Finian’s Oscar excels at Hereford
A review of the action from Hereford on Monday, where Colin Tizzard just couldn't keep his name out of the headlines.
Colin Tizzard and Tom George: Both on the mark at Hereford.
On the day on which Colin Tizzard confirmed Cue Card and Thistlecrack would take each other on in the 32Red King George VI Chase, the Dorset handler unleashed another potentially exciting youngster in the shape of Hereford winner Finian's Oscar.
Bought for £250,000 by Alan and Ann Potts – Tizzard's new high-power owners – after winning his sole Irish point-to-point, Tizzard had talked him up to the press at a stable visit last week.
Nevertheless, he started at a decent level against odds-on shot Acting Lass, but Finian's Oscar (11/4), from the same family as Nicky Henderson's Queen Mother winner Finian's Rainbow, looked in a different league.
He cruised to the front under Tom O'Brien, beating the favourite by an unextended seven lengths in the Blackmore Builders Novices' Hurdle.
"He's a very nice horse and that was straightforward," said O'Brien.
"He gave me a good feel. What makes it exciting is that before we went out Noel Fehily told me the regard which he holds the second horse in, and Noel is a good judge.
"He was telling me I'd have to go some to win this but he did it very well. He's a very nice horse going forward. I'd certainly wish for another go on him. He's chilled out, has a great attitude and showed the engine."
Another nice prospect to win on the card was the Rebecca Curtis-trained Mystical Knight (5/2), who jumped like an old hand first time out over fences in the attheraces.com Novices' Chase.
"He's very straightforward, he jumped well and handled the ground, it makes my job easily," said jockey Aidan Coleman.
"In a novice chase when they jump like that it makes a big difference as you are always stealing lengths.
"We actually got there a bit soon but I was very happy with him."
Curtis later teamed up with Richard Johnson to land the closing bumper with Just A Thought (11/8 favourite).
Adrian Heskin has made a flying start to life in his new job with Tom George and was seen to great effect once more as Stamp Your Feet (5/1) got up in a driving finish to win the Jackson Property Handicap Hurdle.
It seemed as if the winner was sure to come from The Gipper or St Saviour jumping the last, but Heskin got his mount home by a short head and a nose respectively.
"It just took him a while to warm up," Heskin told At The Races. "It wasn't until we jumped the last he started to respond but I thought I'd got there.
"I've moved over at the right time and the horses are well, hopefully they are at Christmas.
"It was a big leap coming from Ireland but we've a nice bunch of horses. I'm well settled in. It's busier than I anticipated."
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