Olofi On Song in Racing Post Hurdle
1 Olofi 8/1
Olofi had not won for nearly three years before taking the £100,000 Racing Post Hurdle, but had endured his share of bad luck along the way, including when second in the Grade Three contest last year.
"He's earned me so many bollockings, more than any horse," said rider Paddy Brennan. "He's the sort that has had to be held up, he's been too keen for his own good in the past, and if you have to come late then there's always going to be a fair chance of getting into trouble on the way through. But as he's got older he become more settled and today he showed what he can do. And I'm going to enjoy it."
The six-year-old, an 8/1 shot, had two and a half lengths to spare over Cash And Go. "Things have gone wrong for him over the years," said trainer Tom George, "and when they do the jockey gets blamed, the trainer gets blamed, even the horse gets blamed. But there hasn't been any one thing, it's just been circumstances each time. And it all came right today.
"We've had him since a yearling so we know him pretty well. He's improving, but he's relatively low-mileage and is still a bit of a baby. Despite the rough passage he's sometimes had, his brilliance is still there and he showed it today. He'll have to improve to win something like the Champion Hurdle, but he travels very well and can co with any horse, and the one thing I'd guarantee he's still be with those good horses at the second last.
"He'll have to improve, yes. But you have to aim high. And I don't particularly want to keep running him in big-field two-mile handicaps.
There are just too many hard luck stories and you can only do that to a horse so often. But today he's got his confidence and belief in himself. If it hadn't gone right, I think he's have gone novice chasing. But as it is he's showed what he can do and he'll stick to hurdles."
Racing Post Hurdle (Grade 3 Handicap)
CASH AND CAUSES RUN WITH CREDIT
Olofi landed today's feature race at day three of the Open, the Racing Post Hurdle, but placed horses Cash And Go, Cause Of Causes and Bothy were snapping at his heels on the run-in.
Cash And Go, carrying the colours of Robin Geffen, was beaten two and a half lengths by the winner after making a mistake at the last, but trainer Nicky Henderson said: "I thought he might quicken up to the winner, but they just can't do that in this sort of ground.
"Despite that he's run a great race. He's entered in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, but he won't go there and we have Darlan for that race. This horse doesn't need clattering up with races - we need to look after him this season."
Geffen added: "Don't forget he's only five. However you look at it he's going to make a wonderful chaser next year and that's what he was bought to do. Anything he does over hurdles is a bonus."
"He's a great little horse, he was second in the Galway Hurdle and he goes on any ground so he's giving us all a lot of fun. He's there for his owners to have a bit of crack and that's what they are having."
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