Goshen returned to form in great style for Gary Moore at Wincanton with a scintillating victory in the card’s showpiece, the Grade 2 Betway Kingwell Hurdle.
Last year’s top juvenile hurdler was last seen running a long last behind Song For Someone in the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, after which it was later discovered he had a fibrillating heart. It was a totally different story on Saturday, with the gelding always able to hold a prominent position in the hands of Jamie Moore before skipping clear for a 22-length length success.
By contrast, favourite Song For Someone was never in his comfort zone, coming under pressure some way out. To his credit, he battled on to finish second, 19 lengths ahead of the third Navajo Pass.
Betfair responded by slashing Goshen into 5/1 for next month’s Unibet Champion Hurdle.
“It’s funny because early doors I was never travelling brilliantly – the ground is tacky,” Jamie Moore told Racing TV. “I thought I was beaten all the way but he’s grabbed hold of it when he’s got on the better ground and he’s put the race to bed then.
“Horses can’t talk and he had a bad experience at Cheltenham, maybe that’s why he wasn’t travelling as well early doors. Once he’s got in his rhythm, he’s jumped good and he’s built in confidence as the race has gone on.
“Every bit of credit has to go to Dad, he knows the horse inside out and he’s been doing different things with him to get him back. And his owner Steve Packham has been very patient.”
A son of the 2007 Derby hero Authorized, a Group or Grade 1 producer under both codes who now stands in Turkey, Goshen was bred in France by Christophe Toulorge out of Hyde, by Poliglote. He is a half-brother to last Saturday’s Opera Hat Mares Chase winner Elimay.
Rendlesham victory for Third Wind
A strong finishing kick sealed victory for Third Wind in the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock Park.
Held up in mid-division by Tom Cannon, who was riding the Hughie Morrison-trained gelding for the first time, Third Wind made steady progress before three out to challenge the leaders and kicked clear after the last. He always had enough in reserve to hold last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar, for whom the run marked a welcome return to form following wind surgery.
“I’ve ridden against him a few times and I spoke to Tom O’Brien, who has ridden him a lot, and also to Hughie, and they just said if he gets a strong gallop to run at today, then that will play to his strengths,” Cannon told Racing TV. “Luckily we went a good gallop, he got into a good rhythm and ticked all the boxes all the way round.
“He travelled round great, I didn’t want to get there too soon but he winged the last and I had to go when I did. They said just tried to leave it as late as possible but that’s easier said than done – I probably could have waited a tiny bit longer but when he jumped the last as well as he did, it seemed silly not to kick on then.”
While Third Wind doesn’t hold an entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle, Lisnagar Oscar’s trainer Rebecca Curtis confirmed that all roads now lead to a defence of his Cheltenham crown.
Previously fifth to Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, the British-bred Third Wind was winning for the fifth time in 13 starts. He carries the colours of his breeder Mouse Hamilton-Fairley, who bred the Shirocco gelding out of the Beat Hollow mare Act Three.