Dashel Drasher holds off challenge from Master Tommytucker. Goshen returns to form with strong Kingwell Hurdle victory.
Two big names went to post in need of an urgent return to form ahead of next month’s Cheltenham Festival on Saturday. But while Cyrname, once the top-rated chaser in training, folded tamely behind Dashel Drasher in the Grade One Ascot Chase, Gary Moore’s young hurdler Goshen delivered everything his trainer could have hoped for and more in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.
Some punters had started to desert Goshen, who famously parted company with Jamie Moore at the final flight with last season’s Triumph Hurdle at his mercy. The Goshen of spring 2020 came roaring back here, however, and Moore’s mount powered clear of Song For Someone, the 11-10 favourite, from three out to win easing down by 22 lengths.
“I’m so pleased that he’s back to somewhere near the horse I think he is,” Gary Moore said. “We were very happy with him, but it’s different when you get on the racecourse. He was spectacular – that’s the horse that I was hoping he could be. He couldn’t have done it any easier and he can only improve from today.”
Having started the season at 5-1 for the Champion Hurdle and drifted to 25-1 before Saturday’s race, Goshen is now back to around 5-1. He is behind only the mares Honeysuckle (5-2) and Epatante (11-4), both of whom will get 7lb from Goshen at the festival.
For the first mile of the Ascot Chase here, Cyrname also seemed back to something like the form of his devastating win in this race two years ago. As soon as Dashel Drasher joined him in front, however, Cyrname started to drop away, though Jeremy Scott’s chaser still deserves great credit for holding Master Tommytucker at bay over the last two fences, when the runner-up appeared to be going better.
A two-length success gave Matt Griffiths a first Grade One win and Scott only the second of his career.
“This was very special and you could say it was our Gold Cup,” Scott, who is undecided on whether to run Dashel Drasher in the Ryanair Chase, said afterwards. “As soon as he got upsides and went half a length up, he [Cyrname] wilted.”
Three of Saturday’s runners – Severano, L’Ami Serge and Yalltari – suffered fatal injuries while racing. “It’s always very sad when these things happen,” said Nick Smith, Ascot’s director of racing. “We extend our sympathy to all the connections.”
In Riyadh, John Gosden, David Egan and Hollie Doyle all registered the most valuable successes of their careers. Trainer Gosden’s Mishriff, with Egan aboard, took the $20m (£14.3m) Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race, a few hours after Doyle banked £440,000 for the connections of True Self in the Neom Turf Cup.
Mishriff’s win carried a first prize of £7.3m, more than four times as much as Gosden’s Enable earned for winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2018.
Courtesy: The Guardian