It's a Thinking game

Sun 18th Nov 2012, 17:35

photoWishfull Thinking won at Cheltenham
©Healy Racing Photos
Wishfull Thinking (8-11) made the most of Sprinter Sacre's absence to run out a facile winner of the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham.

Wishful thinking may have been all that the Philip Hobbs team could have hoped for when Sprinter Sacre was declared for the two mile contest but the race was left at their mercy when Nicky Henderson withdrew last year's brilliant Arkle winner after overnight rain on Friday.

The winner made an early mistake but had the race in safe keeping from a long way out although Doeslessthanme did keep him honest as Richard Johnson had to keep the nine year old up to his work.

Hobbs said: "I'm delighted.

"The main problem for a long time has been his breathing - he's had three breathing operations. But this season he has been better with his breathing.

"We had a scare at the first fence, but he did it well. The Peterborough Chase (Huntingdon, December 13) is now the obvious race - that's definitely an option."

Johnson said: "We had a big scare (at the first fence) but he jumped really well."

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES