Connetable Image reproduced with the kind permission of Cheltenham Racecourse

Connetable
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Cheltenham Racecourse

The strong hand enjoyed by Paul Nicholls in the novice chase division saw another name added to that list after Connetable made his debut over fences a winning one at Wincanton.

With Frodon and Clan Des Obeaux, to name but two, looking useful recruits to the chasing game, the four-year-old became the latest from the Ditcheat yard to note over fences when taking an eventful Be Wiser Beginners’ Chase.

Despite being one of the first off the bridle, his jumping stood the test in a race which saw four of the seven runners come down, including favourite Barney Dwan, to defeat only other finisher Robinsfirth by a length and three-quarters.

Nicholls said of the Sam Twiston-Davies-ridden winner: “He is lazy. He probably wants headgear on, but I didn’t want to put it on for his first run over fences.

“He jumped cautiously early on, but he was just picking them off one by one, then he got to the front and pricked his ears.

“He is like Frodon in that he will get better and better with experience on softer ground and over further.

“He won the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown last season and he ran over hurdles the other day, but he was never going to win off that mark so we thought we would go chasing.

“The Reynoldstown could be something later on, I suppose. He just wants a test of stamina.”