If The Cap Fits peaks for Harry Fry
Last Updated: 26/12/17 4:05pm
If The Cap Fits took his unbeaten record to three with a clear-cut victory in the 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle at Kempton.
Harry Fry's five-year-old, owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, was tackling stronger company than he had done at Exeter and Bangor but did so in promising fashion - despite showing inevitable signs of greenness and inexperience.
Ar Mest set a solid pace but was headed by If The Cap Fits after jumping the third-last flight, where Storm Home came down.
The 6-4 favourite was slightly untidy at the second-last but was in command and went on to score by five lengths under Noel Fehily.
Diese Des Bieffes was second, with Solomon Grey another four and a half lengths away in third.
Jason Maguire, racing manager for the winning owners, said: "I was delighted and he's improving all year. On ratings, he was entitled to go and do it.
"Noel said that whatever you ask of him he gives it to you. Hopefully it will continue all the way to March (Cheltenham).
"Noel said to mind him but we'll leave it up to Harry where he goes next.
"He naturally seems to be a good jumper, though you could argue a bit more experience would do him no harm.
"We're just slightly surprised at the speed he has shown on his last two runs."
If The Cap Fits was cut to around the 10-1 mark about winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Hell's Kitchen served up an irresistible front-running display to give Fry a quick double in the 32Red.com Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.
The six-year-old had unseated Barry Geraghty on his previous start at Newbury but redeemed himself with a power-packed performance.
Mister Whitaker was the only rival to get to within hailing distance of the winner, but the 9-2 shot, owned by JP McManus, was still a length and a half ahead at the line.
Hell's Kitchen and If The Cap Fits doubled Fry's winning haul for the month as the Dorset handler had only recorded two other victories in December.
He said: "I said coming into today, 'Let's double the score for December', and that shows you how the month has gone.
"Some are not firing on all cylinders but it's great to come here and have two good winners.
"Hell's Kitchen has probably promised more than he's delivered to date and you can see he's not a straightforward ride - Barry was very good on him.
"He was one JT McNamara did a lot with and he absolutely adored him. He did all the work with him as a young horse before I was asked to train him and he did all the groundwork.
"Hopefully he'll keep going in the right direction and will begin to fulfil his potential. He definitely wants to go the other way and he's his own worst enemy, which is why he wears a hood.
"He hasn't given Barry an easy time, but hopefully that will do his confidence good."
Of If The Cap Fits, Fry said: "Clearly he's going the right way. I thought he'd want two and a half (miles) at the start of the season but I don't see any rush to step him up in trip.
"He put it to bed at the second-last, where he made a bit of a mistake.
"He'll be entered in both the Supreme and the Ballymore and we'll decide where later on."Golan Fortune (7-2) won for the second time in five days when he backed up an Ascot victory in the 32Red Download The App Handicap Hurdle.Conditional rider Tommy O'Brien took up the running on Phil Middleton's six-year-old after three out and kept pulling out more to score decisively.