FUSIL Raffles sent out a statement of intent in making his British debut a winning one when giving trainer Nicky Henderson a record fifth victory in the Grade 2 888Sport Take ‘Em On Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park.
Although not sighted since finishing second on his final start in France in July, the Simon Munir- and Isaac Souede-owned gelding created a big impression when casting his rivals aside in the two-mile contest.
Hitting the second-last failed to halt the momentum of the 4/1 chance, who eventually ran out an eased-down nine-length winner from Beat The Judge.
The winner was cut from 33/1 into 10/1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle by Unibet, while Paddy Power went 9/2 and Sky Bet 6/1.
"Surely a Triumph Hurdle contender of the highest order!" - Simon Holt is in no doubt about the quality of Fusil Raffles after this fine win at Kempton in the Adonis— Racing TV (@RacingTV) February 23, 2019
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Henderson said: “He has had a horrible winter in a funny way, but he is a lovely horse. He was quite sick and he was one of those horses who couldn’t throw it off. He didn’t have flu, but he had a dirty trach wash and all that.
“He really hasn’t done a lot of work. Daryl (Jacob) came and sat on him on Thursday to decide which one of the two (Rose Sea Has was unplaced for the same owners) he was going to ride.
“He was always having a nice time there. Let’s hope that (cut on leg) doesn’t get in our way.
“I’ve not spoken to the boys yet (Munir and Souede) as they are all around the world. We’ve got to take them on (in the Triumph) and I think we will have to look at it.”