Cheltenham: Ginge causes a Splash
Last season’s Betfair Hurdle winner, Splash Of Ginge recorded his first Graded victory over fences in the Betbright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase, giving young conditional jockey Jamie Bargary a day he will never forget. Stepping in for the stood down Ryan Hatch, Bargary made the most of his chance, giving Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 7yo a fine ride on route to a 3 1/4 length victory.
A faller when travelling well last time in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at this track last time, Splash Of Ginge was sent off a well supported 9/2 favourite and was always prominent in the 2m5f contest. Hunt Ball had lead the field for most and still travelled well over the second last.
Bargary eventually sent the favourite to the front approaching the last and drove him out to the line to see off a gallant Hunt Ball with Caid Du Berlais just a further head back in third.
A delighted Bargary said: “I can’t say how sorry I am for poor Ryan, he had a great day ahead of him.
“To miss the ride on this lad, who is so special to him [they won the Betfair Hurdle together last season]… he’s now very special to me too!
“I can’t say how thankful I am to Nige, too, to put me up in a race like this shows great faith and confidence in me.
“I jumped off in a lovely position early on and he was tanking with me, when we came down to the last I think he gave it about two foot. He was just brilliant, I can’t fault him, and I’m delighted for the owners, they are such nice people.”
Twiston-Davies said: “John Neild (owner) brought 50 people with him today in our bus. I was with them last night and I’m dreading what will happen this evening. I imagine the landlord of The Hollow Bottom (local pub) is already ringing for more beer as we speak.
“John does like to give the boys a chance and when Ryan aggravated his collar bone in a fall, he was quite happy to use Jamie.
“Although it was only his sixth winner, he’s very good as he showed with a faultless display of jockeyship on his first ride without his 10lb claim.
“Last time he ran here he was storming along at the top of the hill but couldn’t get his undercarriage down.
“It will now be back to the novice route and the JLT is the one. I suppose Ptit Zig will be shaking in his shoes to hear that!”
Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
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