Edwardstone delivers 16th Festival winner for Alan King

15-March-2022
15-March-2022 19:46
in General
by Peter McNeile

On a day where British spirits were lifted by stellar performances in the first 3 races, Edwardstone marked his arrival in the top flight with an assured win in the Sportinglife Arkle Trophy to be crowned champion novice chaser over the minimum trip.

After victories in the Henry VIII and Kingmaker Chases, the 8 year old was sent off a warm favourite in the 11 runner field, and was given a confident ride by Tom Cannon, enjoying a first Festival winner. The race wasn't without incident however; Charlie Deutsch and Seasca took a tumble at the fourth requiring some deft diverting to avoid his flailing hooves. In truth, though, Cannon always looked as if the race was within his grasp, and asserted as they led into the straight for a memorable 4 1/4l win over Gavin Cromwell's Gabynako, supplemented for the race at a cost of £8,000. 

It's been 7 years since Barbury enjoyed a Festival winner, and the consolidation of power in the top UK and Irish stables has led Alan to look further afield for winners. Time was when he would field a big team for Cheltenham, but in common with many of his professional counterparts, they have challenged their owners' blinkered vision to be at Cheltenham in favour of other more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Better to win a smaller prize away from Cheltenham than run down the field as an also-ran at the Festival. 

This logical thinking, together with the implausibility of beating a Henderson, Mullins or Elliott hotpot has resulted in smaller fields for races that in yesteryear would incur balloting. Imagine a Supreme Novices 10 years ago with just 9 runners. It wasn't so long ago when the safety factor was reduced to 20 to avoid an overly large field. 

That said, of the 93 runners on the card, that only 46 were British says something about the willingness of British trainers to rise the the challenge. This is rapidly becoming an event where British-trained horses are guests at our own event. 

Next Event

When?

Sunday February 13th Vine & Craven - CANCELLED

Sunday April 10th Tedworth First Race 1.15pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Edwardstone delivers 16th Festival winner for Alan King

15-March-2022
15-March-2022 19:46
in General
by Peter McNeile

On a day where British spirits were lifted by stellar performances in the first 3 races, Edwardstone marked his arrival in the top flight with an assured win in the Sportinglife Arkle Trophy to be crowned champion novice chaser over the minimum trip.

After victories in the Henry VIII and Kingmaker Chases, the 8 year old was sent off a warm favourite in the 11 runner field, and was given a confident ride by Tom Cannon, enjoying a first Festival winner. The race wasn't without incident however; Charlie Deutsch and Seasca took a tumble at the fourth requiring some deft diverting to avoid his flailing hooves. In truth, though, Cannon always looked as if the race was within his grasp, and asserted as they led into the straight for a memorable 4 1/4l win over Gavin Cromwell's Gabynako, supplemented for the race at a cost of £8,000. 

It's been 7 years since Barbury enjoyed a Festival winner, and the consolidation of power in the top UK and Irish stables has led Alan to look further afield for winners. Time was when he would field a big team for Cheltenham, but in common with many of his professional counterparts, they have challenged their owners' blinkered vision to be at Cheltenham in favour of other more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Better to win a smaller prize away from Cheltenham than run down the field as an also-ran at the Festival. 

This logical thinking, together with the implausibility of beating a Henderson, Mullins or Elliott hotpot has resulted in smaller fields for races that in yesteryear would incur balloting. Imagine a Supreme Novices 10 years ago with just 9 runners. It wasn't so long ago when the safety factor was reduced to 20 to avoid an overly large field. 

That said, of the 93 runners on the card, that only 46 were British says something about the willingness of British trainers to rise the the challenge. This is rapidly becoming an event where British-trained horses are guests at our own event. 

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