We took two nice young horses to Huntingdon yesterday and were delighted to return with a double, with both Champagne Chaser and Fields Of Glory getting off the mark over hurdles!
Champagne Chaser (pictured right) had shown a good level of form in bumpers, winning at Uttoxeter last winter, but has just taken time to find his feet over hurdles. Returning from a four-month break, he ran out a convincing winner yesterday, travelling well throughout and keeping on strongly under Richard Johnson to win by ten lengths. While he was a bit sticky over a couple of flights down the back, he jumped fluently up the home straight and I’m sure there is plenty more to come. He is fine this morning and, all being well, we will look to bring him out next week under a penalty.
Fields Of Glory is a real chasing type and the three-parts brother to multiple Grade 1-winning chaser Captain Conan has just needed time to mature. I was very pleased with his handicap debut at Huntingdon in January in what was a warm handicap hurdle and, with that run under his belt and in what looked a weaker field yesterday, a bold show was expected on what was his seventh career start.
Racing prominently throughout, he jumped nicely and travelled well but, having taken up the lead entering the home straight, he faced a determined challenge from the eventual runner-up throughout the final three furlongs and it required a determined performance from Fields Of Glory, and a typically strong ride from champion jockey-elect Richard Johnson, to hold on by a neck.
He looks to have a bright future and we are already looking forward to running him over fences in the autumn!
Both winners were purchased as stores and I am delighted for the O’Sullivan family, owners of Champagne Chaser, and Dave and Jodie Pearn, owners of Fields Of Glory, as they are tremendous supporters of the yard.