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  • Writer's pictureSimon Long

It’s either Sandown or Huntingdon for Edwardstone after superb return at Cheltenham

By Geoff Lester - Alan Kings website.

Taking a leaf out of the well-worn motto of parents when their young children start sports participation at school, Alan’s philosophy en route to Cheltenham on Sunday was “winning is not everything”, his mind being very much on Edwardstone‘s bid to redeem himself in the Shloer Chase after last season’s’ Champion Chase debacle.

As with Trueshan before the Doncaster Cup in September, the priority for Alan, while hoping that Edwardstone would beat Jonbon, was seeing him recapture the fire and fight that saw our stable-star tear some classy two-milers to bits in last year’s Grade 2 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

In the event, Edwardstone was beaten fair and square by Jonbon, but he jumped brilliantly, and, though unable to match the favourite’s gear-change from the second last, it was encouraging to see him go through the line seemingly with plenty left in the tank.

Alan said:”I thought it was a smashing run, and it was such a relief to see Edwardstone erase the memory of last March. Cheltenham is still a mystery, but we can now look forward and it is a case of deciding whether to have a rematch with Jonbon when we defend our Tingle Creek crown on December 9 or wait 24 hours so we can step him up to two and a half miles for the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.”

No horse has won consecutive Tingle Creek’s since Kauto Star in 2006, but Edwardstone both races and has the pedigree to stay further than two miles, so Alan will discuss the matter with Tom Cannon and owner-breeders, Robert Abrey and Ian Thurtle, before finalising a plan.

There was still plenty for Alan to celebrate over the week-end, not only at Cheltenham where Es Perfecto made a pleasing first appearance over fences when runner-up to Ginny’s Destiny but also at Wetherby, where our two runners, Favour and Fortune and Grandeur D’Ame both won.

Tom Cannon was impressed with both, particularly Favour And Fortune, who struck gold over fences at the first time of asking, having already won a bumper and two hurdle races.

He said:”Nothing wanted to go on, which is why Favour And Fortune was a bit keen and novicey at his fences, but he ground it out up the straight on testing ground and has the scope to make a nice two-mile chaser.”

Grandeur Dame got back on track after a break when cruising clear from four out in the handicap chase, and Tom feels that the horse is better when fresh.

Tom Cannon has three rides today at Warwick.

13:30 EL SAVIOUR - Trainer - Lucy Wadham

£80,000 4-y-o: seventh foal: half-brother to fair hurdler/chaser Brown Bear (17f-2¾m winner, by Yeats): dam, unraced, closely related to very smart hurdler/useful chaser (best at 2m) Straw Bear and fairly useful hurdler (stayed 2½m) Uaintseenothingyet: runner-up sole start in Irish points (Apr 2022).

14:40 GAME ON FOR GLORY - Trainer - Lucy Wadham

lengthy mare, has scope: has had breathing operation: bumper winner: fair form over hurdles: off 22 months, 50/1, shaped as if in need of run when 28 lengths fourth of 6 to You Wear It Well in listed Mares' Hurdle at Wetherby on return: will stay 2½m.

15:50 AUNTY CHRISTINE - Trainer - Lucy Wadham

€37,000 3-y-o: useful-looking filly: sixth foal: closely related to bumper winner Fancy Girl (by Champs Elysees), and half-sister to fair hurdler Gotthenod (winner up to 3m, by Famous Name): dam (c108/h109), 19f-2¾m hurdle/chase winner, half-sister to useful hurdler/chaser (stayed 25f) Louis' Vac Pouch: 7/1, 10¼ lengths seventh of 11 to Miss Applejack in conditionals/amateurs mares bumper at Ludlow.


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