Age No Barrier For Wishfull
The very competitive Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree went to the eleven years young Wishfull Thinking at 14/1 this afternoon on a third crack at the prestigious early season feature.
Giving weight and age to all but one of the field Phillip Hobb’s charge was in control three fences from home, cruising into a lead and jumping the last like the old pro he is to power away for a 12 length victory over Edgardo Sol. The second hit many of the 16 fences on the way round and just held off Rolling Aces who filled the third spot.
Pre race favourite Uxizandre ran a fair race in fourth place but couldn’t live with the pace once it got serious at the front end four from home whilst Rajdhani Express was an early unseat for Sam Waley-Cohen having been sent off a well supported 5/1 for Nicky Henderson.
The pace in the early stages was very fast and winning rider Richard Johnson told the press ” -the race fell apart for me and was left for me to have, I wanted to keep things simple.”
He continued to heap praise on his winning trainer and long time boss Phillip Hobbs “It’s an amazing achievement to keep this horse at the top level for five or six seasons”.
Also on the card there was a win for Cheltenham Festival winner Hawk High at 12/1 in the opener for Tim Easterby and Brian Hughes whilst Spirit of Shankly rewarded favourite backers under Noel Fehily for in form trainer Charlie Longsdon in the second race at 2/1 holding off the attentions of the Nicky Henderson trained Lyvius.
Lucinda Russell’s veteran Lie Forrit won the chase at 3.40 at 15/8f and there was a nice performance and victory from Parish Business for Emma Lavelle and pilot Richard O’Dea, the six year old making all the running at 4.15 and returning at an sp of 17/2.
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