Goshen scores emotional Coral Hurdle victory and Sir Alex enjoys Haydock double
Goshen makes the most of Constitution Hill absence
We may not have seen the eagerly anticipated return of the Champion Hurdle favourite, Constitution Hill, in Saturday’s Coral Hurdle, but in the absence of last year’s runaway Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner, the market made the Grade Two contest a virtual match-up between Brewin’upastorm and Goshen. In the event, while the former was sent off the narrow evens favourite, it was the latter who claimed a decisive victory.
Still only six, the quirky Goshen has been something of an equine cult figure since that dramatic last-gasp Triumph Hurdle defeat in 2020, and this was a popular victory for the Moore family – with trainer Gary displaying uncharacteristic emotion after the race, confirming what this success meant to them all. Where this stable favourite goes next remains undecided, with another go at chasing not ruled out.
Sir Alex Ferguson enjoys a double at HaydockHaydock’s big day delivered plenty, especially if your name was Sir Alex Ferguson – a man no stranger to sporting triumph in the North-West. Firstly, Hitman lived up to his name in the Graduation Chase and is now 7/1 for the King George VI Chase. The former Manchester United manager’s day then got even better when , like Hitman co-owned by Ferguson, ran away with the day’s Grade One feature by 11 lengths – the same winning margin that Hitman had scored by. As a result of that victory, is even shorter around 6/1 for Kempton’s Boxing Day showpiece, ensuring it’s not just turkey and crackers Sir Alex will be looking forward to next month. Last season’s third is now also 10/1 to go two places better in the Gold Cup.
As for A Plus Tard, the 8-y-o never looked like justifying his status as 1/2 favourite, and while nothing has come to light at this stage to explain his lacklustre effort in a race he won with such ease 12 months ago, Henry De charge has been eased to 6/1 for a Gold Cup repeat, with Des Champs the clear 5/2 market leader. Interestingly, the latter was also subject to support for the King George on Friday, resulting in his Kempton odds tumbling to 3/1 from 7/1.
State Man stakes his claim with comfortable Morgiana winThe pick of Sunday’s action took place at Punchestown, with the Hurdle the highlight. Responsible for the three of the four starters, it was very short odds that Willie Mullins would extend his domination of this race even further, and so it proved, with odds-on favourite State Man brushing aside a reliable yardstick in the form of his stablemate Sharjah. We were certainly impressed by the victory, and now make State Man 4/1 third favourite for the Champion Hurdle, behind only Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle.
David Stevens, Head of PR