Simon says it’s easy again
Simonsig produced another brilliant performance to follow up his Cheltenham Festival victory in the John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Nicky Henderson’s six-year-old (4-9 favourite) ran away with the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month, and Barry Geraghty’s only concern in the saddle was keeping hold of him rounding the home turn as the enthusiastic grey pulled his way to the front.
Super Duty ran a fine race from the head of affairs, but a major error at the second-last sealed his fate and Simonsig eased clear on the bridle to score by 15 lengths.
Geraghty said: “He’s as good as he looks. He hosed up there. He did everything so easily and they were probably going too slow for him. He missed one or two and I didn’t want to set sail too early. He really wants a fence. He jumped hurdles well, but he can be a little bit careless.”
Henderson, who went on to a four-timer, added: “He could be good. He’s always looked the part all year. At Sandown he got beat by Fingal Bay, but it looked as though we were going to run all over him at the second-last. After that we put him away and started again, and he’s been so good.
“He’s done his bit now and that’s probably the last time we’ll see him over hurdles. Barry thinks it’s time to go over fences. He sees this trip out well, but I’d have thought we’ll start off over fences over two miles to just let him go and jump. We’ve got decisions to make with him and Darlan now.”
Paddy Power make the grey 3-1 favourite from 4-1 for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham next March, while William Hill are 8-1 about him winning the RSA Chase.
Donald McCain, responsible for runner-up Super Duty, said: “It was a great run. We wanted to get the other horse (Simonsig) off the bridle, but he made a mistake at the second-last and did well to stay up.
“He’s got as near as anything to that horse when he’s won. He’ll be a smashing novice chaser next season.”
Baby Shine was third and her trainer Lucy Wadham said: “This season has been a bit of a mess because she was coughing earlier in the season, but you’ve got to be pleased with that. She might go to Punchestown and then all the good mares’ races next season or perhaps mix it over hurdles and fences.”
Written by Apr 15th, 2012.on