Racing: Joly Bey gains Aintree respect

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The Independent Online

Joly Bey was cut in the betting for the Grand National from 25-1 to 16-1 after making all the running and jumping with real zest to win the Royal British Legion Alanbrooke Memorial Handicap Chase here yesterday.

Joly Bey was cut in the betting for the Grand National from 25-1 to 16-1 after making all the running and jumping with real zest to win the Royal British Legion Alanbrooke Memorial Handicap Chase here yesterday.

Fitted with a tongue-strap for the first time, the eight-year-old was ridden by his owner, David Dunsdon, and hardly came off the bridle to defeat Iris Bleu by six lengths, with Ask Henry 10 lengths back in third.

"He has really come to himself recently and the tongue-tie definitely helped, as he has had a tendency to gurgle in races," Nick Gifford, his trainer, said. "If we are going to go for races like the National, we had to run him to see if it worked. The Kim Muir [at Cheltenham] would be the favourite for him next, as we missed the Festival last year to wait for the Topham, and it did not really work. He is a real athlete, like a greyhound."

On a day always well- supported by members of the Armed Forces, Sea Captain proved to be a popular winner of the Michael O'Donovan Memorial Novices' Hurdle. Nicky Henderson's horses are starting to run into form and the five-year-old made an impressive jumping debut.

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