Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 20th 2015 Contents A53
December 20, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Colin Tizzard s progressive stayer
Thistlecrack was an impressive winner
of the Grade One JLT Long Walk Hurdle
at Ascot, yesterday.
Reve De Sivola was bidding for a record
fourth victory in the contest but ultimately
had to play second fiddle to the second
season hurdler who ran out an impressive
winner under Tom Scudamore.
Scudamore had to appeal against a ban
in order to be free to take the ride and the
seven-year-old made it well worth his
while with a smooth performance.
Settled in midfield as Reve De Sivola cut
out a steady pace, the pair were always
The leader s hurdling was far from fluent
but he had still seen off the challenge of
Saphir Du Rheu a long way from home but
as he turned into the straight with two
hurdles to jump, Thistlecrack was stalking
Richard Johnson and travelling ominously
Scudamore gave him his office at the
second last and he quickly asserted to go
an and run out an impressive winner eight
length from Reve De Sivola.
Deputy Dan finished third, another 12
lengths away, but the well-touted Saphir
Du Rheu was a big disappointment with
trainer Paul Nicholls reporting that the
race may have come too soon.
Scudamore said of the 2/1 favourite: "He
gave me a lot of pleasure. It s a very special
day. That showed me how good I think he
"He jumped very well in the main - he s
a Grade One winner again."
Tizzard said: "I had it on my mind all
summer that if he s not up to World Hurdle
class we d scrap that and go over fences.
"We said we d give him two runs over
hurdles to see if he s good enough and we
now know what the answer to that is.
"He ll run again one more time before
Cheltenham, otherwise I d be left twiddling
my thumbs with him for three months."
The Dorset handler added: "If you look
at him, he looks a magnificent specimen
of a chaser, but he is picking up an awful
lot of money doing what he is doing.
"He just hurdles really accurately but he
has got the scope for everything you could
possibly want from a horse. He is a big,
strong horse that travels well and stays any
"Tom said it felt great and it looked great
- he does everything so easily.
"When I first had him he was like a 13-
year-old with a runny nose. Now he has
grown up you could not fault him as a
Williams said of the runner-up: "I felt
he was as well as he could be coming into
the race. We are vulnerable to the up-and-
"He might go for the Cleeve Hurdle but
I don t know if I would want to take on
"He has not got a good record in the
World Hurdle so I doubt we would go for
that we might just do something differ-
"I thought he run his race, though."
Sky Bet cut the winner to 3/1 favourite
from 8s for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle
with the Leeds firm paying non runner no
bet on all four Championship races at the
Their Racing PR Manager Michael Shin-
ners said: "He beat last year s winner easily
at Newbury and this was an even better
"This is Reve De Sivola s backyard and
he brushed aside Nick Williams runner
with ease and we ve cut Thistlecrack to
3/1 for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle where
we are betting non runner no bet.
"He s a really exciting staying promise
and it s a great way to warm up for Christ-
mas for Colin Tizzard and family with Cue
Card still to come in the King George VI
Chase on Boxing Day."
Philip Hobbs Sternrubin
and Harry Fry s Jolly s Cracked
It dead-heated in a thrilling
renewal of The Ladbroke at
The former, trained by Philip
Hobbs, looked beaten late on
once Jolly s Cracked It (9-1)
went into overdrive after the
But 7-1 joint-favourite Stern-
rubin, who had set a scorching
pace under Richard Johnson,
somehow battled back for once
last lunge to cross the line in
unison with Harry Fry s inmate.
Renneti and Some Plan fin-
ished third and fourth respec-
Hobbs said: "It s always a
worry when they go off that
fast. I must say that when he
jumped the second-last I
thought he would be OK. For
the horse to come back up on
the run-in is something you
don t see often.
"He showed that he is very
tough and we are pleased with
"It is as good as result we
could have hoped for in the cir-
"Where we go from here, I
don t know as this was the aim.
He is still a novice so we have
got that option as well."
Fry said: "I thought we had
won it then the other horse
came back again. He run a
career-best but Noel (Fehily)
thought that he had been
robbed on the line.
"The longer it went on the
more hopeful we thought it
would be a dead-heat. It s a
great result all round for both
us and Philip Hobbs.
"He had the course form and
we wanted to come back here
after his reappearance in Octo-
ber. Noel gave him a peach of
"This was the plan for the
season to stick over hurdles and
come back here for The Lad-
broke with him having won two
novice hurdles round here last
year and for it to come off is
Sky Bet made the two their
16-1 joint-favourites for the
Coral Cup at the Cheltenham
Festival in March.
Sue Smith moved a step
closer to a 1000th career win-
ner with Wakanda s success in
the Sodexo Silver Cup at Ascot.
The improving six-year-old
was followed up victories at
Wetherby and in the Rehearsal
Chase at Newcastle.
There were half a dozen hors-
es still in contention in the pres-
tigious three mile handicap and
it appeared as though the front-
runner was going to be swal-
lowed up by the chasing pack.
Fingal Bay threw down a
strong challenge between the
final two obstacles while
favourite Pendra loomed large
on the outside.
However, that pair had cried
enough by the time they had
jumped the last and it was left
to Virak to chase home the 8/1
winner with Fingal Bay back in
The Young Master was doing
all of his best work in the closing
stages under Sam Waley-Cohen
and finished fourth.
Smith said: "We are delighted
with him. The horse has
improved so much.
"He is a very economical
jumper and him and Danny
Cook are like coffee and cream.
"He is a very tough, game lit-
tle horse. He is going to have a
break now as he as run three
times and won three times.
"He will probably come back
in February time but there is
nothing mapped out for him.
He does need soft ground,
Amiral Collonges took a big step forward on his
previous start in Britain when running out a decisive
winner of the Foundation Developments Ltd
Novices Handicap Hurdle at Ascot.
The five-year-old French recruit finished a well-
held third at Market Rasen last month but showed
what he is capable of at the Berkshire circuit.
Travelling powerfully throughout, the James Evans-
trained gelding moved towards the head of the field
after jumping the third-last.
While Minellacelebration and Knight Ofthe Realm
formed part of a breakaway group of three, they were
unable to match strides with the 12-1 chance late on
as he galloped on strongly to cross the line a com-
fortable nine-length winner.
Evans said: "We liked him as he has got a tough
profile from France. He is still a novice over hurdles
and he just looked a tough, no-nonsense type we
could get on with. The plan was to win a novice
hurdle before Christmas, then when he turns six go
chasing in the spring. He will probably be kept over
hurdles for one more run."
Royal Regatta (8-1) regained the winning thread
after he coasted to an eased-down victory in the GL
Events Owen Brown Graduation Chase.
Irish raider Mala Beach attempted to raise some
sort of effort, but the 9-4 favourite had no answer
to the Philip Hobbs-trained seven-year-old, who
was fitted with a first-time tongue-tie and blinkers,
with 11 lengths separating the pair at the line.
Hobbs said: "It is probably mainly the blinkers
that have made the difference. I was not really expect-
ing that as he has always been extremely cautious
with his jumping and the blinkers have definitely
sharpened him up.
"It is nice to get his head back in front again as
it is a long time since he last won."
The big disappointment of the race was the lack-
lustre return of smart hurdler Blue Fashion, who was
pulled up by David Bass long before the end of the
race. Mon Successeur put a string of near-misses
behind him when he came with a late run to take
the BGC Partners Handicap Chase.
Don t Be (20/1) held off the late run of 9/4
favourite Grendisar to win the Coral Quebec Stakes
Sir Mark Prescott s mare had been unfortunate on
her last couple of starts since winning a one-mile
Listed race at Dundalk, but bounced back to winning
ways under a polished ride from Luke Morris.
Man Of Harlech set out to make all but was always
doing too much in front and could only take them
to the two marker, at which point a sweeping move
from George Baker aboard Energia Davos threatened
to steal it.
However, Morris always appeared confident and
gathered his mount for a strong late run down the
centre of the track, where she always doing enough
to hold off the well-backed Grendisar, who made his
move towards the far rail.
Last year s winner could never quite get there
under Adam Kirby but held on for second from the
hat-trick seeking Lamar (7/1).
Don t Be was bringing the curtain down on her
racing career as the five-year-old mare will head to
Mount Coote Stud in Kilmallock, County Limerick.
Prescott said: "They went a good gallop and that
was the main thing for Don t Be.
"Her owner Mrs (Olivia) Hoare actually trained
the winner because, after she ran at Dundalk, she
went home to Mount Coote Stud to be covered and
Mrs Hoare changed her mind because she was so
thrilled with that run. Don t Be actually went into
retirement for two days and then came back."
Thistlecrack takes Long Walk
Dead heat in The Ladbroke
Wakanda plunders Silver Cup
is clawed back
Amiral an ace
for James Evans
Don't Be denies
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