A fantastic renewal of a race that has been won by some greats over the years, One Man, Edredon Bleu (who won it for 4 consecutive times), Best Mate, Racing Demon, Monets Garden, Deep Purple to name but a few.
Riverside Theatre had become not just difficult to assess but possibly difficult to place for trainer Nicky Henderson. Known to of had problems with ulcers and breathing in the past the consensus is/was, he is best fresh. Jimmy Nesbitt was on hand to see his charge and was made to go through all the emotions you could wish for in a top class race, after jumping ok without being spectacular he had begun to race lazily and at that point I thought for sure he was beaten, and if he finished the race he would of done well as the pendulum swung between stick pushed along jumps and stone in water like progress through a tightly packed and quality field, but, just turning in you got the sense that he was not so much running on empty, as still running on full, Barry urgings seemed to be working, and, 2 out he was on the inside in touch once again, with duelling leaders (Champion Court and Captain Chris) switched right by Geraghty after jumping the last he ran on strongly to deny and seemingly within himself to beat the the gallant pair with Champion Court looking unlucky as a slipped saddle saw Ian Popham on his backside after the line, and Captain Chris losing nothing in 3rd.
It possibly was the best time to catch him as was said but you can’t deny the performance was a smart one and was ran 13 and a bit seconds quicker than the mares chase won by stable mate Une Artiste earlier on the card.
What the plans are, only Nicky knows for now, but Boxing Day was not ruled out. You will struggle to see a better appetite wetter for the Cheltenham meeting that is upon us this weekend, Great days we do live.