Redemption for Coole Cody as he powers to Grade Two victory at Ascot

Coole Cody struck in Grade Two company for the first time when landing the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot.

The late defection of Venetia Williams' L'Homme Presse meant only two went to post in search of the £39,865 first prize.

Evan Williams' stable stalwart, who was pulled up in last Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup following an early mistake, was foot perfect this time around as he took the spoils. 

Usual pilot Adam Wedge was content to take a lead as David Maxwell bounced out aboard the 2-7 favourite Saint Calvados and built up around a 10-length advantage as the duo passed the winning post with a circuit to run.

That gap was reduced as the two runners climbed up hill towards home and Wedge was in the perfect place to pounce in the home straight as Saint Calvados' effort petered out tamely after the second last fence.

"The horse is a credit to himself and a credit to Mr and Mrs Clifford (owners)," said Williams.

"They deserve an awful lot of credit as they allowed me to have a crack at the horse when perhaps his career had been on a downward spiral and let's just enjoy what many people say is their favourite horse - he is just a tough, genuine horse.

"He's not a pal at all, I couldn't pretend that Coole Cody has any charming features apart from when you put him on a racecourse. He is just the most genuine, tough horse you could ever hope to have.

"Coole Cody is no Grade One winner, he's no household name, but for me he is what makes National Hunt racing great - he's a trier. Surely being a trier is worth everything - it's certainly all I've done all my life.

"I can safely say, as far as I'm concerned, why would I ever run him again in a big handicap? It wouldn't be right and we'll pick where he goes as he hasn't got a lot of miles left."

Ascot's Saturday card was hit by a number of non-runners, but Williams was keen to support his fellow trainers, highlighting that any decision made would have been done so with the best interests of the horses in mind.

He added: "When things happen that make trainers want to pull a horse out, it is in the best interest of the horse.

"I am very lucky that Coole Cody was coming here on the back of a pull-up. You go on about teamwork and Adam Wedge pulled that horse up straight away last week. He could have continued but he knew Mr Clifford and myself would back him whatever he thought was the right thing to do, because it's about horse welfare.

"The boys who have pulled horses out today, it is for horse welfare. Now my boy is 11, he is tough as teak, you could run him down the M4 and he'd enjoy it. But we are a different type of horse to the ones that have been pulled out and we got lucky because of that.

"I don't like this blame culture - people blaming clerks of the course, people blaming trainers - we are where we are, and people make decisions for the right reasons."

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