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  • Writer's pictureSimon Long

NEWBURY REVIEW: AUCUNRISQUE IS BETFAIR HURDLE HERO

Aucunrisque foiled an ante-post gamble on Filey Bay in the Betfair Hurdle to give Chris Gordon a red-letter day at Newbury.

Gordon has had his string in red-hot form in recent weeks and had already celebrated a winner earlier on the card when Annual Invictus scored under his son, Freddie.

Gordon fielded two in Europe’s richest handicap hurdle, with Highway One O Two also running. But it was Aucunrisque who was always to the head of affairs under Nick Scholfield.

The winning jockey had spent most of the last year on the sidelines but looked far from rusty on the 9-1 shot.

He did appear a sitting duck, however, as Donagh Meyler loomed up on Filey Bay- but a mistake two out gave the initiative back to Aucunrisque.

The pair pulled 11 lengths clear of Teddy Blue and Yorksea, the Gary Moore pair in third and fourth, but it was Aucunrisque who was a length in front at the line.

Gordon said of the winner, who spent the first half of the season novice chasing: “We’ll go for the Grand Annual with him now.

“He is a wonderful, tough, consistent horse. He gives me no issues. Like the other horse (in the race). They are wonderful, easy horses to train. This one is so consistent. It just makes life so much easier when they are straightforward, which he is. Let’s have a little crack at the Grand Annual and see how we go.”

He went on: “He is owned by the guv’nor (Julian Head, Goodwin Racing), who sponsors half my yard, so it is fantastic, so I will probably take him into the bar and try to sell him another horse. He has fallen for that too many times.

“This race meant a lot to me growing up. It was the old Schweppes Hurdle. I just always remember that Ryan Price thing (trained four of the first five winners). I always thought ‘those clever trainers’ – and I must hasten to add I’ve proved the whole philosophy wrong – those shrewd trainers won it and now I have. I thought my other horse would win, so I’ve proved that completely wrong.

“I went to Josh Gifford’s when I was 14 years old on work experience from my school. Because I was such a delinquent at school, they used to send me off on special escapades. So they sent me to Josh’s. That Ryan Price/Josh Gifford (was the jockey on all of Price’s winners) thing means it is a very important race to me,

“This ranks right up there on memorable days, especially with my son winning the earlier race. It is a special day, a really special day.”

He added: “We were going to go for the Lightning Chase at Doncaster, but I thought if I get lucky and go and win it, he might go up a couple of pounds. So I thought let’s have a go at a proper race and it has worked out.”

He quipped: “I told Nick to tuck in and let them make it, and burst through at the second-last. Maybe if he’d have done that, he might have won by 10 lengths!”


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