF Final at Sandown, but that is obviously dropping him at the deep end. We’ll see how he comes out of today and take it from there.”

Richard Bandey’s Southern Sam (100-30) edged out Gold Emery in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices’ Handicap Chase, while 5-2 favourite Punta Del Este dominated his rivals for Dan Skelton and Tristan Durrell in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Hurdle.

Happy And Fine struck at 7-2 in the Betfred ‘Hot Shots’ Handicap Chase and San Francisco justified cramped odds of 8-11 in the concluding Betfred Happy New Year Open NH Flat Race.

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