Big Aintree fences beckon after bold win
GO CONQUER now has the Grand National in his sights, and no wonder, the way he jumped round Ascot to take the Sodexo Gold Cup. Ridden positively by Aidan Coleman, the eight-year-old jumped and ran his rivals ragged. He was clear fully three fences from home, produced particularly bold leaps at the final two fences and had nearly five, eased-down, lengths to spare over Rock Gone at the line.
Go Conquer is surrounded by Aintree old hands. He is trained by Jonjo O’Neill, who never won the National as a rider but famously saddled Don’t Push It to give AP McCoy his long-awaited triumph in 2010. He is owned by Paul and Claire Rooney, who came close with runner-up The Last Samuri in 2016, and their racing manager Jason Maguire rode Ballabriggs to victory in 2011.
The son of Arcadio has been to Aintree too, but was badly hampered by a faller at the Chair in the Topham Chase in April: “He was more or less brought down, I don’t really know how he stood up,” reflected Coleman. “I’d love to ride him round there again.”
IT is a long way from Ascot to Del Mar in California, but the Elite Racing Club bridged the gap on Saturday with hurdler Elgin and top-class sprinter Marsha.
Sadly, Marsha could get no closer than an honourable sixth in the Breeders’ Cup, but Elgin did his bit in the white and black colours in Saturday’s William Hill Handicap Hurdle.
The Alan King-trained fiveyear-old, who responded gamely to jockey Tom Cannon’s pressure to lead at the last and fend off Limited Reserve, may turn out again in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday week.
Go Conquer runs his rivals ragged to win the Sodexo Gold Cup under Aidan Coleman
Elgin (black cap) lands the William Hill Handicap Hurdle by 11∕4 lengths