It's A Thinking Game

Sun 18th Nov 2012, 17:35

Wishfull 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."

Coneygree beats Irish raider

There were many more fancied runners than Mark Bradstock's Coneygree in the Grade Two contest registered as the Hyde Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he held them all at bay from the front.