Back-to-form Saint marches in
Saint Are bounced back to form with a narrow victory over Battle Group in a thrilling finish to the John Smith‘s Handicap Chase at Aintree.
There was nothing between the two principals at the last but Saint Are (11-1), trained by Tim Vaughan, found that bit extra on the run-in for Dougie Costello to win by half a length. The first two drew 16 lengths clear of the 2-1 favourite Chapoturgeon in third.
“He’s very tough. Tim’s horses haven’t been right through the middle of the year and because of that, he probably is well handicapped. He jumps and stays. It’s a stayers’ track here as it’s four furlongs from the bend,” said the winning jockey
“We went a good strong gallop and a big horse like this is suited by a flat, left-handed track like this.”
It was a 100th winner of the campaign for a delighted Vaughan, who added: “Thankfully he’s come good. He ran well here on his chasing debut and then after that we went to Cheltenham with him a few times and I just don’t think that track suits.
“He loves a flat, left-handed galloping track. He’s run here three times now, winning twice and finishing second.
“I knew today off a mark of 137 he was a very well handicapped horse. There was no question about that as he won a Grade One here last year.
“He looked a natural fencer on his first run and we just lost our way a bit. I didn’t know if he’d be able to bounce back on the big stage, but thank goodness he did.”
Lifestyle (28-1) was the only surprise among a Nicky Henderson quartet of winners as he took the John Smith‘s Handicap Hurdle, with stable companion Gibb River third.
The New One (8-1), trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by his son Sam, denied Henderson a five-timer when holding My Tent Or Yours by a length and a quarter in the John Smith‘s Champion Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Written by Apr 15th, 2012.on