Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Aintree 16:40
£100,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 149y, Class 1   
Friday 5th April 2019

1 Champ 9/4F
2 Emitom 5/1
3 Lisnagar Oscar 11/2
12 ran NR: Go Another One Distances: 3l, 7l, 2¾l
Time: 6m 17.90s (slow by 23.90s)

Champ runs out an impressive winner under Mark Walsh

Nicky Henderson's mood was tempered by concerns for the injury suffered by owner J P McManus' retained rider Barry Geraghty after Mark Walsh stepped in for a smooth three-length win on last month's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle second Champ, but there was no disguising his regard for the seven-year-old horse, who is named after Sir Anthony McCoy.
 
He said: "Mark was in his suit walking off the racecourse when I called him back and told him to get changed, and although he knew absolutely nothing about Champ he did give him a beautiful ride.
 
"Champ just needs too switch off and we very nearly switched him this morning to tomorrow's two-and-a half-mile novice with the change on the ground. I rang Barry three times, and J P and I talked for hours. It would have been perfectly legal, but Barry couldn't decide and I couldn't decide. The only thing I wanted to do was to find out if he did stay three miles for next year.
 
"They didn't go a great gallop, but I thought it would tell us more for next season, when he'll have to go chasing. He's starting to live up to his name. He is good, and he just has the most lovely nature and temperament. I'm, not talking about McCoy, by the way. I'm talking about the horse. He's a lovely horse."
 
Asked if he regrets not running Champ over three miles at Cheltenham he replied: "Not really, although I did run the wrong horse in the three-miler as Birchdale certainly should have been in the two-and-a-half miler. 
 
"Maybe I got Cheltenham all wrong. We do get it wrong quite a lot you know, but I got it right this morning."

Trainers Quotes

Walsh said: "Hopefully Barry will be okay. Nicky said to me get him [Champ] settled and covered up, and everything went to plan. I was a little bit further back than I wanted, but he settled lovely - I gave him a little squeeze going down the back and he lit up with me a bit, but he was fine and I was able to keep my position.
 
"He winged the third-last, landed in front and it was just a case of getting home.
 
"I rode him to get the trip and drop the bridle. It was the one thing Nicky emphasised to me. He's a big horse, but very nimble on his feet and will make a lovely chaser one day.
 
"When he goes over fences he will come into his own. They should suit him well.
 
"That must make City Island very good - I hope so. It was a good race at Cheltenham and the form has been franked now. City Island is going to Punchestown next for a two-and-a-half mile Grade One race on the Friday [of that meeting]."

Mathematician Betting

Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 149y, Class 1
12 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

Pos D Horse SP Weight Jockey Trainer Age
1st Champ (IRE) 9/4f 11-4 M P Walsh N J Henderson 7
2nd 3 Emitom (IRE) 5/1 11-4 G Sheehan W Greatrex 5
3rd 7 Lisnagar Oscar (IRE) 11/2 11-4 Sean Bowen Miss R Curtis 6
4th Walk Away (IRE) 12/1 11-4 R M Power H De Bromhead 6
5th Arthur Mac (IRE) 50/1 11-4 L Heard Henry Oliver 6
6th Champagne Well (IRE) 25/1 11-4 P J Brennan F O'Brien 6
7th 19 Downtown Getaway (IRE) 8/1 11-4 Nico de Boinville N J Henderson 6
8th hd Ardlethen (IRE) 16/1 11-4 Harry Skelton D Skelton 6
9th ½ Kingsplace (IRE) 66/1 11-4 Sam Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 7
10th Trevelyn's Corn (IRE) 18/1 11-4 H Cobden P F Nicholls 6
11th 7 Dallas Des Pictons (FR) 4/1 11-4 J W Kennedy G Elliott 6
PU The Captains Inn (IRE) 33/1 11-4 D A Jacob B Pauling 5
NR Go Another One (IRE) 11-4 R Johnson J C McConnell 7