It’s all American at Warwick
Harry Fry has his fingers crossed he can keep American in one piece after the seven-year-old put in an impressive jumping performance to make all in the Betfred Mobile Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick.
American and Noel Fehily clear the last fence on their way to success in the BetFred Mobile Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick.
Training problems had restricted American to just five previous races, but he showed just how smart he is on his day as he ran his rivals ragged to comfortably land the Listed contest over three miles to make it two out of two over fences.
Completing a double for Fry and jockey Noel Fehily after the earlier win of Overtown Express, the 4/1 shot was sent to the front past Chef D'Oeuvre at about halfway and quickly put his stamp on the race, producing some spectacular leaps.
Putting victory beyond doubt with another good jump at the final fence, America tired quite dramatically in the final strides, but he had long since done enough to hold the staying-on Champers On Ice by four and a half lengths, earning a quote of 12/1 with Sky Bet for the RSA Chase.
Fry said: "He jumped for fun, like he did at Exeter. For a novice to jump like that on his second start is exciting.
"It's just that he's quite fragile, so we know what we're dealing with. We just have to manage him accordingly. When he's right he's very good.
"When Noel got off him at Exeter he said he was a Welsh National horse in the making and hopefully that's where we'll be in December, but it's one day at a time with him and we'll see how he is tomorrow and go from there.
"He loved the conditions as well. He's exciting."
He went on: "I wouldn't rule anything in or out at this stage. It's up to him. We'll see how he is.
"The run at Exeter was in November, so that was quite a while ago. He needs time between his runs.
"He's an out-and-out galloper and coped with conditions really well. His jumping put the others to the test, but we know we're not going to get many runs out of him in one season."
Fehily added: "He's a super horse to ride and what a job Harry Fry's done with him.
"He's very, very fragile and doesn't run very often, but when he gets to the races he has him in some shape.
"His jumping was absolutely brilliant down the back. When you get into a good rhythm down the back at Warwick, it's very hard to take them back, so I let him get on with it.
"He's that sort of horse, but he is very ground dependent, that would be the only concern.
"He's a hell of a good horse, but he does need a bit of soft ground."
David Pipe said of the runner-up: "The Welsh National would be in the back of our minds in the future. We're a similar sort to the winner and I'm not disappointed. We were rated 146 and he was 143.
"The winner jumped a bit more fluently and we were beaten by a better horse on the day.
"He'll have lots of entries at Cheltenham and will have one more run between now and then. Hopefully that's the plan."
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