Racing: Baracouda cruises to victory

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The Independent Online

Baracouda cruised to success in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Ascot Hurdle yesterday. Always travelling within himself, some 20 lengths off the early pace set by Kates Charm, Thierry Doumen's mount loomed up behind the leaders on the home turn and sped clear on the run-in to beat Hors La Loi III by nine lengths.

Tony McCoy's mount, Rodock, who had been well backed, had not really been put into the race and was going well when falling at the third-last flight.

The winner, making his first appearance for 210 days, hurdled fluently throughout and showed a fine turn of foot to go clear inside the final 150 yards.

Baracouda's owner, JP McManus, said: "Down the road the aim is the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham and that is the race that matters the most this season." Coral make Baracouda the even-money favourite (from 7-4) for that race.