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Published: 18:19 | 13/2/16

Agrapart impressive at Newbury

Jockey Lizzie Kelly wins another big handicap

Agrapart produced a dazzling display to win the Betfair Hurdle by 11 lengths under Lizzie Kelly at Newbury.

The Nick Williams-trained star was always prominent in the big money contest as Kelly tracked pace-setters Sternrubin and Starchitect.

The five-year-old upped the tempo with a towering jump at the last as he overtook Starchitect, before powering on in the run-in to win by 11 lengths and Kelly was delighted with the win.

"It's a surprise, in a way, because of the kind of race this is. I got a good run, but I have to say this is down to the stable staff at home,” said Kelly.

"This horse is a little tricky and they've put in a lot of hard work. I thought he had a lovely weight. He's lovely horse and we've always thought a lot of him.

"He's a tricky animal but he works so hard."

"Going round the home bend I was a bit stuck, but when we got out of trouble he responds and he fights and lengthens,” she continued.

"I knew from jumping the second-last we were going to win.

"I love these big days. I think I respond well when there's more pressure on. I soak up the atmosphere and can be a bit more of a warrior about it."

And trainer Nick Williams was delighted with the horse and the performance of Kelly.

"He was impressive up at Aintree (in December) and we started thinking about this race after that.

"We needed to give him one more run for the experience and we thought he ran well in the Tolworth.

"He always had enough kick from the start. We knew we had to get a good position early and Lizzie was very much tuned up to that,” said Williams.

"Lizzie has won some big handicaps if you think about Haydock and the Lanzarote at Kempton (Tea For Two last season).

"As a rider she's got better and better. It was a very good performance. Lizzie was very cool and has a very good head for the big occasion.

"We haven't entered him at Cheltenham as we didn't think it was his track.

"He's very much a soft-or heavy-ground horse as well, so we didn't make an entry in any of the novices' there."

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