| Grade 1, Ascot 14:25
3m 97y, Class 1
|Saturday 21st December 2019|
1 The Worlds End 15/8F
2 L'Ami Serge 3/1
3 Papagana 9/4
4 ran NR: Paisley Park, Tobefair
Distances: 2¾l, ½l, 1¾l Time: 6m 20.44s (slow by 34.44s)
L’Ami Serge looked as though he would make a winning comeback after 580 days off the track when he headed The Worlds End between the last two flights.
Tom George’s charge had led to that point, but a slow jump at that obstacle let in L’Ami Serge, who set sail for home in the extended three-mile showpiece, registered as the Long Walk Hurdle.
Switched by Adrian Heskin towards the centre of the course, The Worlds End (15-8 favourite) would not give up and managed to reel in the winner to score by two and three-quarter lengths.
It was a second Grade One triumph for The Worlds End and paid a compliment to Paisley Park, who had beaten him in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month.
The late withdrawal of Paisley Park due to the ground robbed the race of its star attraction, with Tobefair also an absentee, which left just four runners.
George said: “They steadied it up at the halfway stage to get a bit of company and Adrian said he was in front long enough. But once he asked, he said there was plenty there and he picked up really nicely.
“Once I saw him pick up, I thought he would be OK, but I didn’t feel very confident going to the last. Far from it. I thought, ‘second again’, but we would have been happy with that at this stage.
“I think we have had about 14 Grade Ones now – we didn’t have one last year, but we had three the season before. They are hard to come by and you’ve got to train them like Grade One horses and hope it all falls your way on the day, which it has.
“We will enjoy this before making a decision on where we go next.”
He went on: “I’m delighted. He had a lot of problems towards the second part of last season, which we have sorted out over the summer. The runner-up I watched more than ours, and he has run a hell of a race, as he was very keen the whole way and probably just didn’t see out the trip.
“Maybe if someone had given us a lead, we would have found it easier as well. But at the end of the day we’re happy with the way it has gone. He can go over fences one day, but for now we will stick with what we’ve got.
“The other thing we might consider, later on in the year, is he might love Auteuil now he copes with the soft ground. That is something we will talk about in the spring.”
Heskin said: “It is great to get a Grade One under his belt, because he is a very good horse. I know that might not have been the strongest of renewals, but he was due one.
“He did everything well during the race, but when he got passed by L’Ami Serge, he was never for beating. The second I got stuck into him he was always picking up. He just kept finding and is just a dour stayer.
“Tom has done a great job with him and the two girls who look after him, Charlie and Sarah. He takes plenty of minding and goes to a spa a couple of times of week and it’s great to get him back on track.”
He added: “It is fantastic to win a Grade One in these colours. I’m very lucky to be riding for the McNeill family. I’ve had a tough couple of years with injuries and things and they’ve stuck by me and it’s great that I’m able to repay them.
“I think this is the tip of the iceberg for them, as they have a great bunch of horses and I hope they are very successful.”
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 97y, Class 1
1 The Worlds End 8 11-7 Tom George A P Heskin 15/8F
2 2¾ L'Ami Serge 9 11-7 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 3/1
3 ½ Papagana 6 11-0 Oliver Sherwood Leighton Aspell 9/4
4 1¾ Agrapart 8 11-7 Nick Williams Davy Russell 7/2
NR 3 1111-1 Paisley Park 7 11-7 Emma Lavelle NON RUNNER
NR 5 221-13 Tobefair 9 11-7 Debra Hamer NON RUNNER
MARSH HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR (1965-2018)
Race run as a handicap prior to 1971
(run at Newbury in 2009, Chepstow in 2005 and Windsor in 2004)
Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2018 PAISLEY PARK
2017 SAM SPINNER
2014 REVE DE SIVOLA
2013 REVE DE SIVOLA
2012 REVE DE SIVOLA
2011 BIG BUCK’S 8-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls AP McCoy 3/10F
2010 BIG BUCK’S 7-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls AP McCoy 2/13F
2009 BIG BUCK’S 6-11-07 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 1/2F
2008 PUNCHESTOWNS 5-11-07 Judy Wilson Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 3/1F
2007 LOUGH DERG 7-11-07 W Frewen David Pipe Tom Scudamore 14/1
2006 MIGHTY MAN 6-11-07 Joss Hanbury Henry Daly Richard Johnson 11/8F
2005 MY WAY DE SOLZEN 5-11-07 B Windfield, A Longman, J Wright, C Fenton; Alan King Robert Thornton 12/1
2004 BARACOUDA 9-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Tony McCoy 8/13F
2003 BARACOUDA 8-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/7F
2002 DEANO’S BEENO 10-11-07 Axom Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 14/1
2001 BARACOUDA 6-11-07 J P McManus Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 2/5F
2000 BARACOUDA 5-11-07 Roger Barby Francois Doumen FR Thierry Doumen 11/4
1999 ANZUM 8-11-07 Old Foresters P’ship Alan King Richard Johnson 4/1
1998 PRINCEFUL 7-11-07 Robert Hitchins Jenny Pitman Richard Dunwoody 11/4F
1997 PADDY’S RETURN 5-11-07 Paddy O’Donnell Ferdy Murphy Norman Williamson 8/1
1996 OCEAN HAWK 4-11-07 Matt Archer/Jean Broadhurst Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/1
1995 SILVER WEDGE 4-11-07 Shirley & Bill Robins Oliver Sherwood Jamie Osborne 7/1
1994 HEBRIDEAN 7-11-07 Peter Deal David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 100/30
1993 SWEET DUKE 6-11-07 Andy Mavrou Nigel Twiston-Davies Carl Llewellyn 7/2
1992 VAGOG 7-11-07 M A Swift Martin Pipe Martin Foster 15/2
1991 Abandoned due to frost
1990 FLOYD 10-11-07 Mike Walsh David Elsworth Graham Bradley 10/1
1989 ROYAL ATHLETE 6-10-08 Gary Johnson Jenny Pitman Dean Gallagher 33/1
1988 FRENCH GOBLIN 5-11-01 Maurice Pinto Josh Gifford Peter Hobbs 3/1
1987 BLUFF COVE 5-10-08 Dickins Ltd Reg Hollinshead Richard Dunwoody 14/1
1986 OUT OF THE GLOOM 5-10-08 Paul Green Reg Hollinshead Peter Scudamore 4/1
1985 MISTY DALE 7-10-08 David Rose Jenny Pitman Phil Tuck 9/4F
1984 KRISTENSON 7-10-08 Ursula Fantasia Roger Fisher Michael Williams 7/2
1983 CRIMSON EMBERS 8-10-11 Pam Smart Fulke Walwyn Stuart Shilston 14/1
1982 MAYOTTE 7-10-11 B Davies Richard Holder Paul Richards 15/8F
1981 Abandoned due to snow
1980 DERRING ROSE 5-11-11 Peter Savill Fred Winter John Francome 7/1
1979 JOHN CHERRY 8-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 6/1
1978 KELSO CHANT 6-11-07 Mrs M Richardson Jumbo Wilkinson Steve Charlton 10/1
1977 JOHN CHERRY 6-10-11 Milton Ritzenberg Tom Jones Steve Smith Eccles 11/8F
1976 Abandoned due to frost
1975 LANZAROTE 7-12-05 Lord Howard de Walden Fred Winter John Francome 4/9F
1974 GO BINGO 5-11-12 Guy Reed Sam Hall David Munro 9/4
1973 SOLONING 8-11-08 Mrs C Thornton Fred Winter Richard Pitman 9/2
1972 HIGHLAND ABBE 6-11-12 Mrs K Hankey Les Kennard Mr R Smith 11/1
1971 ST PATRICK’S BLUE 6-11-12 P Aunger David Tatlow Bill Smith 7/2F
1970 ROUGE AUTUMN 6-10-05 Bryan Jenks Fred Rimell Ken White 9/2F
1969 CANDID CAMERA 6-10-06 R F P Ross Ted Goddard Joe Guest 100/8
1968 Abandoned due to waterlogging
1967 Abandoned due to foot and mouth epidemic
1966 SIR EDWARD 6-10-09 R Heaton Ryan Price Josh Gifford 7/2F
1965 MINUTE GUN 8-10-04 Bill Shand Kydd Bill Shand Kydd Richard Pitman 100/8