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Saint Palais proves a class above at Uttoxeter

Saint Palais got back to winning ways with a gutsy success under top-weight in the Trinity Create Novices’ Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter.

Richard Bandey’s five-year-old may have been the youngest of the seven runners but he showed a mature attitude as he saw off his older rivals and made it four wins from five starts this season.

His only defeat came at the hands of the classy Ahoy Senor at Wetherby last month. But he looked a cut above this opposition.

Saint Palais (7-2 joint-favourite) was always close to the pace set first by Docpickedme, before he crashed out at the fourth fence, and then by Young Bull.

Saint Palais was in control at the final fence and though he was not fluent, he stayed on strongly to score by three and a quarter lengths from Gustavian in the hands of Harry Bannister.

Bandey said: “We’ve had a great season and this is a good end to it. He’s been very progressive and it’s just lovely to keep going forward.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the run in the Towton (at Wetherby), Harry said he was there until four out and he just hit four out and then made a mistake at three out and Harry said, ‘that’ll do, we’re not going to be overly hard on him’.

“Up until that point I was very happy with him, it wasn’t a race run to suit him.

“He’s done everything we could ask of him this year and he’ll be a nice horse in a few years back over fences. I still maintain that we’ll have a go over hurdles, go back as a novice and go for some of the staying races over hurdles.

“Where do we go as a six-year-old over fences? He’ll be up at the top grade off level weights with the big horses, he can strengthen and grow and we can take our time with him.

“Hopefully he can be a better horse, a stronger horse, physically and mentally, at six and seven.”

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