Champ makes seamless transition to fences by securing impressive length victory at Newbury  

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Champ, runner-up in last season’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, made an impressive transition to fences on his chasing bow at Newbury.

Ridden by Barry Geraghty, the 8-13 favourite jumped flawlessly in the main and came readily clear of the front-running Dashel Drasher after the final fence for a smooth three-and-a-half length victory.

Delighted trainer Nicky Henderson said of the winner: ‘You would have to say that is about as perfect as you could get.

Barry Geraghty riding Champ clear to win The KKA-Highpoint Beginners' Chase at Newbury

Barry Geraghty riding Champ clear to win The KKA-Highpoint Beginners' Chase at Newbury

Barry Geraghty riding Champ clear to win The KKA-Highpoint Beginners’ Chase at Newbury

‘I was a bit nervous going two-six (two miles and six furlongs) first time as he can be quite keen, but on the other hand, slowing it down a bit gave him plenty of time to get into a nice rhythm and school round.

‘He took a blow turning in and he (Barry Geraghty) had to sit on him for a second. I thought he would take a blow as he hasn’t done much – just that one bit at Chepstow.

‘He had a lot of respect for his fences today and that’s what I was trying to do (by going to Warwick and Chepstow) as he was a bit quick and swift and he was finding it easy at home.

‘You do feel a bit of pressure off your shoulders, especially when they do it nicely, as it was professional and clean. He is a very good horse and he has a lot of gears.’

Doncaster will hold a 9am inspection this morning to determine if tomorrow’s final flat card of the turf season can go ahead

Trainer Nicky Henderson's described the seven-year-old's race as 'perfect'

Trainer Nicky Henderson's described the seven-year-old's race as 'perfect'

Trainer Nicky Henderson’s described the seven-year-old’s race as ‘perfect’

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