Crabbie's Fox Hunters’ Chase
|£40,000 added, Aintree 16:05
2m 5f 19y, Class 2
|Thursday 7th April 2016|
1 On The Fringe 15/8F
2 Dineur 50/1
3 Mendip Express 11/1
NR: Cottage Oak (IRE)
22 ran Distances: 8l, 1¼l, 16l
TIME 5m 48.00s (slow by 27.00s)
On The Fringe completes the Cheltenham/Aintree Foxhunters' Chase Double for the second year in a row
On The Fringe made hunter chasing history today when completing the Foxhunter double for the second year running.
The Enda Bolger-trained 10-year-old won last month's St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham, and today he romped Aintree's equivalent, the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase. Having won both races last year he became the first horse to land the double-double, and could join Credit Call next year as the only horse to land the Aintree prize three times.
In the meantime he is in line for a double-treble by winning Punchestown's Champion Hunters' Chase, which he also landed last year. He also won that race in 2011 when just a five-year-old.
Nina Carberry, who has become the horse's regular partner, missed the ride today after incurring a seven-day ban at Cheltenham, so Jamie Codd stepped up. On The Fringe, the 15/8 favourite, won by eight lengths and one and a quarter lengths, from 50/1 shot Dineur and Mendip Express, who started at 11/1. Current Event was fourth under Katie Walsh.
Bolger said: "I was worried after Becher's, thinking he was a little far back, but he's a great horse to work with and this place always brings the best out of him. It's hard luck on Nina, but she'll be back on him next time, and Jamie gave him a fine ride. It is some thrill for a rider to be out there on a horse as good as this - jumping is his forte.
"He won the Champion Hunters' Chase at Punchestown as a five-year-old under J T McNamara and he's been on the go since then. He has a great appetite for the game which makes him easy to train.
"We didn't have the best run up to Cheltenham and he had a hard race there, but three days later he was back to his old self. He got into a lovely rhythm here and it went great.
"We'll see how he is before deciding on Punchestown, but please God that will be the plan."
Asked if the Crabbie's Grand National could one day be on the agenda, Bolger said: "I'm happy here in my own comfort zone, and I'll leave that up to J P and Frank [Berry, the owner's racing manager]."
Fox Hunters' Chase
£40,000 added, 6yo plus, 2m 5f 19y, Class 2
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
|Pos||Dist||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||On The Fringe (IRE) 15/8f||Mr J J Codd
|2nd||8||Dineur (FR) 50/1||Mr James King
|3rd||1¼||Mendip Express (IRE) 11/1||Mr D Maxwell
|P J Hobbs||10|
|4th||16||Current Event (FR) 15/2||Ms K Walsh
|Mrs R Loxton||9|
|5th||10||Doubledisdoubledat (IRE) 80/1||Mr T Hamilton
|6th||25||Pacha Du Polder (FR) 3/1||Mr W Biddick
|P F Nicholls||9|
|7th||16||Monkey Kingdom 25/1||Mr D L Queally
|Miss R Curtis||8|
|8th||41||Ockey De Neulliac (FR) 33/1||Mr S W Coltherd
|NR||Cottage Oak (IRE) 33/1||Miss S O Oakes
|J J O'Shea||13|
|Also Ran: Bound For Glory (IRE) , Clonbanan Lad (IRE) , Current Exchange (IRE) , Daymar Bay (IRE) , Forge Valley , Fort George (IRE) , Fredo (IRE) , Major Malarkey (IRE) , Marasonnien (FR) , Need To Know (IRE) , Night Alliance (IRE) , Richmond (FR) , Sam Cavallaro (IRE) , Swallows Delight (IRE)|
ANOTHER BOWEN MAKES HIS MARK AT AINTREE
Dineur took second place, eight lengths behind On The Fringe, in the highlight of the amateur riders' season.
Trained by 20-year-old Mickey Bowen - son of well-known trainer Peter and brother of jockey Sean - and ridden by another 20-year-old, James King, Dineur was sent off at odds of 50/1.
Bowen said: "That was unbelievable. I knew he'd changed after his last run; he'd turned inside out and was working much better. I put a tongue-tie on him because he wasn't quite getting home, and I think it has made a lot of difference today. He's such a brave horse; I always had the feeling it would suit him here.
"I train about 200 yards from my Dad and I have got eight or nine boxes and five horses in at the moment. I rode for a season but always wanted to train, and hopefully one day I will take over from my father."
Jockey James King, who was having his first ride over the Grand National fences, said: "That was brilliant. He was a bit over-brave at times, but he's a great jumper. The ground was slightly against us; it's a bit tacky out there and all his best form is on good or quicker surfaces. It was a great first ride and hopefully we'll come back here next year with better ground."
MAXWELL 'CHUFFED' WITH FOX HUNTERS' THIRD
Jockey David Maxwell was delighted with Mendip Express' performance after he finished third, at odds of 11/1
Maxwell, who also owns the 10-year-old, said: "If you don't enjoy that, there wouldn't be much in life you do enjoy. He jumped brilliantly and travelled really sweetly into the race.
"The winner is clearly a damn good horse and never really ever came off the bridle. But my fella gave me a great spin. He's a wonderful horse so I'm absolutely delighted."
Trainer Philip Hobbs added: "I'm delighted, really chuffed. Bar two mistakes he jumped so well. To be honest he probably wants a bit further which is why he kept on really well in the closing stages."
David Redvers racing manager to Sheikh Fahad, owner of the fourth horse home Current Event (15/2,) said: "Absolutely delighted with the run. What a great ride by Katie (Walsh) and training performance by Rose (Loxton.) Unfortunately, the ground went for us 24 hours ago; it seems as though he needs good ground or better, so he's run a huge race."