Ruth Jefferson forced to take her time over Waiting Patiently

Waiting Patiently and Brian Hughes (right) lead Cue Card and Paddy Brennan away from the last fence before going on to win  the Ascot Chase . Picture: Julian Herbert/PA Wire.
Waiting Patiently and Brian Hughes (right) lead Cue Card and Paddy Brennan away from the last fence before going on to win the Ascot Chase . Picture: Julian Herbert/PA Wire.
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Future plans for Waiting Patiently are up in the air after an unsatisfactory scope ruled him out of today’s Coral Haldon Gold Cup.

Ruth Jefferson was hoping to see her stable star make his seasonal reappearance in the Grade Two feature at Exeter, but he was not declared yesterday morning.

We’d had this race at the back of our minds for a while and with the ground coming up soft, it looked a nice starting point and would have hopefully told us a lot about where we’re heading for the rest of the season with him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Ruth Jefferson

“It’s very frustrating, but these things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said the Norton-based trainer.

“We’d had this race at the back of our minds for a while and with the ground coming up soft, it looked a nice starting point and would have hopefully told us a lot about where we’re heading for the rest of the season with him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”

So brilliant when defeating Cue Card in the Ascot Chase in February 2018, Waiting Patiently could never rediscover that form last season.

The eight-year-old unseated Brian Hughes early on in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day before filling the runner-up spot behind Cyrname when defending his crown at Ascot and finishing third behind Min in the Melling Chase at Aintree.

Jefferson added: “I haven’t thought about where we’re going to go now, to be honest. We hoped this race would tell us what our next race would be.

“We couldn’t run him after a bad scope as that would have told us nothing and it could have mucked up his season.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board, but we need to concentrate on getting him cleaned up and sorted first.”

Sir Michael Stoute’s First Receiver looked a surefire future winner on his debut back in July and reappears in the 32Red Casino Novice Stakes at Kempton.

Owned by the Queen, the New Approach colt finished third of 14 on the July Course, but has not been seen since.

Stoute’s youngsters traditionally need their first run for experience, so the fact he was beaten by just over a length bodes very well for the future – especially when you delve into the form –the winner, Richard Hannon’s Al Madhar, has not been seen since.

But Charlie Appleby’s Al Suhail was second and has since been placed in the Solario and Autumn Stakes. Even the fourth, Tsar, has come out and won, while the eighth, Tammani, is a Listed winner.

First Receiver is sure to be sharper for his initial experience and has been given plenty of time to strengthen up. For what it is worth, he also holds an entry in the Derby.

Young Rascal returned to form with a convincing display to take the Matchbook Floodlit Stakes at Kempton.

Leading a furlong from home, the William Haggas-trained gelding quickened in good style for Tom Marquand to land the Listed event by three lengths from Loxley.

There was a decent pace throughout the mile and a half, with outsider Mina Vagante doing the honours early on before Spirit Of Appin went on more than five furlongs out.

But Young Rascal (4-1) made eye-catching progress at the top of the straight and put the race to bed with the minimum of fuss - while favourite Royal Line disappointed in fifth place.

It was the four-year-old’s first victory since he ended the last campaign with two Group Three prizes at Newbury - and his first race since running below par twice in the spring, after which he was gelded.

“He’s a talented hose who lost his way in the spring, for whatever reason,” said Haggas.

“He didn’t run properly in the John Porter, and then he ran badly in the Jockey Club Stakes, so we cut him and gave him a lot of time off. He’s come back well and has been training very well.

“We had him in the St Simon Stakes, which is what we were planning – (but) then it was abandoned.”

Plan B, however, proved a winner.

Haggas added: “This race fitted in quite kindly, so it worked well for him. He’s probably run to his mark.”