WITH Storm Dennis creating serious problems elsewhere, Riders Onthe Storm was an appropriately named winner of a dramatic Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

Cyrname was sent off the hot 4/11 favourite for this Grade One contest over two miles and five furlongs, but started to struggle down the back straight with the eventual winner going much the better.

Local Berkshire:

But 7/2 shot Riders Onthe Storm, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies for his father Nigel, came under pressure from Gary Moore's Traffic Fluide,

only for the 40/1 outsider to come down at the last fence, with a tired Cyrname also taking a heavy fall further back, leaving the seven-year-old winner to go 14 lengths ahead of the only other finisher, Nicky Henderson's Janika (9/1).

Local Berkshire:

Traffic Fluide was quickly on his feet, but Cyrname stayed down for some time before gradually getting up, earning loud cheers from anxious racegoers, before walking back to the stables.

Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "I was fairly confident he was only winded. He got up, and it is brilliant. The vets have done a great job."

A delighted Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "We thought we would come a good second (to Cyrname) and win £35,000 and go home very happy, but we have won £85,000, and gone home extremely happy."

He and son Sam were also completing a double, having earlier won the three-mile Keltbray Swinley Chase with the 10-year-old Ballyoptic producing an impressive round of jumping over three miles in a warm-up race for the Grand National at Aintree in April.

Local Berkshire:

The 8/1 chance stayed on well to defeat Valtor by eight-and-a-half lengths.

The trainer commented: "That was very good. It was a proper Grand National trial and the handicapper can't do anything with the weight."

Local Berkshire:

An equally eye-catching display of jumping came from Colin Tizzard's Copperhead, ridden by Jonjo O'Neill junior, in the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices' Chase, the 6/1 chance coming home 17 lengths clear of Kim Bailey's Two For Gold in second place.

Local Berkshire:

Sporting John (6/4) extended his unbeaten record to three by winning the Thames Materials Novices' Hurdle in the hands of Barry Geraghty, finishing six-and-a-half lengths clear of runner-up Pipesmoker.

Local Berkshire:

Trainer Philip Hobbs was back in the winner's enclosure after the Ascot Local Sports & Social Clubs Handicap Hurdle thanks to 2/1 favourite St Barts, the mount of Ben Jones.

Local Berkshire:

Nordano (8/1), ridden by Aidan Coleman for Neil King, was a 16-length winner of the Give The Gift Of Ascot Annual Membership Handicap Hurdle.

Local Berkshire:

Having earlier seen Cyrname recover from his crashing fall, trainer Nicholls was smiling again after watching Sabrina (11/2) burst 13 lengths clear of the field to take the British EBF Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race in the hands of Harry Cobden.

Local Berkshire:

Ascot next race on Sunday, March 29, their first family raceday of 2020, which features top-class Jumps racing and free countryside-themed

activities for racegoers of all ages.