Alamy Stock Photo Mister Fisher ridden by James Bowen goes on to win the Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) at Kempton Park Racecourse, Surrey.
Take a Bow
Mister Fisher proves too good in Silviniaco Conti
Ryanair target for ‘top class’ Henderson winner.

MISTER FISHER took advantage of a drop in class to land a deserved success in the Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.

Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old had things easier than on his last visit to the Sunbury track, when he was pulled up in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

Already a dual course winner, Mister Fisher made it three with a polished performance over the extended two and a half miles.

James Bowen was happy to sit in third place as Rogue Vif and Eldorado Allen set the pace with the only other runner, Defi Du Seuil, last of the four.

Taking closer order in the straight with three fences to jump, Mister Fisher (15-8 favourite) was soon poised to challenge Eldorado Allen after Rouge Vif weakened.

Mister Fisher led approaching the final fence and was not hard pressed to score by a length and three-quarters, earning a 12-1 from 20-1 quote from Betfair for the Ryanair Chase, with Coral going 16-1.

“That was his race. It was made for him form the day it was put in the programme book – except for the ground, because he has always been a little bit vulnerable on sticky ground,” said Henderson.

“I think the ground is tacky, but with Falco (Blitz, winner earlier on the card) and him, we’ve gone wide the whole way which Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course) told me to do about three days ago.

“He was really good, but he is a very good horse. If you remember that last race at Sandown last year, when he looked as if he had got Frodon, and Frodon came back and beat him on the line – that is where he is in life. He is up there in the higher echelons.

“I think two and half miles is probably his trip… I know he ran a good race in the King George because it was his first run of the season and he turned in out of the back straight going really well. You could say, ‘was it stamina? Or was it just the fact it was his first run?’ (that he emptied and was pulled up).

“I wouldn’t be in a rush to go back to three miles. He had a Gold Cup entry, but I think the Ryanair is more realistic really than anything else.

“This was a race made for him. If the Ryanair was on good ground, he will be competitive. Aintree would be next. If there wasn’t anything in between, you’d have him ready for a busy spell. He could do a Cheltenham-Aintree double. He deserves a nice pot like this and he has now got to go and fly in the top flight.

“We think he is top class, always has been. I love him, he is a beautiful horse.”

Cobblers Dream won an eventful race for the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.

Jack Quinlan’s mount was at the head of affairs from flag fall and, after a false start, it proved the best place to be as there was drama at the second flight.

Ch’tibello fell, bringing down the favourite Green Book and badly hampering another fancied runner, Marie’s Rock.

Unaware at what had happened to the two market leaders, up front it was the Ben Case-trained Cobblers Dream and Highway One O Two who led the way.

Very few got into the race and there was no change at the second-last flight where Quinta Do Mar came down when fading out of contention.

Cobblers Dream (10-1) kept up the gallop to land the valuable prize from Highway One O Two (25-1), with Call Me Lord (33-1) third and Gelino Bello (6-1) fourth.

Case said: “He has just improved all along. To be fair, the horse has always been straightforward since we have had him. The step up in trip has sort of helped him and he just seems to be getting better all the time, which is great.

“We thought we’d get in off a nice weight today after his last run and when they announced the prize-money was going up, I thought this was the right place to come.

“I was a bit concerned on the ground. It is not too bad today. They went quite quick early and then slowed it down and I think the first two were the first two all the way round, so they probably didn’t go much of a gallop and they have quickened away from the second-last. But he is a nice horse.

“I think there is a bit more to come from him, hopefully.”

Betfair gave the winner a 25-1 quote for the Coral Cup, and Case added: “He looks to be a proper horse and where we go from here, I’m not sure. We will see what the handicapper does. We might creep into something at Cheltenham, I don’t know.

“Whatever way you look at it, he has had a good season and I think he will jump fences quite happily, so he will do that next year.”

“It was a hard decision for Jack (Andrews) to go to Wetherby. He had a full book of rides up there and he is going to regret it, but Jack Quinlan has ridden him as well and knew the horse. So it was tough for Jack.

“It is nice to have a big Saturday winner and Lady Jane Grosvenor has been a big supporter of ours and had some really nice horses, and this looks another one, too.”

Meanwhile, Threeunderthrufive booked his Cheltenham Festival ticket and the possibility of a £25,000 bonus into the bargain when continuing his winning ways in the Wigley Group Hampton Novices’ Chase at Warwick.

Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Max McNeill, neither were on course to witness his second Grade Two win as both are on holiday in the Caribbean and no doubt the champagne corks would have been popping some way from home.

Adrian Heskin was positive on the 8-13 favourite and bounced him into an early lead and in truth he never looked like being caught, coming home three and a half lengths clear of Doyen Breed, who was in receipt of 5lb.

The conundrum now for connections is to run in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase in March, for which he is 16-1 (from 25s) with Paddy Power, or the National Hunt Chase over three-mile-six where he is 6-1 with the same firm.

And finally, former classy Flat performer Stag Horn remained unbeaten over hurdles with a game front-running performance in the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.

By the Derby winner Golden Horn, he was last seen on the Flat winning at Pontefract under Hollie Doyle, taking his mark on the level to 103.

Sent over hurdles by Archie Watson, an unusual move for the Lambourn handler, he showed promise in his winning debut at Hereford under Gavin Sheehan.

Up markedly in class for Grade Two which both The New One and Willougby Court used as a stepping stone to Cheltenham success, he was sent off at 100-30 in what looked a competitive field with no standout contender.

Nick Scholfield was on board this time and was not going to let anyone settle, constantly upping the pace on the tight track, and for a horse having just his second outing over timber, his jumping was a big asset.

Not surprisingly he began to get a bit lonely having been out in front on his own for so long, but to his credit, he knuckled down after the last and came away to beat Gentleman At Arms by two lengths.


Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel