Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2015 Contents A53
Monday, November 16, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Royal Pearl has an obvious chance in
the seven-runner 2-y-o Claiming Stakes
over an extended mile of Wolverhampton
Tapeta today and, significantly, trainer
Jonathan Portman has booked Graham
The Enforcer Gibbons!
Significant because GG is definitely
as good as it gets and rides regularly at
Dunstall Park; he was apprenticed to one-
time local trainer, the late Reg Hollinshead,
and doubtless knows the idiosyncrasies
of this left-handed circuit like the back
of his hand.
Strange that particular saying because
few people probably don t study the back
of their hands, eh?
Anyway consistent Royal Pearl comes
out clear best-in on my time-handicap
and could well be claimed for £9000; a
fillies allowance of 5lbs over such a long
distance for juveniles will probably weigh
heavily against moderate rivals.
Claiming races aren t my favourites but
at this stage trainers and owners often
need to get rid to facilitate yearlings
they ve purchased recently; keep costs
are enormous at an average of £60 a day!
Realistically given the current climate
nine grand would represent value, if she
Earlier Nietzche is a sporting selection
for the opening ten-runner nursery hand-
icap and another interesting jockey-book-
ing is Dougie Costello, formerly licensed
under National Hunt rules.
Costello has obviously been watching
the careers of former NH colleagues Gra-
ham Lee and Timmy Murphy; with
weights raised considerably in the last few
years it makes sense to give it a go on the
A measure of recent success can be
guaged by this engagement, trainer William
Haggas places great stock on jockeyship;
he s certainly been spot on with Pat Cos-
grave this year.
Nietzche is no cert but can be forgiven
one recent lapse and justifies an each-
way bet with three places available.
Haqggas also fields Moon Eyes in the
nine-runner 3-y-o Maiden Stakes over
seven furlongs; this one will have to fall
over not to be placed but keep an eye out
for twice Abonos, a fast-finishing second
at Southwell recently.
Sprinter Sacre warmed the heart of
every fan of jumps racing with a back-
to-his-best performance to win the Shlo-
er Chase at Cheltenham.
With doubts as to whether the nine-
year-old would ever again be the majestic
performer he was when he dominated the
two-mile division, the 2013 Champion
Chase winner truly looked back to a level
somewhere near his best, destroying his
rivals in the Grade Two prize.
Although his last visit to Prestbury Park
ended with him pulling up in March, the
chances of a similar happening were
thankfully remote from an early stage,
with new pilot Nico de Boinville exuding
confidence aboard the seven-times Grade
Mr Mole took the field along until giving
way to the well-backed 15/8 favourite over
the fourth-last fence, in what was to be
a race-winning move.
With his rivals all feeling the pressure,
Sprinter Sacre continued to turn the screw,
just as he had done in both his Arkle and
Queen Mother successes, opening up a
sizeable advantage on the run down to
the second last.
Although flicking through the top of
the penultimate fence it failed to halt the
momentum of Nicky Henderson s pride
and joy as he bounded on in imperious
fashion to the final fence.
Clearing it decisively, the hugely-popular
chaser stormed up the hill helped by the
roar of more than 15,000 spectators to
further widen his gap and claim an emo-
tional 14-length success from Somersby.
Henderson said: "Everybody has done
brilliantly with him. We ve been happy
with him and we are getting there. He
just looks so different, his whole
demeanour is completely different.
"He s taken to us to some amazing
places over the years, but probably nothing
anywhere like that today.
"It had to happen or otherwise the
doubters would have been winning the
argument and we had to come and do
something. If it hadn t happened today
people would have stopped believing.
"The conditions of the race were in his
favour. We re not all the way there, but
we are going in the right direction.
"Everybody has worked their socks off
for a very long time since that happened
(pulled up at Kempton in December 2013
and diagnosed with a heart problem).
"It s been a long uphill battle. Of course
there have been doubters and I ve been
one of them at times.
"He came back in from the summer
looking fantastic. He just looks completely
"He s aggressive, his jumping is good.
We d been working on his back and all
sorts of things. It s a great effort from a
lot of people. It has been uphill, but we ve
He went on: "We were just desperately
keen to get that race into him. He was
ready for it, he needed a race to bring him
on. We are where we want to be.
"I said to Nico, if he takes you there let
him do it, but he probably didn t want to
take it up that soon.
"He was back as if he was the king, and
he raced like he was the king. It was very
special and the fact that it was appreciated
meant a lot.
"We ll have to see how he is after this,
but we ll have a look at the Tingle Creek.
It s the obvious race."
While winning the Gold Cup aboard
Coneygree will always be the jewel in the
crown of victorious rider De Boinville, it
was clear by his reaction afterwards that
this win will not be too far behind.
Altior edges Maputo in
Altior got the better of Maputo in a dramatic Sky
Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham
Nico de Boinville took Altior (2/1 favourite) to the
lead before the final flight after Viens Chercher had
made the early running. Maputo put in a strong chal-
lenge up the hill but Nicky Henderson's charge would
not be denied and got the verdict by half a length.
There was drama as the race started when Drum-
lee Sunset ducked out and unseated Richard John-
son, hampering Simon Squirrel, who finished third.
Johnson was soon on his feet, while Drumlee Sun-
set continued riderless and got among the runners
more than once in the race. The winning rider said:
"It didn't go to plan, he has been very keen in his last
couple of runs, but he's grown up a bit. He had to re-
ally stay today on that tacky ground. It was a good
performance. He's a baby really," said Henderson.
"He's by High Chaparral who is a very good sire.
He's been progressing all the time. To be fair, I know
the loose horse was messing everyone around in the
end but he was actually helping us a bit as he was
giving us a lead.
"He may just have got a bit lonely otherwise as
John's horse [Maputo] was sitting on our tail all the
way. He battled well though. I think Ascot taught
him a lot actually. He made a mistake at the last and
just got headed at the last but as soon as Nico gave
him a flick he was off and gone that day.
Cobden takes StanJames
on Old Guard
Old Guard, ridden by precocious 16-year-old Harry
Cobden, took the spoils in the StanJames.com
Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The combination had been successful over the
course and distance last month and repeated the
trick in one of the most competitive hurdles in the
Cobden, who claims 7lb, kept the Paul Nicholls-
trained Old Guard covered in the pack as Ebony Ex-
press set a decent pace with Bidourey in close
attendance. Those two led into the straight where
the race changed complexion and there were many
horses in contention.
Old Guard (12/1) crept into the picture around the
bend and led on the run-in win by two lengths from
Superb Story. Waxies Dargle was four lengths away
in third with Renneti staying on to take fourth after
being reluctant to start when the tapes went up. To-
talize was fifth, for those who played each-way with
Sky Bet and got the extra place.
Cobden said: "He was absolutely amazing, he trav-
elled and jumped and scooted up the hill. I'd like say
thank Mr Nicholls and the owners for letting me ride
him and keeping me on him. I kept a little bit wide as
I think he's more of a good ground horse, it's fantas-
tic. This is definitely a career highlight."
Faugheen floored by Canyon
Faugheen tasted defeat for the first time when
upstaged by stablemate Nichols Canyon on his re-
turn to action in the Grade One StanJames.com
Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
All appeared to be going to plan for last season's
Champion Hurdle hero as he jumped and travelled
beautifully in the early exchanges, but Ruby Walsh
was sending out distress signals on the Willie
Mullins-trained 1/6 favourite as they swung for
Nichols Canyon was still marching on out in front
for David Mullins and despite Faugheen throwing
down a strong challenge in the closing stages, the
7/1 winner responded really well for pressure and
had a half a length in hand as they hit they hit the
Mullins also saddled the third with Wicklow Brave
close behind the first pair.
Under: (Last Monday)
10.30 am --- 16-34
6.30 pm --- 32-23
PICK TWO SELECTIONS
Times played this year
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
01CENTIPEDE 13 6 8 3 30
02 OLD LADY
04DEADMAN 12 11 5 4 32
05PARSONMAN 5 7 7 5 24
15SICKWOMAN6 6 9 2 23
18WATERBOAT 7 9 7 1 24
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
27 LITTLESNAKE 3 5 5 0 13
28 RED FISH
29OPIUMMAN 8 8 8 1 25
30HOUSECAT 7 8 8 2 25
31 PARSONWIFE 10 10 5 2 27
34BLINDMAN 3 7 5 5 20
35BIGSNAKE 10 7 5 1 23
LAST DRAW: SATURDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS Play Whe results to Saturday, November 14
6.30 pm 2
3 (Carriage) 6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
31 (Blind Man)
23 (House) 4 pm
4 (Dead Man) 10.30 am
24 (Opium Man)
12 (King) 1 pm
10.25 Royal Pearl
11.25 Moon Eyes
Royal Pearl clear best
Sprinter Sacre dazzles at Cheltenham
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