Copper hands Nicholls 10th Trophy triumph at Wincanton

Paul Nicholls landed his 10th Badger Beer Silver Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton as Give Me A Copper provided part-owner Sir Alex Ferguson with a famous win.

Nicholls also ran Present Man in the race, who had won the last two renewals under Bryony Frost, but once he relinquished the lead to Rock The Kasbah on the second circuit, his supporters knew their fate.

Rock The Kasbah looked right back to his best and tried stretching the field down the back straight, but Harry Cobden and Give Me A Copper, who has been plagued by injury in recent years, always looked to be travelling comfortably.

There were still a handful in with a chance turning into the straight, with Royal Vacation and Just A Sting holding claims, but in the end is was Soupy Soups who threw down the final challenge.

Soupy Soups was flying after the last, but to his credit, Give Me A Copper had enough left to fend off the lightweight by a neck with Royal Vacation back in third.

As the winner crossed the line Nicholls, who is also one of the part-owners, embraced former Manchester United manager Ferguson.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve eventually got him right to win a big race,” Nicholls told ITV Racing.

“Everything went right today, Harry gave him a great ride and even managed to save a bit for the finish.

“It’s great to have a winner in the boss’ colours.”

Ferguson said: “I’m really pleased. We didn’t expect it to be honest, as it was his first run and Paul said he might be a bit fresh, so it’s really nice.

“Paul was strangling me! I’m covered in coffee, it was nice to watch – he was produced at the right time between the last two.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now. I love winning and that is why we are all in it, the excitement at the end – you can’t beat it.”

Cobden said: “He jumped like a stag the whole way, I really fancied him all week, so I’m delighted.

“He’s got loads of class. He finds it easy in these big handicaps as he travels well. I managed to get a blow into him going down the back. I’m absolutely delighted.”

Nicholls and Cobden also teamed up to take the closing Jaytrack Employee Day Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race with Confirmation Bias (3-1 joint-favourite).

Misty Bloom (9-2) appeared to relish the rain that fell earlier in the afternoon when winning the Richard Barber Memorial Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Having moved through smoothly to challenge Aimee De Sivola, the only moment of worry for 5lb conditional jockey Ben Jones was when the mare met the last flight on a very long stride.

After surviving that, Emma Lavelle’s six-year-old kept up the gallop to score comfortably by six lengths.

Lavelle said: “She’s not over-big, so being at the bottom end of the handicap in a race like this was ideal.

“Ben gave her a super ride, he’s a proper jockey to look out for.”

There looked to be some nice youngsters in the Frome Scaffolding Group EBF Stallions “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle in which Alan King’s Edwardstone came out on top.

Sent off the 6-1 third choice in the betting, Tom Cannon moved him up onto the heels of the leaders coming out of the back straight.

At the time Nicholls’ Flic Ou Voyou appeared to be travelling slightly better than odds-on favourite Fiddlerontheroof, only to quickly fold under pressure.

Despite Robbie Power’s best urgings, Fiddlerontheroof, who was second in the Persian War last time out, could not match the pace of Edwardstone who won by three-quarters of a length.

The Philip Hobbs-trained Keep Moving (5-1) was a clear-cut winner of the Z Hotels Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase under Sean Houlihan.

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