Rose in full bloom at Newbury
Venetia Williams completed a fine training performance as Pepite Rose ran out an effortless winner of the EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Novices’ Chase Finale at Newbury.
Unseen over fences until February 29, she had three quick runs to enable her to qualify for this final, and the five-year-old looked a cut above her rivals.
Aidan Coleman was motionless on the 13-8 favourite and a huge leap at the last sealed the deal. She was value for a good deal more than the nine-length winning margin over How’s Business.
The trainer told Racing UK: “We had to get three quick runs into her to get her handicapped for this. I persuaded the owner to buy her and told her she would win over hurdles, but that was proving rather difficult so I sent her over fences and the improvement has been remarkable.
“I haven’t seen a horse jump the last here in such spectacular fashion for some time. We’ll go for a glass of champagne with the owners in the Royal Box and formulate a plan. She could go to Aintree, but I wouldn’t be keen on the Topham as she’s only five. Today was the plan, though.”
The money came late for Alan King’s Tante Sissi and it proved correct in the EBF Ultima Business Solutions Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle Finale. Backed from 7-1 into 9-2 favouritism just before the off, the five-year-old travelled sweetly throughout for Robert Thornton.
Barry Geraghty tracked the winner on Heather Royal, looking to give Nicky Henderson yet another big winner, and he moved through the race just as easily.
After jumping the last the pair got close together and Tante Sissi did appear to hang into her rival, causing them to drift across the track, but while an inquiry was called, the placings remained unaltered. Thornton was given a four-day ban for careless riding, but he will not miss any of Aintree.
King said: “They did drift right, but I thought four days was a bit harsh as he had his stick in his right hand. Two days would have been about right.
“This was the plan today and I haven’t really looked beyond this. I think she’ll improve again with a summer on her back. If she runs again (this season) she’ll tell me – she could go to that race at Cheltenham. She’ll strengthen again and we’ll target all the good mares’ races next season.”
Written by Mar 25th, 2012.on