Brennan Times it to Perfection on Khyber Kim
1 (4) Khyber Kim 9/1
The superb run of trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies at The Open continued when Khyber Kim came with a great run from the back to land the feature of day three, the £100,000 Greatwood Hurdle. This was Twiston-Davies’ third success at The Open 2009 and his 23rd since 1990. After Khyber Kim’s victory, he now heads the trainers’ championship nationally.
James de Vassey made much of the running and it looked as if Harry Tricker and then Medermit were his most likely challengers. However, Paddy Brennan bought Khyber Kim from well off the pace to deliver his challenge after the last flight, and the seven-year-old came with a strong run to score by two lengths at 9/1.
Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “That was a brilliant ride.
“Poor Paddy, when he went out he said to the others jockeys that he would either be sacked or a genius after this ride!
“I was standing with Caroline Mould (owner of Khyber Kim) as I watched the race and we both said what a dreadful ride Paddy had given the horse! I was happy enough at the last though.
“To be fair, the horse is a complete monkey. He tries when he wants to. Having said that, there may have been something wrong with him last season that we didn’t get to the bottom of.
“We will look at all the big handicaps for him now and he is also in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.
“He could maybe have another run quite quickly and, depending on how he runs, we might then leave him for The Festival. It may be that he needs to be kept fresh.”
Looking back to the second race today, Twiston-Davies saddled Mahogany Blaze who managed to split Well Chief and Master Minded when finishing second in the Connaught Chase.
Twiston-Davies added: “That was a great run from Mahogany Blaze.
“The blinkers seemed to do the trick with him today. He had ‘won’ the race at Exeter last time out (the Haldon Gold Cup) before he decided he had had enough (he eventually finished fourth), but the blinkers have really helped.
“He is another horse who is not entirely straightforward - we call him Mog the Dog at home!
“We will aim him at the top two-mile races and see what happens.
“It’s great to be the leading trainer in the country and at this meeting.”
Successful rider Paddy Brennan played down his winning ride on Khyber Kim, saying: “Jockeys often try and come from the back like that and weave their way through. It usually works one day.
“Today it just worked out. The race fell at my feet and I was on the best horse.
“I think he probably has to be ridden like he was today.
“He is something to look forward to. He has his confidence back now.”
GLASSONBURY PRAISE FOR HARRY TRICKER
Harry Tricker, trained in Sussex by Gary Moore, has really begun to find his way as a hurdler, and he put up a fine performance when chasing home Khyber Kim in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, one of the season’s premier races held pre-Christmas.
Moore was not present at Cheltenham, but conditional jockey Andrew Glassonbury, who rode the runner-up, said: “I’m disappointed not to win, but the horse ran his heart out and could have done with a stronger pace. Having said that I had a good position in a slowly-run race and near the front was the best place to be. My immediate reaction is that we were simply beaten by a better horse, because mine jumped well and stayed on.”
Alan King, who trained third-placed Medermit, said the grey would next be seen over fences. Medermit shouldered joint top-weight of 11st 12lb, and King said: “I’m thrilled with him at the weights, even though the winner has carried 11st 9lb, but especially because my horses have just been coming on a bit for their first run of the season. He’s run a smashing race, but he’ll go novice chasing next.
“He’s not schooled yet, so we thought we’d have a crack at this along the way.”
Asked why he would not consider running the horse in more hurdles races, King said wryly: “We might win an Arkle with him - that should get Mr Nicholls going after the first race today [when the Paul Nicholls-trained Tataniano was so impressive in Th Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase].
“I’m very excited about going chasing with this horse, and he travelled lovely today. He’ll want three quiet weeks after this, so he’ll have a week off now and then two weeks of schooling. We might get him out again before Christmas, but he’s got to school properly first. My team are nearly there.”
Nick Williams, who saddled fourth-placed James De Vassy, said: “That was a great run - we were hoping to drop in second or third and did not intend to make the running, but I still thought two out we would nick it. He’s just been outpaced from the last.
“I’ve no firm plans for him, but we might go up in trip with him next time.”
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