Sandown race review with Joe Tizzard and Brendan Powell as West End Boy finishes 4th in his hat-trick bid
He was up against six competitive rivals, and following the deluge of rain in the days building up to the race, the ground had become incredibly testing.
The rain certainly didn't dampen West End Boy's appearance, however, as the club's Joe Tizzard-trained gelding looked a picture in the parade ring before the race. He was incredibly calm during the pre-race formalities, and this demeanour converted to a mature and solid performance on the racetrack.
West End Boy in the parade ring before the race on Friday 8th December
It was the first time jockey Brendan Powell had got in the saddle since West End Boy had his final run of the season in April earlier this year, with Freddie Gingell riding both times he's won so far this season.
Having been in touch with the leaders for the majority of the race and travelling well enough, West End Boy began to lose ground on the leading pack after hitting the penultimate hurdle. He did however continue to stay on well after that blunder as they climbed the Sandown hill, and he ended up finishing a respectable 4th, with just a few lengths between him and the eventual winner, Classic Anthem.
Exclusive post-race interview with jockey Brendan Powell
West End Boy's fourth place finish was enough to land the lucky Owners for the Day £77 each for his efforts, as well as a fantastic day at Sandown on day one of the Tingle Creek Meeting.
West End Boy's Owners' for the Day talking to trainer Joe Tizzard in the parade ring
Read Joe Tizzard's latest update following West End Boy's run at Sandown on Friday below.
"The Sandown race was a slowly run affair, and when the leaders kicked for home, it looked as if West End Boy was going to be left a long way behind, but to his credit, he stayed on really well up the hill, and in the end was only 5 lengths or so behind the winner. The ground was obviously very testing, so he handled it well, although I wouldn’t be in a rush to run him again on anything quite so heavy.
He had gone up 11 pounds for his two wins, and we didn’t have Fred [Gingell] taking off another seven pounds, so in those circumstances, I wasn’t too disappointed with the overall result at all, and of course we had originally planned to go to Wincanton the day before, for what would have been an easier race.
Most importantly, he came out of the race absolutely A1, and so we took the decision to give him his flu jab, which means he’ll be ready to run again in the next three weeks or so.
When horses get the flu jab, we give them an easy few days, but keep them cantering, so he won’t lose too much fitness at all. Hopefully the worst of the rain has gone for now, and in the next fortnight or so we can start to look for his next race, as there is still plenty to look forward to with this fellow, we really have only just got started with him."
We're all looking forward to the next update from Joe Tizzard and are hopeful West End Boy can take another step forward in his progression next time out.