Lord Napier repays Peter Bowen's confidence

Trainer expected good performance

  • Saturday 02 February
  • News
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Lord Napier put up a good staying performance to win the 888Sport Heroes Handicap Hurdle at Sandown.

Peter Bowen’s six-year-old made smooth progress in the hands of the trainer’s son, Sean, to lead at the final flight.

Lord Napier (8-1) then strode up the hill to beat the long-time leader Coole Cody by nine lengths with Flemcara another length and a quarter away in third.

Bowen senior said: “He’s by Galileo and they do go on soft ground, so we thought he’d handle it. He’ll definitely stay at three miles and will probably go novice chasing next season.

“We’ll wait and see what we do with him now, but Sean said he stayed well and handled the ground well.

“He’s always been a good horse. He ran well in the Lanzarote and he’s run well over two and two and a half miles, but we thought we’d try three miles.

“His piece of work last week was the best I’ve ever seen.”

The jockey added: “Dad said this was the biggest certainty ever as he has come alive since Kempton and he worked brilliantly last week.”

It was a double for the rider following his success on Winston C in the 888Sport Novices’ Hurdle.

A winner at Wincanton last month, Harry Fry’s five-year-old put up a smart performance under a 6lb penalty.

The 3-1 shot headed Beaufort West after jumping the last and galloped on strongly to come home with a length-and-three-quarter advantage. Bullfrog was third.

Bowen said: “He doesn’t always do a lot in front, so I didn’t want to get there too early. He doesn’t want the ground as tacky as that, but he’s a nice little horse.”

Dolos (4-1 co-favourite) went one better than 12 months ago when storming to victory in the 888Sport Bet Get £30 Handicap Chase.

The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding gained revenge on last year’s winner Gino Trail with a four-length verdict over Kerry Lee’s charge under Harry Cobden.

Nicholls said: “He ran well last year but was a weak finisher. Two miles on really soft ground suited him well.

“He’ll have an entry in the Grand Annual, but it will have to be really testing and I wouldn’t be averse to bringing him back to Sandown for the Celebration Chase at the end of the year.”

The well-backed Classic Ben (6-1) just repelled Ami Desbois in a thrilling finish to the three-mile 888Sport Masters Handicap Chase.

The pair battled it out in the straight and it was the Stuart Edmunds-trained six-year-old that held sway by a neck to give jockey Ciaran Gethings his 100th career win.

Edmunds said: “I don’t know whose money it was and I didn’t even read the paper this morning.

“I suppose he’s a young horse with potential to improve, but I thought it might be one step too far and a bit too high quality a race for a young horse. He was running in bumpers last season.”

The Paul Henderson-trained Duarigle (7-1) took command two out under Paddy Brennan on the way to beating She Might Bite by four and a half lengths in the Take ‘Em On With 888Sport Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

Brennan said: “That was hard work. It’s heavy and is really holding ground.

“He made a bad mistake down the back and then probably got there too soon, but he got the trip well.”

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