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Guitar Pete strikes late note in Aintree opener


A change of tactics and a typically brilliant patient ride from the canny Paul Carberry helped the Dessie Hughes trained Guitar Pete strike the right note in the Grade 1 4yo Juvenile Hurdle, the opening race of the Aintree festival.

Hughes’ charge was ridden prominently when finishing third in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, but connections changed tact here, with Carberry settling his mount in rear behind a steady pace set by the hard pulling Commissioned.

Commissioned would only give up his lead as the field turned for home, with the Paul Nicholls trained Calipto, so unlucky in the Triumph, hitting the front seemingly full of running under replacement jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

A mistake at the 3rd last allowed Commissioned and the staying on Clarcam back into the race approaching the 2nd last but the race would only unfold as Carberry began to sneak Guitar Pete into contention over the last.  The pair went eye to eye with Clarcam, a faller in the Triumph, on the run in, but it was no contest in the end as they quickened impressively to score by 1 3/4 lengths.

“I thought at Cheltenham we travelled too handy and he just burnt out, so I thought today would be a better option and thankfully Dessie agreed”, Carberry said.

“Everything was going to plan today, just a mistake down the back pushed me back a bit but I just had to sit and wait and I thought at the last I would get there.”

A delighted Hughes added: “He is a smashing horse to see a turn of foot like that.  It adds another dimension to him because we thought he just stayed and jumped but he has a good turn of foot.”

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