Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase
Grade 2 Handicap, Newbury 14:40
£85,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus,
2m 92yds, Class 1   
Saturday 10th February 2024

1 Edwardstone 11/10F
2 Funambule Sivola 8/1
4 ran NR: Calico, Editeur Du Gite
Distances: 40l Time: 4m 6.40s (slow by 8.40s)

Alan King’s Edwardstone made all of the running in the four-runner Grade Two under Tom Cannon.

His significant lead looked to lessen slightly with half of the race completed, but the gap soon widened again and was further increased when Boothill fell in the home straight.

Amarillo Sky did not finish either, leaving Funambule Sivola to trail home as the only other finisher some 40 lengths behind.

Edwardstone was notching his first victory since landing the 2022 Tingle Creek Chase and Coral responded to his sparkling success by cutting him to 8-1 from 14s for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

King said: “It’s been the plan for some time (to make the running. I thought after Kempton when we disappointed him over two and a half (miles) and kept bringing him back, we would come here and pop out and try that.

“He was racing within himself and I think Tom was happy and able to get a breather in coming to cross-fence and away he went again. It has given me an awful lot of satisfaction.”

King confirmed that race would be next, saying: “Jonbon and El Fabiolo are the main horses but I think we will be taking them on – I certainly won’t be going to the Ryanair.

“As long as he comes out of this all right, he will go for the Queen Mother and I have huge respect for both Jonbon and El Fabiolo. Jonbon has beaten us twice this season and Willie’s horse looked awfully good last week.

“It’s exciting and I think we’re in the mix now, hopefully. Those tactics worked today but might not be the thing to do at Cheltenham, but we will worry about that nearer the time.”

Trainers Quotes

King credited a return to ways of the past for the upturn in Edwardstone’s fortunes.

The Barbury Castle handler explained that his string were now working three times up the hill at home, a return to the schedule the likes of Voy Por Ustedes and My Way De Solzen would adhere to prior to big-race assignments.

King added: “I think it’s the best mine have been all season. I was lying there on holiday a few weeks ago after a few of mine hadn’t been running terribly well and I was thinking ‘what the hell is wrong’.

“I know I haven’t got the firepower I used to have, but bad horses used to win and that wasn’t happening.

“We’ve only been doing two and we trained plenty of winners doing two up the hill, but not as many as we used to and a lot of horses were finishing second and I just felt that from the back of the last, they weren’t finishing the way they used to.

“I’ve gone back to the old routine of three times up the hill on a work morning and we’ve just got them that bit fitter I think – we’ve drilled these horses the last few weeks. It’s how I used to do it. Voy Por and My Way all used to do three.

“I think the results are speaking for themselves. Let’s hope it continues.”

Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase
(Grade 2) £85,000 guaranteed,
5yo plus, 2m 92y, Class 1
4 ran
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

1    Edwardstone 10 11-8 Alan King Tom Cannon 11/10F
40 Funambule Sivola 9 11-8 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 8/1
FELL Boothill 9 11-6 Harry Fry Jonathan Burke 11/4
PU Amarillo Sky 8 11-2 Joe Tizzard Brendan Powell 7/2
NR Editeur Du Gite 10 11-8 Gary Moore NON RUNNER
NR Calico 8 11-2 Dan Skelton NON RUNNER

Free Racing Tips

Betfair Exchange Chase – Roll of Honour


2023 FUNAMBULE SIVAOLA Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 8 11-8 7/1 4
2022 FUNAMBULE SIVAOLA Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 7 11-00 9/4 4
2021 SCEAU ROYAL Alan King Daryl Jacob 9-11-00 3/1F 6
2020 ALTIOR Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 10-11-06 1/3F 6
2019 Abandoned - Equine Flu scare
2018 ALTIOR NJ Henderson Nico de Boinville 08-11-06 1/3F 3
2017 ALTIOR NJ Henderson Nico de Boinville 07-11-05 30/100F 4
2016 TOP GAMBLE Kerry Lee Richard Johnson 08-11-05 10/11F 4
2015 MR MOLE Paul Nicholls A P McCoy 07-11-06 7/2 5
2014 MODULE Tom George Paddy Brennan 07-11-02 11/8F 4
2013 WISHFULL THINKING Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 10-11-06 4/1 6
2012 SPRINTER SACRE Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 06-11-05 2/5F 6
2011 FRENCH OPERA Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 08-11-05 7/2 7
2010 MASTER MINDED Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-10 8/13F 5
2009 Abandoned - Snow
2008 MASTER MINDED Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 05-11-04 7/4 6
2007 WELL CHIEF David Pipe Timmy Murphy 08-11-00 5/2 8
*2006 DON’T BE SHY Martin Pipe Timmy Murphy 05-10-11 5/4F 4
2005 AZERTYUIOP Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 08-11-10 11/10F 6
2004 AZERTYUIOP Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-05 4/11F 6
2003 KADARANN Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 06-11-04 5/1 5
2002 LADY CRICKET Martin Pipe A P McCoy 08-11-01 15/8 7
2001 FUNCTION DREAM Mary Reveley Anthony Ross 09-11-03 7/4 6
2000 FLAGSHIP UBERALLES Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 06-11-13 1/4F 3
1999 CELIBATE Charlie Mann Mick Fitzgerald 08-11-03 7/2 6
1998 ASK TOM Tom Tate Russ Garritty 09-11-10 13/8F 4
1997 DOUBLE SYMPHONY Charlie Brooks Jamie Osborne 09-10-12 4/5F 3
1996 VIKING FLAGSHIP David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 09-11-10 5/2 6
1995 NAKIR Simon Christian Jamie Osborne 07-11-10 5/2 3
1994 VIKING FLAGSHIP David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 07-11-10 3/1 5
1993 WATERLOO BOY David Nicholson Richard Dunwoody 10-11-07 9/4 5
1992 WATERLOO BOY David Nicholson Richard Dunwoody 09-11-10 10/11F 6

*Run at Lingfield Park after Newbury was abandoned because of frost