Potterman moulds a victory from interference

26-April-2021
26-April-2021 9:16
in General
by Russell Smith

The professional season concluded on Saturday much as the previous one had: with Alan King winning the bet 365 Gold Cup. But, as so often happens in this famous old race, it was an incident-packed finish, in which Barbury's Potterman, winner of 5 of his 13 steeplechases, was promoted to first place in the Stewards' Room.

On a day otherwise dominated by the Nicholls team, Enrilo, trained by the eponymous maestro of Ditcheat, took a very wayward left handed course in the final 150 yards under Champion Jockey Elect Harry Skelton, edging Kitty's Light carrying the hopes of Wales, off a true line. Whilst Potterman was unaffected by the interference and finished second, 3/4l down, the Stewards had a clear cut decision to make vis a vis the winner, placing Enrilo behind Potterman and Kitty's Choice. 

Every trainer would prefer to win their races on merit, but King was philosophical about his eight graded winner of the season, and of course pleased at the result. Potterman was narrowly defeated in the Badger Beer Chase back in October, and may take a National route. He's quoted at 66/1 for Aintree 2022, but a trip stateside might come first, for the American version at Far Hills, New Jersey, on October 16. 

Whilst Bryony Frost partnered Frodon to win the Celebration Chase and Greanateen to overturn the once invincible Altior in the Oaksey Chase, the most emotional winner of the day was greeted by Nick Gifford, winning the Josh Gifford Novices Handicap Chase with Belargus. Over his lengthy career, Josh won more races at Sandown than anywhere bar Cheltenham and his local course Fontwell. That's a tick in the box for son Nick, who has been trying to win this race since its inception. 

Nick Gifford has long wanted to win the race named after his father

 

It was a day for champions however, as Paul Nicholls regained the championship for a twelfth time, despite no winner at the Cheltenham Festival, and one of his former jockeys, Harry Skelton, climbed to the top of the Jockeys' rankings with his first riders' championship, wresting this off Brian Hughes. 

The British season takes a week's break now, but Skelton won't be sitting back. Nube Negra runs in the Champion Chase at Punchestown tomorrow, where First Flow and he present a valid challenge to Chacun Pour Soi and Ryanair winner Allaho, dropping back in distance. 

Meanwhile, Larkhill staged its first Point-to-Point since December but was cruelly punished by the six weeks of drought, which encouraged just 20 horses to run. With one race with no decs at all and a further walkover, it was a harsh judgement on all the work that goes into staging a fixture, but when you can't provide the ground, the vote will always go against you. 

And in another sign of the changing of the guard, Claire Hardwick, for so long amomng the very best of our riders between the flags, has hung up her boots for good to focus on her breaking and pre-training yard at Adlestrop. 

Next Event

When?

Season curtailed. Come racing back next winter

 

 

 

 

 

Where?

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

 

Latest News

Potterman moulds a victory from interference

26-April-2021
26-April-2021 9:16
in General
by Russell Smith

The professional season concluded on Saturday much as the previous one had: with Alan King winning the bet 365 Gold Cup. But, as so often happens in this famous old race, it was an incident-packed finish, in which Barbury's Potterman, winner of 5 of his 13 steeplechases, was promoted to first place in the Stewards' Room.

On a day otherwise dominated by the Nicholls team, Enrilo, trained by the eponymous maestro of Ditcheat, took a very wayward left handed course in the final 150 yards under Champion Jockey Elect Harry Skelton, edging Kitty's Light carrying the hopes of Wales, off a true line. Whilst Potterman was unaffected by the interference and finished second, 3/4l down, the Stewards had a clear cut decision to make vis a vis the winner, placing Enrilo behind Potterman and Kitty's Choice. 

Every trainer would prefer to win their races on merit, but King was philosophical about his eight graded winner of the season, and of course pleased at the result. Potterman was narrowly defeated in the Badger Beer Chase back in October, and may take a National route. He's quoted at 66/1 for Aintree 2022, but a trip stateside might come first, for the American version at Far Hills, New Jersey, on October 16. 

Whilst Bryony Frost partnered Frodon to win the Celebration Chase and Greanateen to overturn the once invincible Altior in the Oaksey Chase, the most emotional winner of the day was greeted by Nick Gifford, winning the Josh Gifford Novices Handicap Chase with Belargus. Over his lengthy career, Josh won more races at Sandown than anywhere bar Cheltenham and his local course Fontwell. That's a tick in the box for son Nick, who has been trying to win this race since its inception. 

Nick Gifford has long wanted to win the race named after his father

 

It was a day for champions however, as Paul Nicholls regained the championship for a twelfth time, despite no winner at the Cheltenham Festival, and one of his former jockeys, Harry Skelton, climbed to the top of the Jockeys' rankings with his first riders' championship, wresting this off Brian Hughes. 

The British season takes a week's break now, but Skelton won't be sitting back. Nube Negra runs in the Champion Chase at Punchestown tomorrow, where First Flow and he present a valid challenge to Chacun Pour Soi and Ryanair winner Allaho, dropping back in distance. 

Meanwhile, Larkhill staged its first Point-to-Point since December but was cruelly punished by the six weeks of drought, which encouraged just 20 horses to run. With one race with no decs at all and a further walkover, it was a harsh judgement on all the work that goes into staging a fixture, but when you can't provide the ground, the vote will always go against you. 

And in another sign of the changing of the guard, Claire Hardwick, for so long amomng the very best of our riders between the flags, has hung up her boots for good to focus on her breaking and pre-training yard at Adlestrop. 

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