Forpadydeplasterer sticks to his task well
RACING:Forpadydeplasterer will have the John Smith’s Grand National as his big target after recording his first victory in well over three years with a stylish performance in the Glen Chase at Thurles yesterday.
Although without a victory since his Arkle Trophy success at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival, Tom Cooper’s 10-year-old has filled the runner-up spot on a number of occasions at the very highest level.
Sent off a 3 to 1 shot faced with five rivals on his second attempt at three miles, Forpadydeplasterer was ridden patiently by Bryan Cooper but made eyecatching headway to take closer order rounding the home turn.
Snooze did his best out in front, but Forpadydeplasterer took over at the final fence and kicked clear to score by five and a half lengths.
Berties Dream just grabbed third spot from 2011 Grand National runner-up Oscar Time, who ran a perfectly satisfactory race on his first appearance in a year. Cooper said: “That is a great relief after three and a half years without a win.
“Things went all wrong for him at Cheltenham (last time out in the Paddy Power Gold Cup). He missed the first few fences and that was it. Paddy Brennan had the brain to pull him up as he seemed to lose all confidence.
“This was an ideal race for him, even though it was over three miles on heavy ground which was a worry, but he got the job done.
“He will be trained for the Grand National now. He had to be placed in a three-mile race to get in it and that’s it done now. He will have two more runs before Aintree. He jumped brilliant today which he hadn’t done for a while.”
Stan James gave Forpadydeplasterer a 50 to 1 quote for Aintree.
Trainer Kevin Prendergast wished Declan McDonogh the best of luck after the jockey was confirmed as the Aga Khan’s retained rider for next season.
Prendergast and McDonogh have enjoyed a fruitful partnership for over a decade in Ireland, registering a number of Group One victories with the likes of Rebelline, Termagant, Kingsfort and the 2011 Phoenix Stakes winner La Collina.
McDonogh, champion jockey in 2006, will now largely be riding for the powerful yard of John Oxx, but Prendergast hopes he will still be available to ride for him on occasion.
The Co Kildare handler will not appoint a successor to McDonogh in the role of stable jockey. Prendergast said: “It’s a good job and I think Declan really deserves it. He’s a fine rider and he works hard.
“He’s never missed a day since he’s been with me for the last 12 years or so and I hope it goes really well for him. When he’s not riding for Mr Oxx, we’ll use him if he’s available.
“We also have Chris Hayes and Sam James, so we’re not short in that department.”
“I’m really thrilled, it’s a great step,” McDonogh told At The Races. “It’s a fantastic yard at Mr Oxx’s, it’s exciting times for me and it’s a privilege to be putting on those green and red silks.”
Nigel Twiston-Davies remains hopeful Imperial Commander will be back in action at Cheltenham in the new year.
The former Gold Cup winner had earlier this month been in line to make his first appearance since the blue riband of 2011 but was ruled out of the Betfair Chase with a setback.
Twiston-Davies how has his sights set on Prestbury Park at the end of January. He said: “He’s okay and will probably start road work and swimming on Monday. With a splint bone it’s just a growth on a bone and you knock it off. It’s not a problem, it just stops you.
“In six weeks he will hopefully start cantering and it’s going to be tight again but I’m hoping to have him back for the Argento Chase at Cheltenham.”