Jennings Bet Kingwell Hurdle
Grade 2, Wincanton 14:05
£70,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
2m, Class 1   
Saturday 17th February 2024

1 Nemean Lion 6/5F
2 Colonel Mustard 5/1
3 Goshen 11/2
5 ran Distances: 1½l, 15l, ½l
Time: 4m 0.45s (slow by 37.45s)

Kerry Lee's seven-year-old, ridden by jockey Richard Patrick, secured a convincing victory in this Grade Two race.

Earlier in the season, Nemean Lion had claimed the Welsh Champion Hurdle title.

Here, he raced just behind the front-running Rubaud, who had been the antepost favorite but surpassed by Nemean Lion due to sustained betting activity in the morning.

As the 6-5 market leader, Nemean Lion appeared to have a comfortable lead at the second-last hurdle, with Rubaud fading away. Colonel Mustard, however, tenaciously stuck to his task, keeping Nemean Lion honest. Ultimately, Nemean Lion crossed the finish line with a length and a half advantage over Colonel Mustard.

This victory vindicated Lee’s decision to skip the Betfair Hurdle and opt for this Grade Two instead.

Lee said: “We decided to wait for this and why take on 20 others when you can take on four!

“The thing with him off a mark of 145 it would have been very tough off top-weight (in the Betfair) – as we proved when second in the Lanzarote, it is very tough giving weight to unexposed horses so that is why we took in this race.

“He had an entry in the Rendlesham as well today, but I just wasn’t keen on going over three miles on heavy ground for the first time.

“We’re very lucky in that we’ve got a versatile horse, he’s got the speed for two miles, stays two-five and he wasn’t stopping there and it would be good to explore further – but at the same time we don’t need to.”

She went on: “I wouldn’t run him back quick as he puts everything into his races, we’ll just weigh everything up.

“I wouldn’t rule out Aintree (Aintree Hurdle), there’s a race on Irish National day at Fairyhouse he could go for, we’ve got lots of options and we’ll chat to the team and see which is the best one. We’ll enjoy today first.

“These days are great for a small yard like ours with 20-odd horses. He’s a real character, he loves being in a yard where he gets all the attention.”


Wincanton Kingwell Hurdle (Grade 2)
£70,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Heavy

1     Nemean Lion 7 11-7 Kerry Lee Richard Patrick 6/5F
Colonel Mustard 9 11-4 Mrs Lorna Fowler Daryl Jacob 5/1
3 15 Goshen 8 11-10 Gary Moore Niall Houlihan 11/2
½ Guard Your Dreams 8 11-4 Nigel Twiston-Davies Tom Bellamy 17/2
2 Rubaud 6 11-10 Paul Nicholls Lorcan Williams 4/1