WHEN a horse does everything wrong and still manages to win you know he’s a bit special.
That’s exactly what Nicky Henderson’s Champ (11-8 to evens) did on his way to bolting-up in a red-hot renewal of the Challow Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
The track was buzzing with chat about this fella and he won as he liked despite taking a fierce tug and jumping as if he wanted to turn Barry Geraghty’s barnet white.
This is a good’un and if he learns to settle he might even be a bit better than that.
Hendo’s chief scout deserves a pat on the back as he’s found the great man another cracking prospect in Champagne Platinum, who dotted up over hurdles the start of this card.
This big grey still looks wet behind the ears, but he’s got incredible pace for a horse that started life in point-to-points and is headed for the top of the charts.
Don’t forget Robert Walford’s Manvers House who finished fourth. I had a good word for this one from a shrewd judge and he showed plenty despite carrying a mince pie belly.
Gary Moore looked suspiciously dapper and, judged by the way his Early Du Lemo (5-1 to 5-2) was bet before the 2m novice chase, expected to be involved in a winners’ photo.
The horse pinged out in front, had everything in trouble at halfway and might have landed the touch but for ignoring a couple of fences in the straight.
Gazza’s supporters did their dough properly at Lingfield on Friday as well, where a massive plunge on yard veteran Whinging Willie (5-2 to 4-6) went west.
The old boy looked as if he was running uphill through treacle when Dutch Uncle breezed past in the final furlong and it must have been a diabolical watch for those involved with the punt.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though and Roger Varian’s Elamirr (10-1 to 4-1) did the good guys a turn when landing a tickle in the 7f novice event on this card. He’s not a horse who will come off second best too many scraps and should win again.
John Best has been colder than Frosty The Snowman but was chuffed with Elmejor’s run in sixth. Besty reckons this one is above average and he’ll be double disappointed if the colt doesn’t win races.
It took the photo-finish judge and his microscope 10 long minutes to work out result of the 7f handicap at Lingfield on Sunday, Storm Melody eventually getting the nod ahead of Ventriloquist.
Trackman’s Monday Magic
CASPAR THE CUB (2.20 Lingfield) has improved out of all recognition and should have too much pace for this field
The big screen stayed blankety blank as we waited, when a replay or two would have revved the big holiday crowd up a treat.
We’re not talking Carngeie Hall, but entertainment is the name of the game and this was an opportunity missed.
I’ve had a good message for LUGG HALL (3.45 Uttoxeter) today, but the nap must be Alan King’s CASPAR THE CUB (2.20) at Lingfield.
The word from Kingy’s is that jockey Martin Harley thinks he could be good enough for a tilt at the Winter Derby.
If that’s anywhere near the mark he should be good enough to complete a five-timer in this Class 3 event.