Champ by name and Chal­low cham­pion

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RACING - TOM RICH­MOND

CHAMP lived up to his billing to win the Chal­low Hur­dle, the fi­nal Grade One race of 2018.

Nicky Hen­der­son’s six-yearold, named by owner JP Mcmanus in hon­our of record­break­ing rider Sir AP McCoy, had to defy a mud­dling pace in a tac­ti­cal con­test.

But there was no mis­tak­ing his su­pe­ri­or­ity un­der Barry Ger­aghty as they took a nar­row lead in the sprint to the last and then stayed on de­ci­sively two-and-a-half lengths in front of Paul Ni­cholls’s Get­away Trump.

“I was ner­vous,” said Hen­der­son. “I was im­pressed with him.

“Whereas last time he took off with Ai­dan ( Cole­man) half­way down the back, he was try­ing to take off with Barry off a slow pace.

“I love the turn of foot he had at the end of the day, given the fact he pulled pretty hard the whole way.”

As ever, Hen­der­son has an abun­dance of emerg­ing tal­ent in his sta­ble, but he ac­knowl­edges Champ is among this sea­son’s best.

““He has got an amaz­ing name – I’d say JP was sit­ting on this name for a few years, and it was a ques­tion of which horse got the name,” said Hen­der­son.

“He has got a won­der­ful pedi­gree and is a lovely horse. He has got a name he has got to live up to, but we took a big step to­wards it (in the Chal­low Hur­dle).”

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