Pistol Whipped (15/2), who is featured in the Handicap Snips section of One Jump Ahead (page 153), made an excellent start to his chasing career with a two lengths victory in the two miles six novices' handicap chase at Leicester on Wednesday. The five year old ran in two Irish points for Colin Bowe before being acquired for £110,000 by Anthony Bromley over a year ago. The Beneficial gelding only raced three times over hurdles last term, winning at Fakenham before disappointing in the EBF Final at Sandown last spring. Nicky Henderson's charge underwent surgery on his wind during the summer and defied an absence of 289 days at the Midlands track. Given a patient ride by Jerry McGrath, he jumped well, apart from getting in close to the second last, and flew the final fence before staying on too strongly for Rocco. Scoring off a mark of 128, he looks capable of defying a healthy rise in the ratings and is very much a horse to keep on the right side of. Still lightly raced, his jumping alone will ensure he wins more races over fences. There is no reason why he won't stay three miles in time but Pistol Whipped could develop into a live contender for the 0-145 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
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