Charlie Brooks enjoyed a welcome distraction from the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey when he sent out Simon Squirrel from his Sarsden stables to make a winning debut at Chepstow on Saturday.

Brooks, who is accused of trying to pervert the course of justice, will have been cheered as the four-year-old galloped home to beat Rock The Kasbah by four and a half lengths in a National Hunt Flat Race over an extended two miles under Liam Treadwell.

Sent off a 12-1 chance, the €25,000 purchase is owned by Brooks’s business partner, Tom Lacey, who runs a pre-training yard at Pudlicote.

Brooks denies the charge against him.

l The Carter Jonas Open Team Chase takes place at Little Compton on Saturday, starting at 9.30am.