Betway Kingwell Hurdle
|Grade 2, Wincanton 14:45
1m 7f 65y, Class 1
|Saturday 17th February 2018|
1 Elgin 5/1
2 Ch'Tibello 6/4F
3 Call Me Lord 13/8
6 ran Distances: 2½l, 2l, ½l
Time: 3m 55.70s (slow by 24.70s)
Champion Hurdle bid likely for Kingwell hero Elgin
Elgin, trained by Alan King, earned £34,000 for winning the Kingwell Hurdle, which would more than cover the £20,000 needed on March 7 to add him to the field for the Unibet Champion Hurdle the following week.
Having already landed a big handicap at Ascot and the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, he added a Grade Two to his roll of honour here.
Alan King has his team in excellent heart and the 5-1 shot is proving another money-spinner for his owners, the Elite Racing Club.
The start of the race was somewhat farcical with Cliffs Of Dover, off for over a year, gifted 15 lengths, but he ran too keen and soon began to back-pedal, eventually being pulled up.
Call Me Lord moved up menacingly, with 2017 runner-up Ch'Tibello also holding claims, but Elgin took an early advantage in the straight and was not to relinquish it.
After the last, Ch'Tibello tried in vain to get on terms but could only close to within two and a half lengths of the Wayne Hutchinson-ridden winner.
King, who decided against running Elgin under a big weight in last week's Betfair Hurdle, said: "It was quite an easy decision not to go to Newbury really.
"I was quite surprised how well he did that today, although I did think he'd improved judging on his work at home.
"Wayne said he got there way too soon, but he really quickened up well.
"He just got a bit lonely in the end and wandered a little, but he was well on top and gave weight to horses rated higher than him so it was a good performance.
"That's his days in handicaps over, anyway, so I need to talk to the team, but I'd have thought that if he's OK we'll probably supplement for the Champion."
It was a fourth win in the race for King after Katchit, Mille Chief and Yanworth last year.
Betway Kingwell Hurdle (Grade 2)
£60,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 65y, Class 1
Going: Soft, Heavy in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Elgin 5/1||Wayne Hutchinson
|2nd||2½||Ch'tibello (FR) 6/4f||Harry Skelton
|3rd||2||Call Me Lord (FR) 13/8||Aidan Coleman
|N J Henderson||5|
|4th||½||Flying Tiger (IRE) 8/1||R Johnson
|5th||61||Cap'n (IRE) 250/1||Jack Quinlan
|Miss C Dyson||7|
|PU||Cliffs Of Dover 16/1||Harry Cobden
|P F Nicholls||5|