Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle
Grade 2, Kempton Park 15:00
£60,000 guaranteed,
4yo only,
2m, Class 1   
Saturday 24th February 2024

Free Racing Tips

1 Lump Sum 13/8F
2 Fiercely Proud 5/2
3 Idy Wood 12/1
6 ran NR: Fasol, Secret Squirrel
Distances: 4½l, 6½l, 1¾l Time: 3m 50.60s (slow by 9.60s)

Lump Sum, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, showcased impressive form by winning here. The victory built on the horse’s strong performance at Doncaster, where he had previously faced Fiercely Proud. The duo’s dominant display in the Grade Two race also served as a compliment to Nicky Henderson’s Jeriko Du Reponet, who had previously bested both horses while securing a Cheltenham ticket on Town Moor.

Lump Sum was strategically held back by Twiston-Davies early in the race. Meanwhile, Fiercely Proud, ridden by Ben Jones, maintained a keen pace near the front. As they approached the turn for home, Fiercely Proud appeared to have control, but Twiston-Davies patiently timed his move on the favorite. In the end, Lump Sum surged ahead, winning comfortably by a margin of four and a half lengths.

Sam Thomas, the trainer, expressed his delight with Lump Sum’s performance. Although the horse does not hold entries in the Grade One novice events at the Cheltenham Festival, he has options in the County Hurdle and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Aintree and the Welsh Champion Hurdle are also potential targets for the future. Lump Sum’s promising form suggests exciting seasons ahead for this talented hurdler

Thomas said: “I’m delighted. We’re not having as many runners as we may be have done in the last season or two and as a trainer I don’t have as much confidence as I should do going into races like that – I was nervous beforehand.

“I was delighted to see the horse transfer that Doncaster form, but he’s a smashing horse and learning all the time.

“We left him out of the novices (at Cheltenham) because of how competitive it is,” continued Thomas.

“He’s in the handicaps and he could still be well handicapped, but that is a decision for Mr Walters and myself to have a chat about in the next week or two.

“Absolutely Aintree could be an option, but there is never any pressure from Mr Walters with any of the young horses and we’ve got a young horse to look forward to for many seasons to come.

“He’s a smashing hurdler for now and we’ll enjoy today before we think about the future. He’s up there with Good Risk At All who is a real mudlark and I just think he could keep going the way he is. He’s such a nice, straightforward one to train at home and is definitely one of the best ones yet. He’s done everything right.

“Our dream would be to try to win the Welsh Champion Hurdle and I know Mr Walters is desperate to win that, so that will be our first target next season.”


Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle
£60,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Soft, Heavy in places

1    Lump Sum 6 11-5 Sam Thomas Sam Twiston-Davies 13/8F
Fiercely Proud 5 11-5 Ben Pauling Ben Jones 5/2
Idy Wood 6 11-5 Jamie Snowden Gavin Sheehan 12/1
Helnwein 6 11-5 Alan King Tom Cannon 8/1
5 4 Panjari 6 11-8 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 11/2
Williethebuilder 5 11-5 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 11/1
NR 2    Fasol 5 11-5 Paul Nicholls NON RUNNER
NR 7 Secret Squirrel 5 11-5 Hughie Morrison NON RUNNER