Chaddesley Corbett report from Andrew King
An impressive three-timer via victories from Theshoddytradesman, Premier Magic and Fier Jaguen for trainer/rider Bradley Gibbs added a splash of colour to proceedings at an overcast but well supported Chaddesley Corbett on Tuesday.
And Gibbs may well have unearthed a potential new stable star in the shape of Theshoddytradesman after the six-year-old turned the Restricted into a one horse romp with an all the way success from Itsallintheclouds.
Gibbs said: “I didn’t think he would have any problems with the soft ground as he handled it when winning his maiden last May. He is a very, very nice young horse as we were never out of second gear.
“He will keep going in point to points for now but I am hopeful he could be good enough for something like the intermediate final at Cheltenham’s hunter chase meeting next April.”
In complete contrast, Premier Magic had to pull out all the stops in the closing stages of the Veteran Conditions contest to thwart the renewed rally of long time leader Myth Buster for a two-and-a-half lengths call.
However Gibbs ruled out a return to the Cheltenham Festival with the nine-year-old. He explained: “I took him there last season thinking he had a chance in the Foxhunters’ Chase but he was beaten from an early stage
“He just completely blew out as I think all the people and the buzzing atmosphere at the course just got to him and he was never going. So he will be sticking to points and not running in hunter chases for now.”
Fier Jaguen pocketed the Restricted on the corresponding card 12 months ago for the Gibbs team and repeated the dose in the Men’s Open when seeing off Looksnowtlikebrian, who proved to be the only other finisher.
The rider confided: “We were in a quandary about running him in an Open as we originally wanted to get a few more runs into him in lesser races, but he had been so well at home we decided to let him take his chance
“The way he has won he will be taking a few more races in Open company and then in the spring we will consider upping him back into hunter chase company.”
Gibbs had high hopes for a quartet of victories with Honey I’m Good in the Novice Riders’ race but it was not to be as the mare had to settle for the runner-up spot behind Classic Concorde.
Last season’s Aintree Foxhunters’ winner Latenightpass made his comeback in the Ladies Open under regular rider Gina Andrews and was sent off a very warm 2-5 favourite to make the best possible start.
But obviously Shantou Flyer and Olive Nicholls had not read the script as the pair kept finding more and held off the market leader’s persistence following a sustained duel over the final two fences.
Winning keeper Sam Loxton trains the winner for Nicholls’ champion trainer father Paul and he (Loxton) said: “The horse has come on for his run at Larkhill when dead-heating and that put him spot on for this race
“I think hunter chasing will be the next move before going to Cheltenham for the Foxhunters in March. He has been round the course a few times in the past and will hopefully give Olive a great ride.”
Andrews and her trainer husband Tom Ellis had earlier been on the mark when I’m Ravenous made amends for pulling up on his debut last term by landing the Maiden at the expense of A Jet Of our Own.
Ellis said: “I thought he was our best four-year-old last season but he came back from his disappointing debut crippled with sore shins. But he is over that now and will probably head for the Sales at some stage.”
The Ellis-trained Captain Biggles was sent off 4-5 jolly for the 6yo+ Maiden but could not cope with the tenacity of Tara Storm, who gave rider Evie Hobbs her first winner on her first ride.