Finian shows his class again
Finian's Rainbow and Barry Geraghty sail to victory
(Healy Racing Photos)
Nicky Henderson's star won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and was in impressive style here despite demolishing a rail before the Grade One race and jumping moderately throughout the contest itself.
However the 13-8 favourite had enough class to see off Wishfull Thinking (15-2) before the last fence and he stormed clear up the run-in.
Philip Hobbs' runner bounced back to form here for Richard Johnson and held every chance turning in but was no match for the winner, whilst Albertas Run (11-4), winner of the race in 2010, finished third having helped to cut out the early pace with Poquelin.
Thomas Cooper's Forpadydeplasterer finished fourth but was well-held.
Henderson said: "Last year as a novice he was trying to do everything in a terrible rush.
"He was only a bit quieter here last year because he'd had a hard race at Cheltenham.
"He grew up last summer for some reason and suddenly became sensible. This season he's been much more amenable.
"You'd always expect this fella to stay. Last year he looked an out and out two-miler because he was doing it in such a rush.
"Today he was always in a comfortable position just behind and you just hoped he was in cruise control and he probably was. When he switched him on he picked it up very quickly.
"We've got all summer to think about next season, but we're in a good position to be able to think about things. He's won the Champion Chase, he's won this. He goes to bed with all the medals."
Owner Michael Buckley said: "He's pretty special. "I wasn't worried about him stepping up in trip. The ground is probably a little on the soft side for him now, but he's very relaxed now and acts like a stayer, like we always thought he would be.
"How far he'll stay I've no idea."
» All news for Fri, 13th Apr, 2012
|« Latest News||Earlier News »|