Potters Legend shows his staying power to win at Warwick
POTTERS Legend, last seen out in March and having his first run since wind surgery, proved too strong for Theatre Guide on the run-in to land the racingtv.com Veterans’ Handicap Chase, highlight of Warwick’s seven-race card last Wednesday, writes David Hucker.
Trained by Lucy Wadham at Newmarket, Potters Legend looked to be struggling down the back straight, but his economical jumping kept him in the race and, even though Theatre Guide held a clear advantage at the final fence, his stamina kicked in and he was three-and-a-quarter lengths to the good at the line.
Dan and Harry Skelton took last year’s running of the opening Racing TV Free For A Month “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle with odds-on favourite Emmas Joy and their Cadzand, who returned after a long absence and wind surgery to finish second to Do Your Job at Ayr, was sent off the even-money favourite to follow up.
It was second favourite Twominutes Turkish, a 15-length winner at Fakenham last time, who took up the running under Tom Cannon, but they had no answer to the finishing kick of Cadzand, who jumped to the front at the final flight and came right away for an easy success.
Arian, a winner at Newton Abbot on her first start for trainer Philip Hobbs, landed the Start Your Racing TV Free Trial Now Mares’ Novices' Handicap Chase, jumping past Martila, who had been backed from 15-2 to 13-2, at the penultimate fence.
One for the notebook is Nikap, who was nearer last than first for much of the two-and-a-half mile trip, but ran on in the straight to snatch second.
“They went a nice, strong gallop early and the race unfolded for her.” said winning jockey Richard Johnson.
“She jumps well for a novice and, hopefully, there will be more to come.”
Alan King saddled two of the six runners in the Try Racing TV For Free Now Mares' Novice’' Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, including hot favourite The Glancing Queen, making her debut over hurdles after some good runs in bumpers.
She could be called the winner a long way out and, after jumping the last flight, put daylight between herself and outsider Bourbon Beauty, who had been on the front end from the start.
Disappointment of the race was Olly Murphy’s Alpha Carinae, wearing a tongue-tie for the first time, whose hurdling was less than fluent at times, dropping away tamely over the final two jumps.
Just three of the eight entries had been declared for the Highflyer Bloodstock Novices’ Chase but, despite the small field, it still proved to be an interesting contest with two promising novices in Phoenix Way and Stratagem being separated by just a neck at the end of the two-mile trip.
For a young horse making his chasing debut, Stratagem’s jumping had been immaculate from the start and he shook off favourite Quick Grabim at the third-last fence, turning into the home straight with a clear lead.
Aidan Coleman was still travelling strongly in behind on the lightly-raced Phoenix Way, however, and they passed Stratagem on the run-in to take the lead just before the line.
Valse Au Taillons made all the running with Mitchell Bastyan to take the Jumps At Home With Free Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle for the in-form Johnny Farrelly stable from Methag and Aquila Sky, who was a big drifter in the betting market.
Hoopmalassie made the long journey from Scotland for the closing David Nicholson Memorial Fillies’ “Junior” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, but she found one too good in the shape of Mayhem Mya, who led on the home turn and ran on strongly up the straight.