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Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle: Jay Jay Reilly springs Kempton shock for Dan Skelton and Tristan Durrell

Jay Jay Reilly landed a 33/1 shock for the Dan Skelton team, with Tristan Durrell in the saddle; he proved too strong in the closing furlong for Nemean Lion, who stayed on powerfully to finish second for Kerry Lee

Jay Jay Reilly powers to victory in the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton
Image: Jay Jay Reilly powers to victory in the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton

Jay Jay Reilly sprang a 33-1 surprise to give trainer Dan Skelton a second straight success in the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.

Last year, it was Bridget Andrews in the saddle as West Balboa prevailed by a short head.

This time, Tristan Durrell sent the eight-year-old Jay Jay Reilly to the front at the penultimate obstacle and he kept on gamely all the way to the line.

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Nemean Lion looked a big danger approaching the final flight, but a sloppy jump left the 9-2 shot fighting a losing battle on the run-in and he went down by a length and a quarter.

Impose Toi, the 11-4 favourite, and 28-1 outsider Good Luck Charm filled the minor placings.

Durrell, who still claims a 3lb allowance, had earlier obliged on Flegmatik for the same handler and he told Racing TV: "It's unbelievable. Obviously, the best day of my career.

"I've never ridden a double before and a double on a big day like this is just unreal. To win the Lanzarote, it's a big, competitive handicap, I'm just very grateful to Dan and the owners for putting me up and putting their trust in me. It's nice to go and win.

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"On the way down, I said to Bridget, 'you need to tell me how to win a Lanzarote, because you won last year'.

"She said, 'you need an OK start, so you're not too far away because there's so many runners, and just try to keep out of trouble' - and that's where I was.

"I had a nice bit of room, just followed Harry Cobden through and it couldn't have worked out better for me."

'It's always unbelievable!'

Jay Jay Reilly's past nine outings had been over fences, including an eighth-place finish in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham last time out.

"It's funny, because he was a big price but at home we all thought he had a good chance, as he's never felt so well all year and back over hurdles, they just gain confidence, don't they," added Durrell.

"We thought he had a good chance, but it's always unbelievable when it happens, isn't it. It's a great day for the team and just brilliant."

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