Im­pul­sive Star digs deep for War­wick win

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RACING - Tom Rich­mond­[email protected]­me­ @Opin­ionYP

IM­PUL­SIVE STAR shed his maiden tag over fences with a de­ter­mined vic­tory in the Clas­sic Chase at War­wick.

Neil Mul­hol­land’s charge was win­less after five pre­vi­ous out­ings over the larger ob­sta­cles, but had run some fine races in de­feat, most no­tably fin­ish­ing fourth in the Na­tional Hunt Chase at Chel­tenham in March.

The eight-year-old was last seen chas­ing home Ok Cor­ral – a win­ner ear­lier on the card – at Plump­ton last month.

Last year’s win­ner Mi­lans­bar gave a bold sight in front for much of the three-mile five-fur­long jour­ney, but was a spent force rac­ing down the back straight for the sec­ond time and Im­pul­sive Star took the lead un­der Chel­tenham Gold Cup-win­ning jockey Sam Wa­ley-Co­hen, car­ry­ing the colours of his fa­ther Robert.

Calett Mad and Cross­park both threw down strong chal­lenges in the home straight, but Mul­hol­land’s charge dug deep and saw off the for­mer by three and a quar­ter lengths.

Mul­hol­land said: “I’m de­lighted with him. He had a nice lit­tle pipe-opener round Plump­ton the other day and ob­vi­ously the win­ner of that race won ear­lier on.

“We knew he’d im­prove for the run, he had a light weight on his back and we felt he was on a nice mark.”

Im­pul­sive Star is in line for an­other tilt at the Na­tional Hunt Chase at Chel­tenham. Mul­hol­land added: “He ran well in the Na­tional Hunt Chase last year and ob­vi­ously he’s still a novice, so that’s the plan again.”

■ Nicky Hen­der­son pointed to­wards a re­turn to the high­est level for Top Notch after he opened his ac­count for the sea­son in the 32Red Casino Chase at Kemp­ton.

After suf­fer­ing a bad re­ac­tion to a flu jab the pop­u­lar eight-yearold only made his sea­sonal re­turn last month when fin­ish­ing third in the JLT Hur­dle at As­cot.

Switched back to fences the Si­mon Mu­nir- and Isaac Soude­owned geld­ing took a de­ci­sive step for­ward from his come­back as he found plenty to take the Listed prize by five lengths.

Mean­while, Mer­cian Prince moved a step closer to a re­turn out­ing over the Grand Na­tional fences at Ain­tree when jump­ing his ri­vals into the ground in the two-and-a-half mile chase un­der jockey Jack Quin­lan.

Fol­low­ing this 17-length suc­cess, trainer Amy Mur­phy said: “The aim was the Topham. We might have ru­ined his hand­i­cap mark for that, but around Ain­tree it doesn’t mat­ter. He jumped round in the Sefton like they were a lot of showjumps.

“That day it was heavy ground and it just caught him out after the (Melling) road.”

■ Brian El­li­son has said Chel­tenham Gold Cup con­tender Definitly Red will have a race­course gal­lop at Sedge­field later this month be­fore com­plet­ing his bi­grace prepa­ra­tions with a piece of ex­er­cise at Wetherby on Fe­bru­ary 19.

The Mal­ton trainer has de­cided not to give Definitly Red a prep race for the Gold Cup fol­low­ing high-pro­file suc­cesses in Wetherby’s Char­lie Hall Chase, and the Many Clouds Chase at Ain­tree, un­der Danny Cook.

He is also hope­ful, look­ing at the longer-range weather fore­cast, that con­di­tions will be slightly quicker at Chel­tenham in March than last year when the horse fin­ished sixth in the Gold Cup on un­suit­ably soft ground.

■ Lady But­tons, a three-time win­ner for Cat­t­er­ick trainer Phil Kirby this sea­son, is due to line up in a Listed Mares Chase at Hunt­ing­don on Jan­uary 25.

The mare, owned by Jayne and Keith Sivills, was last week handed an eye­catch­ing en­try in the two-mile Queen Mother Cham­pion Chase at the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val.

How­ever, Lady But­tons will need a new jockey for her next as­sign­ment as reg­u­lar rider Adam Ni­col con­tin­ues to re­cover from a bro­ken leg suf­fered in a New Year’s Day fall at Mus­sel­burgh.

He has been in the sad­dle for each of the 24 races that Lady But­tons has con­tested un­der Na- tional Hunt rules, in­clud­ing all 11 wins.

■ Ley­burn trainer Jedd O’Ke­effe’s top Flat per­former Lord Yeats was nar­rowly beaten by En­core Champs at Kelso.

The re­sult was a re­run of the race at Wetherby in Novem­ber when Lord Yeats, on his hur­dling de­but, had to play sec­ond fid­dle to the War­ren Greatrex-trained En­core Champs.

Lord Yeats, owned by Ge­off and San­dra Turn­bull, was then a wide-mar­gin win­ner at Hex­ham.

He had a light weight on his back and we felt he was on a nice mark. Neil Mul­hol­land, on Im­pul­sive Star after its vic­tory in the Clas­sic Chase at War­wick.


WORK TO DO: Sam Wa­ley-Co­hen and Im­pul­sive Star, right, trail Cal­let Mad, rid­den by James Bowen, over the last fence be­fore go­ing on to win at War­wick on Satur­day.

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