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  • Writer's pictureSimon Long

'Electric' Edwardstone now clear Arkle favourite after Warwick win

Tom Cannon, made it winner No:46 for the season with winning the

Virgin Bet Kingmaker Novice Chase Grade2 on EDWARDSTONE

for trainer Alan King and Owners Robert Abrey and Ian Thurtle.

Edwardstone surged to a position of clear favouritism for the Sporting Life Arkle at next month's Cheltenham Festival with a thoroughly dominant win at Warwick.

Tom Cannon described the eight-year-old as "a horse of a lifetime" after he confirmed his position as a leading light of the British team for the festival with a slick performance in the Kingmaker Novices' Chase.

Providing one of the day's two standout novice chase performances alongside that of Bravemansgame at Newbury, the Alan King-trained runner is now a best priced 9-4 favourite (from 3) with Betfair Sportsbook and Coral for the Arkle, usurping last weekend's Irish Arkle winner Blue Lord, the 3-1 second favourite, at the head of the betting.

For Pleasure ensured there was a strong gallop to this Virgin Bet-sponsored four-runner race, which King won with subsequent Arkle winner Voy Por Ustedes in 2006, but Edwardstone cruised into the lead four-out and never looked in danger.

Third Time Lucki similarly travelled sweetly but had no answers for the Robert Abrey and Ian Thurtle-owned Edwardstone, who impressed with his slick jumping and was four and a quarter lengths clear at the line.

Cannon said: "He was very good and loved that ground; it was as quick as he's been on for a while. His jumping was electric and he saw it out nicely. He's always had an engine and everything he's done in his career has built up to this season.

"He's the best horse I've sat on and a horse of a lifetime. He's done so much for me. It's hard to win a 0-100, let alone a Grade 1, and two Grade 2s like he has done this season.

"He’s a fantastic horse and every time I ride him I just go out there and enjoy it. It will be no different at Cheltenham and hopefully we get there in one piece. He’s a very good jumper – he’s learnt as he’s gone along and he’s really come together now."

King celebrated a fourth Kingmaker success from Newbury, having also landed the Grade 2 event with Kadount in 2005 and Balder Succes in 2014, and expressed delight and relief at Edwardstone’s commanding victory.

“That was lovely. They went a good gallop and he jumped superbly, so we were thrilled with him,” said King.

“It’s a long time between Kempton and Cheltenham, so it was important to get a run into him. It was a proper test but he looked foot perfect and I’m delighted and relieved he came through it well, so we’ll enjoy today and worry about Cheltenham when it comes.”


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