THE JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE
1st (14) Reveillez 9-2 Fav
Reveillez for Fanshawe
Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe teamed up with owner JP McManus and jockey Tony McCoy to win the opening race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, the Jewson Novices’ Handicap, with Reveillez, the 9/2 favourite who had been backed from 6/1 at which price a £100,000 bet was struck with bookmaker Freddie Williams on course.
This was in marked contrast to Fanshawe’s fortunes on the first day, when one of his horses, Bayard, had to be put down through injury.
Reveillez was sixth in last year’s Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle, then began chasing in January and won his latest start at Folkestone last month. Fanshawe said: “I always thought this horse would improve for better ground. He got beaten twice in a bog at Exeter and Leicester, but came good at Folkestone and is a different horse on this ground. He kept getting muck in his throat and an infection in his chest so we couldn’t run him before Christmas.
“Enda Bolger [the Limerick-based trainer who handles many of JP McManus’s horses] schooled him in the summer, and if they jump well for Enda they’ll jump well back here. Steve Smith-Eccles has done the schooling on him.
“The pressure’s off, because my wife Jacko rides him every day and it’s bad enough running him in a Flat race let alone a two-and-a-half-mile novices’ chase.”
“It’s marvellous to have a winner for JP because he hasn’t had the best of meetings so far. I like to bask in the glory of Cheltenham, so don’t want to think about Aintree yet.”
McCoy, partnering his first winner for his retained owner at The Festival, said: “Obviously, I wanted to win the Champion Hurdle, but the thing I came here to do was ride a winner for JP. He puts such a lot into the game and the loss of No Where To Hyde [who died yesterday] will have ruined his meeting.
“Full marks to the trainer, because on the horse’s previous three runs I couldn’t have the horse, but he’s got him right and knows more than I do.”
J P DELIGHTED
It was also the initial winner that Tony McCoy, McManus’s retained rider, has ridden for his boss at The Festival.
McManus shook his jockey’s hand just before the winning combination entered the winner’s enclosure and exchanged a few words but afterwards did not want to divulge what they were.
However, the owner, a shrewd punter, admitted that he had a “little” wager on Reveillez. He said: “I could not let Reveillez go unbacked at 6/1. I had been a bit worried when I read The Daily Telegraph this morning with A P saying that Reveillez’s jumping could be better but that probably improved the horse’s price.”
TONY McCOY (JOCKEY)
“I was a little bit cagey about whether he’d be up for it but I got such a clear run early on. I was fourth all the way and travelling well and had a great view of the fences. He never touched a twig.
“James Fanshawe has got improvement out of him - on his last run at Folkestone he couldn’t win this race, so fair play to the trainer. I’m just delighted for JP.”
JAMES FANSHAWE (TRAINER)
NICKY HENDERSON (TRAINER OF THE SECOND COPSALE LAD)
“He’s run a great race and done absolutely nothing wrong. I’ve seen my horse jump better before but they went very quick on this ground. His jumping was tested today and we might just want to step up to three miles to help him travel a bit better. He’s done well to finish where he has - that race was very competitive.”
DICE COULD HAVE BIG PRIZE IN HIM
Trainer Tom Taaffe will pick Tumbling Dice’s next target with care after the seven-year-old finished just over ten lengths behind facile winner Reveillez when third in the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase.
“I’ll be having a good think about where we go now because if I get it right there’s nice race in him,” said Taaffe. “We have a few options - there’s a very valuable three-mile novices’ handicap at Punchestown, there’s Aintree and a novices’ race at Fairyhouse. Novices have also run well in the Irish National before but the trip would be new territory for him.
“I was delighted with how he went today, he ran every bit as well as in the Coral Cup last year. He jumped superbly and I thought he really wanted better ground.
“The winner’s a smart horse and has probably landed the punt of the week and fair dos to his connections.”
JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP CHASE
1 REVEILLEZ (J P McManus) James Fanshawe 7-10-11 Tony McCoy 9/2f
Non-runners: Bold Bishop, Black Apalachi
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