HEREFORDSHIRE horse trainer Tom Lacey intends to take a tried and tested route with Dibble Decker, who opened his account for the season when landing a gamble in the Virgin Bet Best Odds Daily Handicap Chase at Wincanton on Saturday.

After finishing down the field on his seasonal return over course and distance in November the Jet Away gelding, who was as big as 20-1 in the morning of the race, rewarded his supporters with a tenacious success in the two-and-a-half-mile feature prize.

Sporting a first-time tongue tie the 11-2 chance bravely held off the late challenges thrown down by hat-trick seeking favourite Georges Saint and eventual runner-up Iconic Muddle before prevailing by half a length under Stan Sheppard.

The Woolhope handler said: “I was a bit nervous about the ground, but I don’t think it was quite as soft there as I thought it would be. 

“He always needs his first run of the season and we needed to get him going again so we decided to roll the dice here. 

“He never wins by far, but I think the tongue tie helped as he really hit the line harder than in his previous races.”

A return trip to Huntingdon in March now beckons for Dibble Decker for the defence of his John Bigg ‘Oxo’ Handicap Chase crown, however Lacey hinted that the gelding could have another run before that. 

He added: “He will go back to Huntingdon for the John Bigg trophy he won last year, but that is in March and we might take in another 0-135 handicap over two and a half miles before that.

“We tried him once over three miles at Ludlow last season, but I’m not convinced that he stayed that trip. However, we might give it another go at some point. The key to him is that he has to go right-handed.”