Following a ten-day break, National Hunt racing returned at Newton Abbot yesterday and I was delighted to see Canton Prince off the mark at the fourth attempt, winning the bumper in some style under Richard Johnson.
Runner-up on his debut at Market Rasen last autumn, he hadn’t built on that performance in two subsequent runs, but had done well for a summer’s break and yesterday’s contest looked an excellent opportunity for him to shed his maiden tag.
Settled just behind the front-runner on the outside, Richard sent him on just after halfway and, kicking clear entering the home straight, the pair never looked like getting caught, extending the advantage all the way to the line to win by 12 lengths.
He will now go novice hurdling and he looks a bright prospect for this season and beyond.
Pictured at Newton Abbot yesterday (left) and on his way to the paddocks this morning (right).