What a performance we saw from the unique horse that is Top Ville Ben yesterday. Tommy jumped him out in front and he settled well, going short when he needed and being brave when required. He had them all on the stretch from a circuit out – there did look a moment when Donna’s Diamond was breathing down his girth’s four out but Ben had other ideas and just kept galloping in the style of his Haydock win.
Only 6 years old and a thorough soft ground stayer, who knows how far he can go if he takes his racing and keeps settled. Phil managed to buy him for The Harbour Rose Partnership relatively cheaply in May 2017 as a Henderson cast off as he had been deemed a bit of a headcase despite winning his novice hurdles for them. Jenni has spent a huge amount of time teaching him to settle and she tells me that he is a different horse up the gallops this year.
He won’t be a horse for big field handicaps so this should be a good year for him in small field novices and Phil will plot his route carefully to keep this talented but quirky gelding from boiling over. Here are the closing stages of his win:
Tommy’s interview with Matt Chapman :
We also had Magic Dragon ( got tired in the ground but jumped well enough first time), Kilcullen Flem ( ran admirably but 4 mile and top weight just too big an ask first time) and Mr Carbonator just beaten a short head for 3rd at Wolverhampton, 11lb higher than his turf mark which he had been 2nd twice off recently.
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