Dynaste and My Tent or Yours make amends at Aintree
After defeats at Cheltenham, charges of Pipe and Henderson’s win at Aintree
Triolo D’Alene held on to claim a thrilling John Smith’s Topham Chase for the red-hot Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty combination.
A little over half an hour after stable star Sprinter Sacre turned in a brilliant display in the Melling Chase, Triolo D’Alene was a 14-1 shot to claim this two-mile-five-furlong handicap run over the Grand National fences.
Geraghty was never too far off the pace and sent his mount to the lead jumping the final obstacle. The six-year-old galloped on strongly all the way up the gruelling run-in to hold off the determined challenge of Walkon by three-quarters of a length. Last Time D’Albain and the front-running Dunowen Point rounded off the placings.
“We always thought he had a good day in him," Geraghty said. “He jumped like a stag. There was one or two I rubbed but he was good. “I was struggling to make ground but I got a good run through from Foinavon and was able to get a breather into him.”
Henderson added: “The boys have done an amazing job. This was always the plan. We thought the race would suit him. His jumping is exemplary and the trip was right.”
Max McNeill, owner of the Alan King-trained runner-up Walkon, said: “That was a magnificent effort. We had to have a big debate about coming here and he’s been so unlucky as he keeps on finding one too good this year. “I shall have to try to persuade my wife to run him in next year’s Grand National.”
My Tent Or Yours opened a memorable day for Henderson on a positive note when bouncing back from his Cheltenham reverse with a scintillating display in the Rose Appeal Supports Alder Hey Top Novices’ Hurdle .
The six-year-old was considered one of the bankers of the meeting at Prestbury Park last month in the curtain-raising Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but had to make do with an honourable second behind the front-running Champagne Fever.
Sent off the 4-11 favourite for his latest assignment, odds-on backers had few concerns as Henderson’s charge glided through the race effortlessly and went to the front still full of running once straightened up for home.
Stable companion Forgotten Voice went in pursuit, but was not in the same league as My Tent Or Yours, who was eased down on the run-in by Tony McCoy but still passed the post with 16 lengths in hand.
“He didn’t jump as well today, but it’s the end of the season," McCoy said. "I wanted to make sure he didn’t fall over. He was a long odds-shot so I wanted to get him round. Jumping fences might be his job, we’ll see. What I liked about him was his size and scope despite his Flat pedigree.
“People picked holes in him because he got beat at Cheltenham but I’ve got beat on a few good ones there. He might go back and redeem himself next year. He is getting better, he was still very keen in the Supreme Novices’ and the more he learns the better chance he has to save his energy and use it for when it counts.
“He’s got enough ability — he could be a Champion hurdle horse or he could go chasing. We certainly won’t be rushing into a decision anyway and we’ll enjoy today.”
Dynaste went one place better than at Cheltenham also, with a smart display in the John Smith’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree this afternoon.
A red-hot favourite for Cheltenham’s Jewson Novices’ Chase off the back of three impressive victories over fences, David Pipe’s grey suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Irish raider Benefficient. Stepping back up in distance, he was the 9-4 joint-favourite to gain compensation and did so in some style.
Tom Scudamore sat towards the rear of the field for much of the three-mile-one-furlong journey but arrived there travelling powerfully at the top of the home straight. He claimed Third Intention on the run to the final fence, jumped it the quicker and stayed on strongly on the run-in to take the Grade Two prize by six lengths.
Scudamore said: “It was great. It was disappointing to get beat at Cheltenham, but he was probably beaten by a very good horse. It’s great he’s gone out and done it today. I wasn’t that happy early on. I was niggling him a little bit, but the further he went the better he went. He’s just a very good horse. It doesn’t matter what trip, what ground. He takes it all in. I knew that whatever happened I was going to have more toe than them so I let Super Duty and Rocky Creek get on with it.
Pipe added: “I thought he ran well at Cheltenham and just got beat by a better horse on the day. He’s a very good horse and he proved that on the day. He is in at Punchestown so we’ll have to see how he comes out of this and have a chat with his owner. That will probably be it for the season, but we’ll have to see. You’ve got to look at races like the Paddy Power, the Betfair, King George. Those will be his first half of the season targets and we will go from there.”
At Fishers Cross won his sixth race from as many starts this season with a brilliant performance in the John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle, completing a double on the day for McCoy and his retaining owner JP McManus.
So impressive in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, Rebecca Curtis’s stable star was an 11-8 favourite to secure a second Grade One haul and the result was scarcely in doubt.
Always travelling ominously well down the outside of the field, the six-year-old swung for home still full of running and responded generously when asked to go and win his race by the champion jockey. Just A Par finished off his race well to grab the runner-up spot, was never in danger of threatening the winner, finishing eight lengths adrift.