Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 14:20
£110,000 guaranteed,
4yo only,
2m 209y, Class 1   
Thursday 8th April 2022

1 Knight Salute 14/1
2 Pied Piper 10/11F
3 Brazil 5/2
9 ran Distances: dht, 12l, 13l
Time: 4m 17.85s (slow by 17.85s)

The race finished in a dead-heat between Knight Salute and Pied Piper but Knight Salute was promoted to 1st position after a Steward's enquiry for interference at the last.

Pied Piper, third in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, was sent off the 10-11 favourite to get back to winning ways and certainly brought the strongest form to the table.

Knight Salute has been a revelation this season for his resurgent trainer Milton Harris, but had finished well beaten at Cheltenham, some 17 lengths behind Pied Piper.

That looked an outlier, though, as prior to that he had won his other five races this season, including two Grade Twos, and he was right back to his best on this occasion.

Paddy Brennan had clearly decided to play his hand last of all, and he tracked Davy Russell on the Gordon Elliott-trained market leader for the whole race.

Approaching the last Russell must have felt he had matters in hand as he had not asked a single question – but Pied Piper did not jump the final flight well and gave Knight Salute a nudge, which caused a stewards’ inquiry to be called after the long wait for the initial photo to be announced.

Despite the coming together at the last, Knight Salute was able to edge in front on the run-in, only for Pied Piper to battle back and claim a share of the spoils right on the line – or so it seemed.

A lengthy inquiry followed and even though Brennan told the stewards he felt the contact did not affect the result and he was happy with the outcome, the officials disagreed which meant Harris had landed his first Grade One winner to cap a great season.

The Boodles winner Brazil checked out on the run to the last and was beaten 12 lengths back in third.

Harris said: “He cost 14 grand and gives everyone a bit of optimism. 

“Brennan is his own man and said thank you for sticking with him, and he didn’t knock the horse about when his chance had gone in the Triumph.

“He could run anything down, this horse, but the juveniles are still 15lb below the Champion Hurdle horses.

“That’s why we were going to take him for a race in America later in the year with a view to possibly selling him.”

He added on ultimately getting the race after the inquiry: “It doesn’t sit well with me, it’s not the way I like to play sport.

“But that’s the rules, and if the rules say that – I just feel sorry for the second, I thought it was a good battle and it’s a shame to see someone demoted.”

Speaking before the verdict of the stewards, Elliott said: “Davy didn’t say much, he just said he hit the front too soon and if he had his time back he’d have taken his time more.

“He followed Mark (Walsh, on Brazil) as he thought he was the horse to beat. He went by him and then idled and pulled up in front. Davy is raging with himself, but that’s horseracing.

“I’ll take a dead-heat in a Grade One any day of the week. We’ve hit the crossbar a lot over the last two weeks.

“Both horses ran great races. Full credit to Milton Harris and his team – they’ve done a good job with their horse and our team did a great job with ours.

“A dead-heat is a fair result and I’m happy. This horse will go straight to (Royal) Ascot now.”


Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
£110,000 guaranteed, 4yo only, 2m 209y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

1     Knight Salute 4 11-0 Milton Harris Paddy Brennan 14/1
dht Pied Piper 4 11-0 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell 10/11F
3 12 Brazil 4 11-0 Padraig Roche Mark Walsh 5/2
13 Impulsive One 4 11-0 Nicky Henderson Daryl Jacob 40/1
Too Friendly 4 11-0 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 16/1
97 In The Air 4 11-0 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 28/1
PU Inca Prince 4 11-0 Ruth Jefferson Jamie Hamilton 40/1
PU Petit Tonnerre 4 11-0 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 10/1
PU Fautinette 4 10-7 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 18/1