A dual winner over hurdles, including on his reappearance from his summer break at Huntingdon in October, Bells Of Ailsworth is a progressive six year old and he made it second time lucky with a wide-margin success in the 2m7f novice handicap chase at Taunton yesterday under Alan Johns.
Facing just two rivals, he was held up through the first half of the race, but chaos at the 12th fence, which saw the leader make a bad mistake and the second part company with his rider, meant Bells Of Ailsworth was left in front and, with the fences the only dangers from thereon in, he jumped very proficiently and came home clear to win.
Given how the race panned out, it would be a surprise were the handicapper to raise him at all for the win, and hopefully he will have gained plenty of confidence from getting his head in front once again.
We will look for another small-field novice handicap next time, and hopefully there is plenty more to come over the larger obstacles. Congratulations to his owners Steve Grys and Mick O’Boyle!