Brampour Moves Up a Gear to Take Greatwood Handicap Hurdle
1 Brampour 12/1
Harry Derham’s fairytale with Brampour leapt onto another level today when they teamed up to win the £100,000 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.
The 17-year-old amateur rider won a valuable handicap hurdle on the horse at Ascot last month, but they landed a bigger prize today, and both horse and amateur are progressing fast.
Derham said: “I’ve been coming here since I was 11 with Paul’s horses and watched Ruby [Walsh] coming in on so many winners, so to be a part of it is all I’ve wanted to do. It’s a dream, I can’t explain it - I’m in a daze.
“Ruby has often said don’t rush them down the hill at Cheltenham and then they will come up it [the finishing straight], but I was panicking a bit because I felt I was a bit far off the pace. I kept saying to myself wait and wait, and then the horse did me proud. To ride for the champion trainer, it gets no better than that.
“Ruby’s been very good to me and always helped and Paddy [Brennan] talked to me about the track before the race - all the lads in the weighing room have been very helpful.”
Derham learnt about race riding in pony races and took part in the Greatwood charity Flat race on this day last year.
Nicholls said of Brampour: “This horse was in another class to everything else at home, but was disappointing on the track - basically he couldn’t breathe, so we sorted that out and he’s a different horse.
“He went up 10lb [for winning at Ascot] but I hoped he had improved. I have to step him up in class now - he is in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle [at Newcastle] in a fortnight, but I hope to run Celestial Halo in that, so I suppose he could come back here and run in the Bula [The International]. Harry cannot claim in that, but I don’t suppose he will mind Ruby taking over.”
Nicholls complimented his nephew, but stressed he would not ride if he was not up to the mark. He said: “First and foremost the pony racing has been invaluable to him and he has now come into this with a bit of experience. He also rode a lot of point-to-point winners for Richard Barber last year and that helped. He’s been with us at weekends for a good few years, getting better and stronger, and now he’s full time. He listens and puts in a lot of work - I suppose you have to say he’s naturally gifted and he gave that a peach of a ride.
“We now have to decide whether to keep him as an amateur and let him have another season pointing or let him turn conditional. Ruby is not a fan of letting him do too much pointing, but we may have to keep an eye on his claim. A few people have asked to be his agent, but I’ve told them ‘I’m his agent’. Why use his claim for other people - I’m not afraid to let him ride one of the topweights in the Hennessy or races like that.
“We need to keep his feet on the ground and he won’t be riding in four races a day just for the sake of it. He must get stronger and learn more - he’s very grounded and he could be very good. He and my daughter Megan [who also rode regularly in pony races] spend hours working on the Equicizor together and getting stronger - put it this way, he’s a lot better than me, and I’m very proud.
“The horse looked great in the paddock and a victory like this is great for the whole team.”
GEORGE DELIGHTED WITH SECOND
Tom George was delighted with Olofi’s second-place finish in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle but felt that the two-and-a-half-length winner Brampour got first run.
Olofi finished fifth in the Greatwood last year but improved on that on only his fourth run since.
“Olofi will definitely jump a fence and we know that given the way he jumped last time in France so we will keep that up our sleeve but stick to hurdles for the time being.”
A further half-length adrift in third was Brian Ellison’s Abergavenny, who had won his previous three starts and lost little in defeat upped in grade.
Part-owner Dan Gilbert said: “I am over the moon with that.
“We did not know how good he was and whether he was well in or not off his mark of 130.
“I imagine we will head to the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot next.”
|home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | information | horses | jockeys | links | overseas | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site|
|© racingbetter.co.uk • 91 Tribune Drive • Carlisle • CA3 0LE|