Stocktons books Cheltenham ticket
Stocktons Wing (near side) and Dogora
(Healy Racing Photos)
Ridden by Mark Walsh, the son of Jeremy raced third and while he failed to travel as well as leaders Dogora and South South West, found far more in the home straight, eventually moving to the front at the final flight before beating Dogora by two and a quarter lengths.
Afterwards O'Brien, whose biggest wins on the Flat (with Burden Of Proof and Lord Admiral) have also come at Group 2 level, stated “he has earned his right to travel now as his form is very solid and he jumps very well.
“He is honest, tough and is straightforward and is the right type to bring to Cheltenham - he's not one to have a nervous breakdown and run like his tail is on fire on the way to the first hurdle!
“He'll enjoy the hustle and bustle and I presume he'll go for the Triumph Hurdle as he'll have a lot of weight in the Fred Winter.”
Stan James later cut Stocktons Wing to 33/1 (from 66s) for the Triumph Hurdle and to 12s (from 16s) for the Fred Winter Hurdle.
Quotes from Gary Carson
Ruby Walsh does not believe Hurricane Fly has been seen at his very best on either of his previous two trips to the Cheltenham Festival.