Diamond Racing’s The Wallace Line has been transformed by the switch to hurdles this season and, following a win at Fontwell in October and a good second at Sandown Park the following month, he posted a career-best effort yesterday to finish third in the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow on Welsh National day.
He struggled to go with the main protagonists from the back straight onwards, but really started to pick up after turning in and he stayed on relentlessly from the second last, finishing just five lengths behind the 141-rated runner-up.
It was a brilliant run and it will be interesting to see what the handicapper makes of it but, all being well, we will now prepare him for a tilt at the Fred Winter at the Festival, in which Ski Sunday finished runner-up for us back in 2009.
I was delighted to see Benability make a winning handicap debut at Fontwell Park on Boxing Day, providing Conor Walsh with a winner on his first ride for us!
From a good family of staying chasers, he improved with experience in novice hurdles and, upped to 2m4f and on what looked to be very heavy ground at Fontwell Park (described as ‘soft’), his stamina won the day as he came from what looked a very unpromising position at the top of the home straight to win going away. He should continue to progress and will be better over fences in time. Congratulations to his owner Louise Bowtell!