StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle
|Grade 3 Handicap, Cheltenham 14:40
2m 87y, Class 1
|Sunday 15th November 2015|
1 Old Guard 12/1
2 Superb Story 8/1
3 Waxies Dargle 7/1
4 Renneti 9/1
NR: Serenity Now (IRE), Sign Of A Victory (IRE), Starluck (IRE)
17 ran Distances: 2l, 4l, 1¼l
TIME 4m 0.10s (slow by 9.10s)
Old Guard, ridden by 16 year old Harry Cobden wins the Greatwood hurdle for trainer Paul Nicholls
The four-year-old was given a cool ride by his inexperienced pilot Harry Cobden but the 17-year-old proved to be value for his 7lb claim and brought Old Guard through with a withering run between the second last and final hurdles to take up the running and the pair bounded clear to win their second consecutive race at Prestbury Park this season following a victory at The Showcase meeting in October.
Nicholls admitted he had been impressed with the improvement that Old Guard has shown so far in this campaign and reckoned he would have to set his sights higher in future.
"I said to his new owners at the end of last season (the Brooks, Kyle and Stewart families which include prominent owner Andy Stewart and TV personality Jeremy Kyle) that once he'd had a summer out, he would be a different animal," said Nicholls.
"Nothing could have been truer. He'd been on the Flat and was weak and backward but he's just matured out and improved and today he looked stunning beforehand. I was slightly worried about the ground but the boy (Cobden) gave him a fantastic ride. He's only a young lad but he rides very well. I said to him to be cool, keep taking a pull and ride to the last. He's just 17 but he's very, very talented and will go a long way if we look after him.
"The horse is improving rapidly. The last horse I had that won this race like that was Rigmarole (who won in 2004) who went on to win the Bula Hurdle (now the StanJames International) on his next start. I don't know what we'll do but maybe we'll aim higher on his next start. He's obviously improving rapidly and I think that handicaps could be out."
Nicholls also had news of his other runner, Bouvreuil, who finished 15th of 16 finishers.
"He wants to go chasing I think. I said recently that he would improve for the run as he was in a bit late but he wants to go jumping fences."
StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle (Grade 3 Handicap)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 87y
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
|Pos||Dist||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Old Guard 12/1||Harry Cobden (7)
|P F Nicholls||4|
|2nd||2||Superb Story (IRE) 8/1||Harry Skelton
|3rd||4||Waxies Dargle 7/1||B J Geraghty
|4th||1¼||Renneti (FR) 9/1||D E Mullins
|W P Mullins||6|
|5th||½||Totalize 10/1||Danny Cook
|6th||1¾||Devilment 12/1||B Hughes
|J P Ferguson||4|
|7th||hd||Redera (IRE) 40/1||S A Shortall (5)
|A J Martin||9|
|8th||6||Nabucco 6/1j||Aidan Coleman
|J P Ferguson||6|
|9th||½||Goodwood Mirage (IRE) 40/1||Wayne Hutchinson
|10th||¾||Olofi (FR) 16/1||Jamie Bargary (5)
|T R George||9|
|11th||1¼||Dexcite (FR) 16/1||P J Brennan
|T R George||4|
|12th||2¼||Bidourey (FR) 16/1||T Scudamore
|13th||¾||Ebony Express 16/1||W Kennedy
|Dr R D P Newland||6|
|14th||¾||Mad Jack Mytton (IRE) 12/1||R Johnson
|15th||nk||Bouvreuil (FR) 12/1||N D Fehily
|P F Nicholls||4|
|16th||¾||Days Of Heaven (FR) 14/1||Peter Carberry
|N J Henderson||5|
|NR||Sign Of A Victory (IRE) 20/1||A Tinkler
|N J Henderson||6|
|NR||Starluck (IRE) 33/1||Non Runner
|D W P Arbuthnot||10|
|NR||Serenity Now (IRE) 33/1||Craig Gallagher (5)
|Also Ran: Mick Jazz (FR)|