Step Back steps up for Gold rush at Sandown

Historic handicap goes the way of Mark Bradstock runner

  • Saturday 28 April
  • News
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Step Back made virtually every yard of the running to run out a wide-margin winner of the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

Trained by Mark Bradstock, Step Back had been well supported in the run up to the race was sent off a 7-1 shot in the hands of Jamie Moore.

His rider was full of confidence throughout and very few of the 20 runners got into the race, with Step Back and Rock The Kasbah going toe to toe in front.

While Present Man and Relentless Dreamer both tried to get into it, the first two had flown and it was Step Back who kept finding over the final two obstacles to come home well clear.

Rock The Kasbah kept on for second with Present Man third and Relentless Dreamer fourth, with 6-1 favourite Blaklion never looking like taking a hand in the finish.

Moore said: “He’s a baby still. He’d only had three runs over fences, I rode him over hurdles and he gave me a nice feel.

“Nico (de Boinville) would have been riding him, but he was claimed by Nicky Henderson (for Sugar Baron).

“The Bradstocks won the Gold Cup with a novice (Coneygree), they stay, they jump very well, I had a light weight so I wanted to make the most of it.”

Assistant trainer Sara Bradstock said: “We knew he was in really good nick, but he has terrible problems with his muscle enzymes. The summer helps him, as he can be turned out all the time.

“I just knew he was in great form, but I was just a bit worried about the ground.

“He is the most lovely horse and he just jumps and gallops forever. His owner wants to be at the big meetings and he is another horse we have purchased reasonably that has done that job.

“We can prove again and again that we can do it if we are given the horses, but we’ve got 20 horses and five or six of them are young, so we have very little to run. Coneygree is going to have one more go next year. His engine is probably a bit too big for his chassis.

“This horse will be aimed at the National next year. I’m afraid the handicapper might murder us for that. He was off 10st, which was very nice for him. Usually the way this race has gone you wouldn’t get 10st for a 135-rated horse, so we have to hope the handicapper is not too mean.

“I think more likely he will go to the Becher (over Ladbrokes Trophy) to have a practice to see if he likes them (National fences). He might be too good a jumper, as he might be too careful over them.

“He will have a little break now and we’ve planned for this for a long time, so he will have a couple of weeks in the field.

“I don’t see any reason why not (have another run in the summer), as we might give him a holiday in the middle of the winter.

“It is lovely as Sandown have put a race on in dad’s (Lord Oaksey) memory which I’m very grateful for, dad loved this race.

“He wouldn’t have liked the way he did it, as he liked them flying from the back, but we won’t tell him that!”

Step Back steps up for Gold rush at Sandown
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