Philip Kirby Racing

Racehorse Trainer based at Richmond, North Yorkshire

Champion Chase Day

Sadly no Champion Chase runer for us today! We had Next Edition at Newcastle for Phil Dennis, but he

Next Edition

didn’t find a lot off the bridle today on his return to the flat. This may have been our gallant boy’s last run, retirement beckons but if he comes out of it well we may think again for a final appearance. he has been in the yard for five years now, and we have found him a super home to retire to.

Man in Black

Tomorrow we have Man in Black (who is of course, grey) in the Novices handicap chase at Hexham, his first start over fence with Adam Nicol on board – and Rich Man Poor Man in his first novice handicap hurdle. This big horse looks the part but needs a major step up on anything he has shown us so far.

There were some incredible performances at Cheltenham today – the bumper mare was amazing coming from last to first, Might Bite made everybody gasp almost throwing the race away but getting back up on the line with the help of the loose horse – and what a front running performance from Special Tiara  – a race run at such a pace that Douvan’s jumping was consistently erratic. We think this report from Alaistar Downe is well worth reading,…

…Henry de Bromhead, a man for whom the word decent might have been coined, has already done sterling service to this event with 2011 winner Sizing Europe, who went on running his heart out at the highest level until he was old enough to vote.

Special Tiara is cut from similar cloth and jumped them senseless from the front under a rampant Noel Fehily for whom life seems to have begun at 41.

And nobody could blame De Bromhead for at least noticing that the runner-up, Fox Norton, is owned by Mr and Mrs Alan Potts, who peremptorily removed all 13 of their horses from the trainer back in the autumn.

De Bromhead would not have bad bone in his body or malicious thought between his ears but they say revenge is a dish best taken cold and Henry’s will have chilled to perfection in recent months.

This was an afternoon rich with texture and produced a finish of extraordinary drama when Might Bite seemed to have thrown away the RSA Chase when all but going off the radar after jumping the last only to get back up in a cliffhanger to deny stablemate Whisper.

Might Bite came to the last a mile clear but fluffed it a fraction and then suddenly veered off towards the Arkle bar like someone as desperate for a drink as the heroes at the end of the black and white WW2 epic Ice Cold In Alex.

De Boinville had to take emergency action and having told Might Bite that there was always a queue in the Arkle wrested him back on to an even keel and with a loose horse to aim at somehow pulled a combustive out of the fire.

It was like one of those festival finishes of 40 years ago when they ran around in the mire like snipe leaving a bog. This hill has an infinite number of tricks up its sleeve and had a willing accomplice in Might Bite, who has some previous on the swerve front.

I liked De Boinville’s remark that Kempton suits him as the exit from the course is after the line.

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