Goshen jumped to the head of the market on the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after maintaining his unbeaten record over hurdles in impressive style at Sandown.
Having recorded a hat-trick of wins on the Flat, Gary Moore’s charge was a facile winner on his debut over hurdles at Fontwell last month and followed up in similarly taking fashion in the Pinsent Masons Introductory Juvenile Hurdle.
Racing front-rank throughout the two-mile contest, the heavily-supported 1-3 favourite kicked on early down the home straight before crossing the line 34 lengths clear of Thyme White.
Moore said: “He was bought as a jumper, principally. We got him handicapped on the Flat as he was never going to be a two-year-old. When he came out first time at Brighton, I was worried the ground wasn’t going to be soft enough.
“All he’s done is amaze me and impress me every time he’s run. He was schooled as a two-year-old.
“He will have a break now and Cheltenham Trials Day will be his next run. If that works out well we know where we will go from there – whether he stays jumping or goes back on the Flat.”
Goshen was cut from 12-1 into 8-1 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle with Paddy Power, Betfair and Boylesports.
Le Boizelo ended a losing run stretching back two years as he provided owners Dr John and Jane Millar with the perfect early Christmas in the Sandown Park Amateur Riders Handicap Chase.
Dr John Millar said of the Rob Walford-trained 7-2 winner: “He went of the boil at the end of last season, but this season he has looked better with each race. He will probably go to Wincanton on Boxing Day now, but that has paid for Christmas!
Guardia Top – a bargain buy at 12,000 euros – made it three wins in her last four starts when making all to take the IIRD Supports Motor Neurone Disease Association Novices’ Handicap Hurdle by two and a half lengths.
Trainer Nigel Hawke said of the 9-2 chance: “She has done it the hard way, but it’s the way she likes to be ridden and she was proven on the ground. She has done the boys proud.
“She was one of three I picked up at the Arqana Lumet Dispersal in July last year. It was a fresh idea to go there and it has worked a treat.”
Robbie Power showed why trainer Tom Lacey was keen to secure his services after Johnbb (6-4) struck gold by three and a quarter lengths the JSC Communications Supports Insurance Industry Raceday Handicap Chase.
Lacey said: “Jamie Moore (on Darebin) went a fair lick and that set it up nicely for us. Robbie said when he got jumping he started to switch on.
“It is Robbie’s first winner for us. If you have got the opportunity to use Robbie Power you are not going to leave him in the changing room.”
Richard Johnson stepped in for a winning spare ride aboard Dashing Perk (8-1) as he made his first start in 414 days a triumphant one in the Simon Jennings Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
Johnson said of the Dr Richard Newland-trained winner: “He is a big, long-striding horse and he put in a bold one or two. It takes a bit of jumping round here, but he did that really well.”
Intended rider Daryl Jacob was stood down following a fall aboard Goa Lil in the first race.