Wetherby 31st October 2015 review
Colin Tizzard had been bullish all week that Cue Card was back to his best so he could be forgiven for looking somewhat pleased for himself after his stable star saw off some illustrious challengers to win the 2015 Charlie Hall choice. Paddy Brennan was equally delighted to have scooped a big Saturday prize again claiming somewhat harshly on himself that his part in the success was the easy bit.
It had looked for a fleeting moment coming to the last that this would be a gallant rather than victorious effort as the David Pipe duo of Ballynagour and Dynaste appeared to have timed their challenges to perfection. But Cue Card promptly pulled clear on the run in for a famous victory. Many Clouds and Holywell ran well for a long way and will both come on for the run. Menorah never looked happy on ground Richard Johnson earlier described as closer to heavy than the official going of soft. Sam Winner looked more like his old self, jumping boldly in front and looks happier than he did at the end of last season.
Under heavy skies and a chilly breeze with underfoot conditions a little squelchy not least in the car park over 8,500 gathered to witness some top class National Hunt racing.
The day started with Noel Fehily dictating things from the front as Charmix gamely saw off two challengers who had threaten menacingly entering the straight. Of the two Philip Hobbs Draytonian was an impressive individual in the paddock and is sure to be winning soon.
The 3 mile novice chase looked a 3 horse contest and so it proved although in truth once the pace quickened Southfield Royale’s superior fitness soon put the race to bed. Zeroshadesofgrey got a little low at some of his fences and whilst he should improve I wouldnt be surprised to see him back over hurdles at some point.
There was no more impressive winner on the day than Charlie Longsdon’s Kilcooley who was confidently ridden by Richard Johnson to take it up 5 out and had it sewn up a long way from home as his pursuers floundered in the cloggy ground. He is 25/1 for the World Hurdle and there will be worse bets placed this season. Rock On Ruby ran well on ground that challenged his satmina over 3 miles and is clearly no back number. Course winner No Planning never looked happy and was pulled up. Closing Ceremony faded tamely once Kilcooley set sail for home.
Ma Filleule looked the class act in the Mares Listed race but doubts about his return to hurdles over an inadequate trip meant that the wise money went on Harry Fry’s Blue Buttons who promptly landed a double for the trainer and a treble for jockey Noel Fehily. Fehily’s ability to win from the front in true Ruby Walsh fashion was another highlight of the day.
After the Charlie Hall chase came a novice chase over 2 miles. Paul Nicholls Mon Successeur a 4 year old making his debut in England went off the 4/5 favourite and looked to have done enough until Katachenko swept by after the last. This was a welcome win for trainer Donald McCain after the challenges of the last few weeks and it was hard not be please for him as he was greeted by Trevor Hemmings in the winners enclosure.
The finale saw the Tizzard/Brennan combo strike again with Billy No Name prevailing in a blanket finish despite being absent for over 18 months from the track. Champagne At Tara should win a similar event if learning to settle. Whilst Sir Ivan would prefer better ground and ran well in the circumstances. The day ended tragically with Charlie Longsdon’s Boogie In The Barn after a crashing fall two resulted in a fatal injury.
Tags: Ballyganour, Billy No Name, Blue Buttons, Charlie Longsdon, Charmix, Colin Tizzard, Cue Card, Donald McCain, Dynaste, Harry Fry, Kilcooley, Ma Filleule, Many Clouds, Menorah, Noel Fehily, Paddy Brennan, Richard Johnson, Rock on Rubby, Southfield Royale, Wetherby Races, Zeroshadesofgrey
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